A series of parliamentary questions concerning in-vitro fertilisation in Malta may indicate some revealing statistics about the procedure, with figures showing a success rate of roughly one in five.
Since 2013, 306 babies have been born through IVF with there having been 1,407 cycles at both St James Hospital and Mater Dei Hospital.
In that period, 258 have been born through fresh oocytes (a woman’s egg), while 48 children were born through frozen oocytes.
The figures show that in 2015, there had been the most IVF cycles, 311 (176 at Mater Dei, 135 at St James). It was also the year that produced most IVF births (72). Owing to this is the fact that IVF started being offered at the national hospital in 2015, while St James has been operating them since 2013.
The law allowing two people to undergo in-vitro fertilisation was introduced in 2012.
However, embryo freezing itself was only allowed in exceptional circumstances. It changed in September 2018, after amendments allowed two fertilised eggs (in some cases three) to be transferred into the woman’s uterus.
Maltese law does not allow for the disposal of embryos under any circumstances.
The same law also extended the number of people eligible for assisted reproduction and legalised gamete donation. Surrogacy was also on the agenda but was shelved temporarily by Health Minister Chris Fearne after widespread protests.