About a quarter of a million babies are born each year through in-vitro and other assisted fertilisation techniques, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Between 219,000 and 246,000 babies were born through assisted reproductive technology (ART) in 2002, the latest year for which a global estimate can be made, the report said.
AdvertisementThe number of ART operations around the world rose by a remarkable 25 percent from 2000, it added.
Success rates are rising, with on average a more-than one-in-five chance of a live birth from the two main techniques -- in-vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
In addition, the number of multiple births from ART is slightly declining, said the report.
Doctors say that placing two or more embryos in the uterus in the hope of boosting the chance of success also boosts the risk of a baby with low birthweight or developmental difficulties.
The report, carried in the journal Human Reproduction, is based on data from 1,563 fertility clinics in 53 countries.
The world's first "test-tube" baby was Britain's Louise Brown, born in July 1978.