Low birth rates and infertility are growing concerns for many countries. The Artificial Reproduction Act (ARA) was implemented in 2007 to better support the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Taiwan. This study aims to examine trends in the use of ART and to determine impacts of the ARA on ART use.
This study used data from the Health Promotion Administration in Taiwan. We used auto-regression models to examine the recent trends (1998-2017) in fertility related indicators and the use of ART. An interrupted time series design and segmented linear regression models were applied to analyze the changes in number of ART treatment cycles and birth rates by ART following the ARA.
The number of births by ART has gradually increased, with an annual growth rate of 21.55%. The rate of births by ART increased from 0.86% in 1998 to 1.44% in 2007, and to 4.33% in 2016 (annual growth rate: 41.23%). We estimated a relative increase of 78.51% (95%CI: 46.13%, 110.90%) in the number of births by ART and a relative increase of 35.67% (95%CI: 18.87%, 52.47%) in rate of births by ART 5 years following the ARA was implemented.
ART has been seen as an approach to improve fertility. Our analysis suggests that the ART use and births associated from ART use both increased in Taiwan following the implementation of ARA. This experience in Taiwan may offer important lessons for other countries that are facing low fertility challenges.