Background: The key demographic trend concerns the postponement of parenthood to later ages. Moreover, the number of Czech women of reproductive age is decreasing, which will lead to a decrease in the number of live births even with higher fertility. The aims are to assess recent trends concerning using ART in Czechia and to estimate the impact of using ART on the future development of the number of live births.
Methods: Based on data on the number of ART cycles involving the transfer of embryos in the period 2007–2012, the number of deliveries following ART was converted to the number of live births following ART by the maternal age at birth for the period 2008-2012. Subsequently, age-specific fertility rates following ART and models of the potential future development of live births following ART treatment were calculated. These models were based on a combination of two potential fertility development variants and four variants for the estimation of the future share of ART fertility of total fertility by age (V1-V4).
Results: If the use of ART methods remains unchanged, there will be a decrease in the number of live births following ART in the period up to 2030 (V1 and V2) due to the declining reproductive potential of women. An increase in the number of live births following ART would occur only if there were an increase in the use of ART methods. Depending on the expected level of the increase in the use of ART, the number of live births following ART would increase by 2030 to 4.9 thousand (V3) and 6.5 thousand (V4). In relative terms, this would represent an increase from the initial 3.2% of the total number of live births to 5.0% and 6.8% respectively.
Conslusions : We can expect an increase in the importance of ART for demographic trends in the future. The projection models assumed that the future development of the use of ART would be affected not only by the intensity of fertility postponement and different levels of fertility, but also by advances in reproductive medicine and the increasing availability of ART.