309 children born via IVF since 2013

Health Minister Chris Fearne criticised the Nationalist Party for not introducing "necessary amendments" to the Embryo Protection Act when it was in government

The radical changes to the Embryo Protection Act took place in the first half of 2018
The radical changes to the Embryo Protection Act took place in the first half of 2018

A total of 309 children were born through IVF since 2013, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Tuesday.

In 2015 alone, 72 children were born through the procedure,with 43 births being registered last year.

Fearne tabled this information in Parliament on Tuesday in response to a question posed by Nationalist Party MP Claudio Grech.

IVF, or In Vitro Fertilisation, is an assisted reproductive technology and is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus.

The Embryo Protection Act saw a radical overhaul in 2018 that made the IVF procedure accessible to more than just different-sex couples. The changes also aimed at increasing the chances of infertile couples to conceive a child.

Doctors are now be able to fertilise up to three eggs in the first cycle and five eggs in any subsequent cycle and embryo freezing is now allowed, subject to an agreement between the prospective parent or parents and the authority.

Fearne criticised the PN for not introducing these amendments earlier during its years in government, amendments which he said "gave more opportunities to couples who wanted children."

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