Call to reduce IVF after high premature birth rate

A leading doctor has called for carrying out fewer in vitro fertilisations (IVFs) over Austria’s high rate of premature births.Angelika Berger of Vienna’s Medical University said today (Tues) that 11.1 per cent of births in Austria occur before the 37th week of pregnancy, significantly higher then the European average of seven per cent.Berger pointed out that only eight per cent of births in Austria happened prematurely in 1991.The doctor explained Austria’s high rate of premature births was mainly down to the dramatic rise of so-called late preterms, which describes births  that occur between the 34th and 36th week.”We know today that late preterms considered as uncomplicated pose certain risks to the babies compared to children born maturely,” Berger announced, adding that she was in support of a reduction of IVF procedures.Freedom Party (FPÖ) MP Andreas Karlsböck said he planned to file a parliamentary request to Social Democratic (SPÖ) Health Minister Alois Stöger in a bid to improve the state of prevention and screening programmes in Austria.