The number of so called 'test tube babies' born in the United States set a record in 2012, and a local fertility expert says it is part of a trend which he expects to continue, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  Newborns born in 2012 who were born due to In Vitro Fertilization reached 1.5% of the total of births in 2012, or a record 61,740 babies.


  Dr. Greg Neal, the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist with the Fertility Center of San Antonio says the new interest in IVF is due to the fact that women today are waiting far longer to have children, due to education and career.


  "The main reason that more cycles are being done is that women are delaying childbirth, and infertility increases with the age of the woman," Dr. Neal said.


  The facts confirm Dr. Neal's observations.  The average age of first time mothers today is about 26, in 12970 it was just over 21.


  IVF involves the fertilization of the egg from the mother to be or an egg donor in a lab dish, and it is then implanted into the woman's uterus.


  Dr. Neal says as women continue to delay childbearing into their thirties and even forties, new forms to technology will be called on more and more.


  "Egg freezing is going to be another option," he said.  "If the woman is 42 but she froze her eggs when she was 32, the success of the fertilization is now based on a 32 year old egg."


  Fertility experts say these procedures, which used to be thought of as futuristic and a little creepy, are becoming mainstream.


  It is still a lot easier for a young woman to conceive a child than an older woman.  But Dr. Neal says these new technologies should be embraced, because they are leveling the playing field for women who wait longer to have a child.


  "The success rates are improving, and patients are deciding not to do many of the less successful treatments because they are less successful," he said.