3 IVF attempts double chances

Nov 09, 2009

Just one in three women gives birth after a single IVF attempt, but the cumulative chance of a live birth increases with each cycle - where women are offered three cycles nearly two thirds go on to have babies, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Around three per cent of all children born in Sweden are test-tube babies resulting from IVF (in vitro ).

"There are considerable discrepancies between the number of cycles offered by the various regional councils," says physician Catharina Olivius, author of the thesis. "Some councils, primarily in northern Sweden , offer just one free attempt, but this study shows that a couple's chances of having a baby increase considerably over three cycles."

The study followed almost a thousand during their IVF treatment at Sahlgrenska University Hospital . The probability of having a baby was 35 per cent after one treatment, 52 per cent after two treatments and 63 per cent after three treatments. It was slightly higher for women under the age of 35.

Half of the couples who did not have a baby dropped out of IVF before three attempts. The most common reasons were that the treatment was felt to be too psychologically stressful, and that the chances of having a baby were considered to be very slim.

"My conclusion is that we need to get better at looking after patients' mental welfare during treatment," says Olivius. "A greater sense of wellbeing among patients would not only benefit them psychologically, but could also mean that fewer abandon treatment, which in turn could result in more couples having ."

The risk of having twins means that these days a single fertilised egg is generally implanted in the woman's . A follow-up study of a previous controlled trial where 661 women were randomly assigned the implantation of one or two embryos looked at the overall birth rate after all the frozen embryos had been used. The follow-up study shows that the single-embryo transfer method results in almost as high a chance of having a baby as the double-embryo transfer method, if we include the birth rate from the frozen embryos. 44 per cent of women had a baby in the single-embryo group, and 51 per cent in the double embryo group.

"Just over a quarter of the women in the double-embryo group had twins, which was unusual in the other group," says Olivius. "Multiple pregnancies increase the risk of premature delivery, which can result in complications. Given that the results from the single-embryo transfer are almost as good, this is, in most cases, a better method."

HUGE REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

Women in Sweden are offered one, two or three free IVF treatments, depending on where they live. Three free cycles are offered in Uppsala , Stockholm , Sörmland, Kronoberg, Blekinge, Skľne, Halland, Västra Götaland, Värmland, Örebro, Västmanland, Dalarna, Gävleborg and Gotland . Two are offered in Östergötland, Jönköping and Kalmar , and just one is offered in Västernorrland, Jämtland, Västerbotten and Norrbotten (source: The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions).

Source: University of Gothenburg

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Single embryo implants work better: study

Mar 25, 2009

Implanting single embryos into the wombs of women seeking to boost fertility is more effective and less costly than placing two embryos at a time, a pair of studies released Wednesday found.

Stanford researchers find way to predict IVF success

Jul 02, 2008

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a method that can predict with 70 percent accuracy whether a woman undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment will become pregnant. This information ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.