Anyone who has been through IVF treatment for infertility will know it’s a physically and emotionally demanding process—not to mention very expensive.
But success rates are generally below 50 percent for the first cycle, meaning many couples need to decide whether to give it another try, in the hope that they’ll be able to have a baby next time around.The chances of success are one major factor to consider when making that decision. Yet, up to now, doctors have not been able to give an accurate prediction of how likely a second cycle of IVF is to succeed. Most current predictions are based primarily on a woman’s age.
Yet new research shows that a woman’s age may not be the most important predictor of IVF success. A new model, devised by scientists at Stanford University from looking at data on several thousand IVF attempts, found that other factors were more important. Specifically, the chances of success second time around were higher if the embryos produced in the first round of IVF had developed at the normal rate during the first five days.
What you need to know. The Stanford scientists say that any clinic could use their model to improve their predictions about IVF second-cycle treatments. If your clinic gives predictions based on age alone, you could ask them to consider other factors, and discuss this new research with them.—Anna Sayburn, patient editor, BMJ Group
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