Why you need to look at IVF as a course of treatment

Embryo,_8_cellsAll too often, IVF is criticised as being “unsuccessful” when people look at the chances of getting pregnant from an individual cycle of treatment – but now a new study shows that the majority of couples are successful if they are able to have more than one cycle.  The research, published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, has found that 65% of patients will have a baby if they have six or more cycles.

The recommendation here in the UK is for three funded cycles, and in many parts of the country fertility patients can’t even access that, but this research suggests that more people could be successful with more treatment.  The researchers found that in all women, the cumulative percentage of live births across all cycles continued to increase up to the ninth cycle.

You can read more about the study, whose main authors were Professor Debbie Lawlor of  the University of Bristol and Professor Scott Nelson from the University of Glasgow’s School of Medicine, on the Bristol University website here

This is really welcome research as all too often when NHS funding is cut, local commissioners claim that IVF has very little chance of success after one or two cycles, but this research suggests there could be benefits to extending the number of IVF cycles beyond three or four.

The study included 156,947 U.K. women who received 257,398 IVF cycles between 2003 and 2010 and were followed up until June 2012. It was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.