With in vitro fertilization, persistence pays off, study suggests

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A large study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has found that nearly two-thirds of women undergoing IVF will have a child by the sixth attempt, suggesting that you should not stop trying – especially for women under 40.

The cumulative rate for live births continues to increase, albeit modestly, up to the ninth attempt, or “cycle,” of IVF.

“The take-home message is your prognosis doesn’t fall off a cliff if it didn’t work after three or four cycles,” said Dr. Owen K. Davis, the president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, who was not involved in the new research.

The study included nearly 157,000 women in the UK who together underwent more than 257,000 cycles of IVF treatment between 2003 and 2010.

Researchers at the University of Bristol and the University of Glasgow defined a cycle as stimulation of ovaries to produce several eggs, plus all the resulting embryo transfers.

A woman’s age made a big difference in the study. The live birthrate among women younger than 40 after the first cycle was 32.3 percent, and after the sixth cycle, 17 percent.

But among women ages 40 to 42, just 12.3 percent were successful after the first cycle, and only 6.9 percent after the sixth.

The average cost of a cycle is $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Only eight states require insurance coverage for IVF treatment, according to Resolve, a patient advocacy group.

via New York Times