NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

IVF study: One in six had baby after unsuccessful treatment

Illustration of a in-vitro fertilization of an egg cell Image copyright Getty Images

About one in six women successfully gave birth without treatment within five years of failed IVF, a study has found.

University of Aberdeen research found that 17% those whose IVF treatment resulted in no pregnancy or pregnancy loss went on to have a live birth.

The team studied data from 2,133 women who received IVF treatment between 1998 and 2011 at an IVF unit in Aberdeen.

They believe the findings offer hope to those who have been unsuccessful.

Of the women, 1,060 had a live birth following successful treatment, and 15% went on to have another live birth - independent of any treatment - within five years.

From the remaining 1,073 whose IVF treatment resulted in no pregnancy or pregnancy loss, 17% went on to have a live birth.

'Clearer idea'

The university said the study - funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (SCO) and published in Human Reproduction - was thought to be one of the largest of its kind.

Lead researcher Dr David McLernon said: "IVF treatment is not something that couples take on lightly, and it can be a physically and emotionally demanding process even if treatment is successful. When it is unsuccessful, understandably couples can be left distraught.

"This study will give couples a clearer idea of their chances of conceiving naturally, even after IVF has been unsuccessful. Hopefully, with this information they will be able to make an informed choice about their next moves after treatment.

"There have been a number of limited studies looking at this area previously, but most of them have been based on surveys with poor response rates and a small sample size.

"This study looked at data from more than 2,000 women which we think makes it one of the most robust studies of its type."

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