Women's age affects every stage of IVF

December 6, 2013 by Jennifer Phillips, University of Aberdeen
Women's age affects every stage of IVF

A woman's age affects the outcome of every single step of IVF treatment, according to a University of Aberdeen study published today in PLOS ONE. This is the first study of its kind to break down failure rates for each stage of IVF for different age groups.

The duration of prior to IVF treatment is also associated with poor outcomes at every step, however its impact on treatment is not as great as that of age.

Researchers studied data from 121,744 women from across the UK who underwent their very first cycle of IVF between 2000 and 2007 using their own eggs. Some of the cycles had intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - a procedure used in IVF where there is , where the sperm is injected directly into the egg.

The study found that women embarking on ICSI treatment have a lower chance of treatment failure, but this advantage is lost at a later stage of treatment once embryos are created, suggesting that ICSI embryos do not appear to have better chances of implanting.

Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, led the research. He said: "IVF comprises a number of key steps, each of which has to be successfully achieved before the next stage can be attempted. We found that age impacted on every single hurdle that has to be overcome during the emotional rollercoaster that is IVF."

Women's chances of having a baby following IVF start to decline by their mid-30s but from 37 onwards these go very rapidly downhill, according to the study.

Even after a pregnancy has been confirmed, women aged 38-39 were 43% more likely to have a miscarriage than women aged 18-34, while women aged 40-42 were almost twice as likely to lose the baby as 18-34-year-olds.

"This influence of age is sustained at each stage of the IVF process. There is no point during an IVF treatment - even in women who have done well in a preceding stage - when age ceases to matter. Age has the capacity to increase the risk of treatment failure even in women who respond to hormonal treatment, have eggs harvested and embryos replaced," said Professor Bhattacharya.

"Many couples want to understand how their chances of having a baby evolve over the course of an IVF treatment. Previous work has been able to offer a global prediction of success in IVF. We hope our study provides a more accurate and dynamic way of predicting a couple's chances of as they negotiate each step of IVF. "

Explore further: Melanoma risk linked with IVF treatment and birth

Related Stories

Melanoma risk linked with IVF treatment and birth

December 3, 2013
An investigation into the association between IVF treatment and melanoma found women who had IVF treatment and gave birth to one or two children had an increased rate of invasive melanoma compared with those who did not have ...

Fertility treatment outcomes can be significantly influenced by mother's ethnicity

October 29, 2013
Maternal ethnicity is a significant determinant of successful outcomes after fertility treatment, suggests a new study published today (30 October) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

UK may allow IVF for older women, same-sex couples

May 22, 2012
(AP) -- A powerful health advisory agency says Britain should extend free fertility treatments to women up to age 42 as well as same-sex couples, recommendations likely to be followed by many of the U.K.'s medical centers.

Reanastomosis is cost-effective for pregnancy post-ligation

August 9, 2013
(HealthDay)—For women desiring pregnancy after tubal ligation, laparoscopic reanastomosis is the most cost-effective choice for women aged 40 years or younger and for older women with higher in vitro fertilization (IVF) ...

IVF success for one in two under 35, but failure after five cycles

August 30, 2013
The first national report into the cumulative success of IVF has shown there is little chance of pregnancy after the fifth round of treatment, regardless of a woman's age.

Freezing sperm taken directly from testicles is effective option for infertile couples

August 6, 2013
Frozen sperm taken by biopsy from testicles in men with no sperm in their semen is as effective as fresh sperm taken by biopsy in helping couples conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a study at Washington ...

Recommended for you

Rise in preterm births linked to clinical intervention

January 18, 2018
Research at the University of Adelaide shows preterm births in South Australia have increased by 40 percent over 28 years and early intervention by medical professionals has resulted in the majority of the increase.

New report calls into question effectiveness of pregnancy anti-nausea drug

January 17, 2018
Previously unpublished information from the clinical trial that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relied on to approve the most commonly prescribed medicine for nausea in pregnancy indicates the drug is not effective, ...

New study finds 'baby brain' is real, but the cause remains mysterious

January 15, 2018
So-called "baby brain" refers to increased forgetfulness, inattention, and mental "fogginess" reported by four out of five pregnant women. These changes in brain function during pregnancy have long been recognised in midwifery ...

Sleep quality improves with help of incontinence drug

January 12, 2018
A drug used to curtail episodes of urinary incontinence in women also improves quality of sleep, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine reports.

Frozen embryos result in just as many live births in IVF

January 10, 2018
Freezing and subsequent transfer of embryos gives infertile couples just as much of a chance of having a child as using fresh embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF), research from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Adelaide, ...

Study suggests air pollution breathed in the months before and after conception increases chance of birth defects

January 8, 2018
A team of researchers with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital has found evidence that indicates that pre-and post-pregnant women living in an area with air pollution are at an increased risk of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.