Fertility treatments show diminishing returns

August 6th, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 6 (IANS) Beware, fertility treatments might not work if they are tried repeatedly. A woman’s chances of becoming pregnant with in-vitro fertilisation or IVF falls dramatically after just the second try, experts warned Friday.
A study found that while 59 percent of women became pregnant after one cycle, this almost halved to 35 percent of women who made three or more attempts, reports the journal Fertility and Sterility.

IVF is a process by which eggs are fertilised by sperm outside the womb. It is often the last resort for would-be parents and is both costly and invasive, says a Daily Mail report.

One British couple recently revealed they spent 100,000 pounds (Rs.8 million) on eight rounds of treatment before the wife finally conceived.

This trend was also seen among couples who used fertility drugs or artificial insemination, which involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilisation.

Lead researcher James Smith of the University of California, San Francisco, said: “If women are not getting pregnant after several cycles, a change to a different strategy is probably warranted.”

Smith and his researchers looked at 408 couples seen at eight infertility centres. They analysed the effectiveness of fertility drugs, IVF and artificial insemination.

Smith said women who do not become pregnant after a couple of cycles of IVF still had some other options. He suggested they consider using donor eggs or sperm or they could discuss changes to their IVF ‘protocol.’

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