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One last chance for pregnancy: a review of 2,705 IVF cycles

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, March 30, 2008 | 0 comments

Objective: To describe live birth rates and predictors of success in 1-year age increments for women 40 years when initiating assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

Patient(s): One thousand two hundred sixty-three women undergoing 2,705 ART cycles at age 40 or above.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Pregnancy and live birth rates per cycle start were determined based on 1-year increments in women aged 40. Predictors of success, including number of embryos transferred, number of fetal heartbeats, availability of embryos for cryopreservation, and cycle day 3 FSH levels, were analyzed.

Result(s): The overall live birth rate per cycle start was 9.7%. Cumulative live birth rates in women ranged from 28.4% if starting ART at age 40 to 0 by age 46. The overall spontaneous abortion rate was 32.6% (range, 23.9%–66.7%). Higher pregnancy rates were predicted by the greater number of embryos available for transfer, by the availability of excess embryos for cryopreservation, and by the presence of two fetal heartbeats on ultrasound. The outcome of the first IVF cycle did not predict the outcome of subsequent cycles.

Conclusion(s): Assisted reproductive technology has a reasonable chance for success (5%) up until the end of the forty-third year. Twins on initial ultrasound, large numbers of embryos available for transfer, and the presence of excess embryos for cryopreservation predict higher live birth rates.

(Fertil Steril 2005;84:435– 45. ©2005 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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