New Estimates for IVF Live Birth Rates

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Updated: 10/16 3:14 pm

Jan. 14, 2009 -- Although many statistics on in vitro fertilization focus on the number of resulting pregnancies, a new study sheds light on the likelihood IVF results in a live birth.

Beth Malizia, MD, from the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the medical records of 6,164 female patients undergoing IVF at a large IVF center in Boston from 2000 to 2005. The researchers analyzed the cumulative live birth rate for up to six IVF cycles.

By the end of the research period, 3,126 babies were born out of 14,248 IVF cycles. Seventy-one percent of these were single children, 27% were twins, and about 2% were triplets.

After six IVF cycles, the "conservative analysis" estimated a live birth rate of 51%, and the "optimistic analysis" was 72% for the entire group. Patients who were 35 years of age or younger had higher estimates -- 65% to 86%. The rate decreased as the patient's age increased.

For women 40 years or older, live birth rates ranged from 23% to 42%.

The researchers write that the "true cumulative live birth rate in our population was probably between the conservative and optimistic estimates."

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