“How successful is IVF?” is a question that gets asked incredibly often, but really the answer has to be “it depends”.
A clearer picture has been revealed by a recent study in Denmark, which followed 20,000 women through their fertility treatment. The results indicated that around 65% of these women had children within three years of treatment, and 71% within five years, but the odds of success were heavily influenced by age.
The study showed that about one in three cycles of IVF is successful in women under the age of 35. In fact, for women under 35, 80% had successfully had children within five years.
But the numbers were far less positive for older patients, with success figures falling to 61% in those between 35 and 40 years old; and lower again (to 26%) in women over 40.
Dr Sara Malchau, one of the researchers, said: “There is a very good chance of having a child, even if you have difficulties conceiving on your own. Most causes of infertility can be overcome, but age is the most important factor to predict if treatments are going to be successful or not. Also women with a body mass index under 30 had better outcomes as well as women who didn’t smoke.”
The study also found that nearly a fifth of the women under 35 ended up conceiving as a result of sex – despite having sought fertility treatment.
For the full results of the study go to http://www.bbc.com/news/health-36662600