EAST LANSING, Mich. A groundbreaking study of nearly 250,000 U.S. women reveals live birth rates approaching natural fertility can be achieved using assisted reproductive technology, where eggs are removed from a woman's ovaries, combined with sperm and then returned to the woman's body.
The research, led by Michigan State University's Barbara Luke and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights what factors help or hinder getting pregnant using assisted reproductive technology, or ART. The results indicate that when there are favorable patient and embryo characteristics, live birth rates with ART can approach those of natural fertility.
"This is good news for women who are trying to have a child," said Luke, a researcher in the College of Human Medicine's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.
The number of ART treatments has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and live birth rates traditionally have been reported per cycle, or per one course of treatment. While that is easily calculated and is the method used by national registries across the world, Luke's team sought to estimate cumulative success rates with continued treatment.
"Women and families want to know the overall chances they will get pregnant, not necessarily whether they will get pregnant during a specific cycle," Luke said.
Data were obtained from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology's Clinic Outcome Reporting System for women undergoing treatment between 2004 and 2009. The system contains data on more than 90 percent of all clinics performing ART treatments in the United States.
The study of 246,740 women revealed 57 percent of women achieved a live birth via ART treatment, and 30 percent of all ART cycles resulted in a live birth. Success rates declined with increasing age for women using their own eggs, especially for those ages 38 years and older, but not for women using do
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Michigan State University