If you've had one baby through fertility treatment, your chances for a second success are good, a new study suggests.
Researchers analysed data from more than 35 000 women in Australia and New Zealand who had a live baby after in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The women were treated between 2009 and 2013 and followed to 2015. Live births up to October 2016 were included in the study.
After one success, the chances of having a second IVF baby were between 51% and 88% after six cycles of treatment, the researchers said.
Couples can be reassured
The likelihood of a successful pregnancy declined with age and whether women used a fresh or frozen embryo.
Compared to women under 30, those between 35 and 39 saw their odds of success drop by 22% if they used an embryo frozen after a previous ovarian stimulation cycle. Their odds dropped 50% if they had a fresh embryo from a new stimulation cycle.
Factors such as requiring only one cycle and a single embryo transfer to achieve a first live birth and infertility affecting the male partner affected chances of success, according to the study published earlier this month in the journal Human Reproduction.
"Couples can be reassured by these figures," said author Georgina Chambers, director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
She said the findings underscore the fact that assisted reproductive technology should be considered as a course of treatment, not just a single cycle.
"If couples don't achieve a pregnancy in the first cycle, it could very well happen in the next," Chambers said in a journal news release. "However, it would be best not to wait too long, especially if a new stimulation cycle is needed."
Co-author Dr Devora Lieberman, a fertility clinician in Sydney, said the findings can be used to counsel patients, but it's important to note that these are population estimates and every couple is different.
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