Study offers hope to women for whom infertility treatments were unsuccessful.
Findings from an internet survey suggests that women who have undergone IVF/ICSI infertility treatments have a 29% chance of conceiving naturally within 6 years of the treatments.
The survey was conducted by a group of gynecologists, and the findings were presented in Human Fertility. For the study, researchers contacted users of an independent fertility website to ask women who received IVF/ICSI treatments to participate in their anonymous survey, leading to 403 applicable responses.
The results of the study showed that of 96 respondents who did not conceive through the course of treatments, 34 subsequently conceived, leading to 30 live births. Of the 307 respondents who conceived during treatments, 84 also conceived after treatment.
“Regardless of the outcome of IVF and ICSI treatments, whether the patients conceived or not, there is about a 30% likelihood of conceiving over a 6-year period,” said lead study author Samuel Marcus.
In the study, researchers also found that 87% of the spontaneous conceptions occurred within 2 years of infertility treatments. Over the 6-year period after treatments, 22% delivered a live baby.
The authors noted that they hope that the findings provide hope for individuals in need of infertility treatments.
“This is really useful information that doctors can use to counsel patients about their chances of pregnancy after undergoing assisted conception,” said Professor Allan Pacey, editor-in-chief of Human Fertility. “It certainly suggests that there remains a reasonable chance of spontaneous pregnancy after IVF or ICSI has been attempted.”
Some limitations to the study were that the findings relied solely on self-reporting, and there may be some bias caused by pregnant couples more willing to respond than couples who were disappointed.