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The Fertility Show


 

IVF less successful for ethnic minorities, study finds

11 November 2013

By Dr Linda Wijlaars

Appeared in BioNews 730

The outcome of fertility treatment may be influenced by the ethnicity of the mother, a UK study has found. Women from ethnic minorities had significantly lower live birth rates after IVF compared to white European women (35 percent versus 44 percent). The results echo those from similar studies from the USA.

'Our data indicates that live birth rates, clinical pregnancy rates and implantation rates following fertility treatment, particularly IVF, are significantly lower in ethnic women when compared to white Europeans', said Dr Walid Maalouf from Nottingham University's Research and Treatment Unit in Reproduction (NURTURE), the lead author on the paper.

The team from NURTURE followed 1,517 women who underwent their first cycle of fertility treatment, using ICSI or conventional IVF, between 2006 and 2011. They collected data on pregnancy rates and live births, as well as information on other factors like smoking that are known to be associated with pregnancy outcomes.

Women from ethnic minorities were slightly more likely to be overweight, and had infertility problems for longer before seeking treatment compared with white women. However, they also smoked less and were slightly younger, which should have increased their chances of success. Instead, their treatment outcomes were significantly worse from the implantation stage onwards.

'The reason for the reduced implantation rates and subsequent reduced outcomes in the ethnic minority group is still unclear', said Dr Maalouf. 'Further research into genetic background as a potential determinant of IVF outcome, as well as the influencing effects of lifestyle and cultural factors on reproductive outcomes, is needed'.

The findings are in line with studies from the USA, which have found that women from African- or Asian-American minorities have lower rates of IVF success.

'Evidence of more realistic success rates of women undergoing fertility treatment could be used to encourage women from ethnic backgrounds to seek treatment earlier and improve the likelihood of a positive pregnancy outcome', said Dr John Thorp, editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which published the paper.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology | 06 November 2013
 
BJOG Journal News | 06 November 2013
 
BBC News | 06 November 2013
 
The Australian | 07 November 2013
 
University of Nottingham (press release) | 06 November 2013
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

22 August 2016 - by Dr Rosie Gilchrist 
White British women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy through IVF or ICSI than women from other ethnicities in the UK, according to a recent study...
16 December 2013 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
The first study to break down IVF failure rates for each treatment stage across different age groups has found that after the age of 37 the chance of a woman becoming pregnant through IVF rapidly declines...

13 June 2011 - by Dr Rosie Gilchrist 
Some reports suggest that women from particular ethnic backgrounds have a lower chance of IVF success. However, a new study from the US shows that for Hispanic women at least, the chances of becoming pregnant via IVF treatment are exactly the same as for...
09 May 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu 
A genetic predisposition towards autoimmune disease may be associated with lower pregnancy rates in IVF, a US study suggests. The findings offer a possible explanation for differences in IVF treatment outcomes between different ethnic groups....
14 February 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy 
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01 March 2010 - by Harriet Vickers 
Researchers have found Asian-American women are less likely than white women to successfully have a baby through IVF, but were unable to pinpoint why...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Support While Trying To Conceive (FertileThoughts - Updated on 12/11/2013)
Women of all races trying to conceive are faced with an immeasurable amount of stress.  When I started ttc, I found the companionship of others helped me most.  Women who have been through this journey, no matter what the race, are working towards the same goal.  Through crowdsharing information, I was able to approach my doctor as an informed patient.  Join me, and others like us, on the chat forums of http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/forum.php  

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