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Continually using the same IVF treatment is less effective, experts claim

16 August 2010
Appeared in BioNews 571

One of the biggest problems facing patients and doctors during fertility treatment is when to decide to switch to an alternative method, after the failure of a particular approach.

Now researchers from the University of California in San Fransisco (UCSF) may have the answer.

They conducted a study which followed 408 patients going through various forms of fertility treatment, such as drugs to stimulate ovulation, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF, and made some interesting discoveries.

They found that patients going through drug treatment alone saw a ‘diminishing return’ after two cycles, which was also the case for people having  IVF,  whereas patients going through IUI saw the same effect after three attempts.

One of the lead authors, Dr James Smith, told Reuters that ‘If couples are not getting pregnant after several cycles of each, a change to a different strategy is probably warranted’.

This research should therefore help both doctors and patients in making more informed choices in regard to their treatment options. 

The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.


Chances of pregnancy diminish after multiple attempts using same fertility treatment, study finds
Medical News Today |  9 August 2010
Fertility treatments and outcomes among couples seeking fertility care
Fertility and Sterility |  26 July 2010
Fertility treatments eventually show ‘diminishing returns’
Reuters |  4 August 2010
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