For those of you considering or undergoing in vitro — and for those who may have given up, believing failure was the definitive outcome — there’s good news, just in time for Christmas.
According to an article posted online just hours ago by the New York Times, a large study (published in the Journal of the American Medical Association) has found that:
“Nearly 2/3 of women undergoing IVF will have a child by the 6th attempt — suggesting that persistence can pay off, especially for women under 40.” Even better, “the cumulative rate for live births continues to increase, albeit modestly, up to the 9th cycle of IVF.”
That’s so encouraging!
Dr. Owen Davis, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, concludes, “The take home message is your prognosis doesn’t fall off a cliff it it didn’t work after 3 or 4 cycles.”
I know, I know… That doesn’t make it less expensive. Or less devastating when it doesn’t work. But we already knew the bad news.
Isn’t it nice to get some good news for a change?
This study — which was sizable and rigorous — found that after the 9th cycle, the live birthrate was still 15.7%. That’s significant, and significantly higher than virtually anyone expected.
It is scientific proof that there is cause for hope.
As Dr. Evan Myers, professor at Duke University Medical Center, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study, “Instead of saying, ‘If you haven’t been successful after 3 or 4 cycles, think about donor eggs or adoption,’ the study says, ‘If you keep going, there’s still a substantial chance.'”
Want more encouraging news?
According to Dr. Debbie Lawlor, the study’s senior author, the study found no evidence that women who do not produce any eggs — or produce just 1 or 2 — are less likely to become pregnant via future cycles of IVF. “We found that just isn’t the case. Don’t give a load of importance to any one cycle,” she concluded.
OK, so that’s not a guarantee that your next IVF will work…. but it’s certainly cause for hope, don’t you think?
Me, too. Merry Christmas.
Would it help to have some spiritual context for your infertility journey? Some more cause for hope? Read Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.