New study reveals that IVF patients require multiple cycles for success

30 Dec 2015

A new study published in the JAMA medical journal last week has revealed that success rates for couples requiring IVF is at 65% after 6 cycles of treatment. These findings suggest that couples attempting to conceive should expect to undergo more than one cycle of IVF for a successful outcome.

Success rates for a single cycle of IVF currently stand at around 30% per cycle, and research has revealed that nearly half of patients will give up treatment after the first failed attempt. The researchers found however that cumulative success increased to 45% after two cycles, 54% after three and that a majority of 65% of couples conceived by their 6th attempt. These findings indicate that the approach to IVF may have to change if women and couples are to achieve success. Some doctors are therefore suggesting that IVF should be considered as a course of treatment rather than a one-off.

Currently the NICE guidelines state that couples where the woman is under 40 and has been trying to conceive for 2 years should receive 3 rounds of IVF. However, this is only a guideline and each CCG decides individually how much treatment to allocate to the individuals in their area. This means that in some parts of the country couples receive only one cycle and sometimes none at all. Doctors have called for an end to this ‘postcode lottery’, to make access to IVF fairer and success more realistic. These current guidelines are based on very old data from over 20 years ago, and the new research indicates that even the suggestion of offering 3 cycles may be too conservative and should perhaps be extended, as cumulative success rates continue to increase up to 9 cycles of treatment.

Dr Sarris, lead consultant at CREATE, at an interview for the BBC said of the findings, ‘IVF has medical, financial and emotional ramifications. Newer forms of IVF can reduce the treatment time required to perform a cycle of IVF to just a few weeks so that treatment can be repeated in consecutive cycles. It is important to make individual cycles of IVF less intensive, shorter, more affordable and more patient-friendly, particularly in light of these new findings.’ Our Natural and Mild IVF aims to meet these objectives by offering a more natural and patient-friendly approach to IVF, working with the body and reducing treatment time.