How Many Cycles of IVF Do Patients Need?

April 19 2017 7:46am

Should Patients Plan for Several IVF Cycles or 1 Really Complicated One?

Roughly 3.5 million people in the UK have difficulty with conceiving a child, equating to one in seven couples. This can be caused by a wide range of factors from age to body weight to smoking and drinking and a whole range of other conditions. Most couples pursue professional advice after around a year or two of trying and failing to conceive. Both the female and male partner will be tested in order to help diagnose the causes of infertility and determine what the best course of action is.

What is IVF?

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is one of the most effective tools for couples suffering with infertility. The process involves various procedures known as the “treatment cycle” and it is very important for couples to maintain excellent health throughout. IVF is a lengthy process, lasting a number of weeks and counselling is typically offered to patients. Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy with IVF treatment.

Plan for Several Cycles

It normally takes more than one cycle of IVF before a pregnancy occurs; if a couple is financially prepared for only one cycle, they should consider an alternative course of action. Our view at Concept Fertility is that, generally, it is better to have cycles that are as straightforward as possible and repeat them if a baby is not achieved the first time, rather than have one really complicated cycle with lots of (sometimes debatable, sometimes expensive) add-ons.

When referring to national statistics, a woman below the age of 40, using her own eggs and having chosen a first-rate IVF program is likely to have at least a 70% chance of success within three complete tries. This percentage halves for women between the ages of 39 and 43 and before treatment is recommended for women above the age of 42, it is important to complete an ovarian reserve assessment and carefully consider the lower likelihood of a successful pregnancy against the cost of the IVF cycle.

After reviewing the statistics, many couples are advised to prepare for three full cycles, which is the stage where the majority of patients become successful. For this reason, it’s important that couples are well-prepared both emotionally and financially.


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