Fertility treatments can be stressful, and for women with an existing history of miscarriage it can be disheartening and painful to experience more. However, there is hope for couples who have previously miscarried following IVF treatment – women who have previously conceived due to IVF actually have a better chance of getting pregnant again.
A University of Aberdeen study looked at more than 112,000 women between 1999 and 2008 – researchers found that women who successfully conceived during a course of IVF were at least 10% more likely to conceive again (compared to women who did not conceive). Women who miscarried in the first cycle of IVF had a 40.9% chance of having a baby over 2 further IVF cycles, compared to a 30.1% chance for women who did not conceive in the first cycle.
Women who gave birth following IVF treatment had even better success rates, with a 49% chance of giving birth again.
Fertility specialists hope that this latest news can offer hope for couples who have experienced the pain of miscarriage and are considering whether or not to continue with further treatments.
Over a quarter of women participating in the study suffered a miscarriage after their first full round of IVF, which shows just how many couples can be affected by the loss and reassured by research that shows their next round has better chances of success.
The best average success rates for IVF are 32.2% (for women aged under 35), but this figure does not take into account previous IVF cycles. Rather than being discouraged, it is important that patients consider further rounds to improve their chances of conception and live birth.