Academic's research examines IVF success rates
FERTILITY treatment stands the best chance of success when two embryos are implanted, a study in Bristol has found.
The latest research, published by medical journal The Lancet yesterday, showed that three or more embryos should not be implanted in women of any age during IVF treatment, as it harmed the chances of a successful birth.
The study, based on data from the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, has been written by Debbie Lawlor, pictured, of the Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analysis in Translational Epidemiology at Bristol University, with colleagues from Glasgow University.
Decisions about how many embryos to implant during a single in-vitro fertilisation cycle are controversial. But having compared data on births for rates of live births, multiple births, low birth weights and premature birth in women under and over 40, the researchers found one or two embryos offered the best chance of success. The live birth rate was greater with the transfer of two embryos compared to the transfer of one in both age groups. But transferring three embryos resulted in a lower live birth rate than transferring two in the younger women.It was no different to the success rate with two embryo transfers in older women.
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The transfer of three embryos was found to be particularly likely to result in premature births.
Overall, the live birth rate was notably lower in older women than in younger women, irrespective of the number of embryos transferred, but in both age-groups transfer of two embryos led to a better live birth rate than the transfer of one.
The authors said: "Our results further highlight the importance of age with respect to the likely success of IVF. Couples need to understand that delaying childbirth until older ages of the mother may make it difficult to conceive and harder for IVF to be successful.