How Many Cycles Should You Attempt ?

Last week at the annual ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) conference, Mr. Hong, a researcher at the Center of Reproductive Medicine and Infertility shared the results to his most recent study.

Mr. Hong worked with 6,717 patients who took part in 8,930 cycles of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) in the hopes of becoming pregnant. He then separated the women into 3 groups based on their age: 35 and younger, 36-39 and 40 and older. What he found was interesting!

To begin with, the overall pregnancy rate among all the women was 39.5%. Only a few of the women took part in more than 5 cycles of ICSI, and there was only one patient that had the procedure done 8 times.

When looking specifically at the women who became pregnant, 79.7% were successful with their first attempt, 16% with their second and 3.4% with their third.

He then broke down the results even further and looked at each of the groups. In the 35 and younger group, 53.75% of the women became pregnant after their first ICSI cycle, 43% with their second, 33% with their third, 23% with their fourth and 18.2% with their fifth.

In the 36-39 year old group, 41.5% of the women became pregnant after their first cycle and then it decreased to a rate of 24.1% by their fourth attempt.

And finally, when looking in the over 40 group, Mr. Hong found that the women had a success rate of 20% for attempts one, two, three and four!

What Mr. Hong suggests based on his study is that most women under the age of 40 benefit from 2 ICSI cycles, whereas those over 40 may benefit from attempting 4 cycles.

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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.