In Vitro for Older Women Works

In vitro fertilization technology improves pregnancy outcomes

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) For older women who are trying to conceive but have unexplained infertility problems, bypassing other fertility treatments and going directly with in vitro fertilization (IVF) appears to improve the odds of getting pregnant.

Pregnancy was achieved in more women who tried IVF first, than in those who were initially treated with other methods, among women with unexplained infertility. The majority of such women conceive through IVF anyway, and going directly to that treatment reduces the number of cycles needed for conception.

"Consider trying In Vitro Fertilization."

Richard Reindollar, MD, led a study at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of 154 women between 38 and 43 years of age, who had unexplained infertility for at least six months. 51 women went to immediate IVF treatments, while the remaining women received superovulation techniques. 51 of those received clomiphene citrate and 52 received a follicle-stimulating hormone.

Clinical pregnancy was achieved in 21 of the IVF group in 85 cycles, compared with only 13 women in 178 cycles of superovulation treatments. 13 of the 21 women impregnated through IVF took home a baby, compared with only 9 women from the other groups. Reindollar said that the immediate IVF treatment results were significantly higher during initial cycles of treatment.

Delaying IVF treatment with other techniques could be detrimental for older women with unexplained infertility, because each six-month to one-year delay increases the risk of failure.

The findings were published in the September 2011 issue of Fertility and Sterility, and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

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Review Date: 
October 24, 2011
Last Updated:
October 28, 2011