Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Assisted reproductive technologies: Uterine health more important than egg quality, study shows

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
Texas Children's Hospital
Summary:
For women seeking pregnancy by assisted reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization, a new study shows that the health of the uterus is more relevant than egg quality for a newborn to achieve normal birth weight and full gestation. The study offers new information for women with infertility diagnoses considering options for conceiving.

For women seeking pregnancy by assisted reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), a new study shows that the health of the uterus is more relevant than egg quality for a newborn to achieve normal birth weight and full gestation. The study, published in Fertility and Sterility, an international journal for obstetricians, offers new information for women with infertility diagnoses considering options for conceiving.

The study was conducted by Dr. William Gibbons, director of The Family Fertility Program at Texas Children's Hospital and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, along with colleagues at the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) Marcelle Cedars, MD and Roberta Ness, MD. They reviewed three years of data that compared average birth weight and gestational time for single births born as a result of standard IVF, IVF with donor eggs and IVF with a surrogate. While the ability to achieve a pregnancy is tied to egg/embryo quality, the obstetrical outcomes of birth weight and length of pregnancy are more significantly tied to the uterine environment that is affected by the reason the woman is infertile.

There were more than 300,000 IVF cycles during the time of the study producing more than 70,000 singleton pregnancies.

"This is the first time that a study demonstrated that the health of a women's uterus is a key determinant for a fetus to obtain normal birth weight and normal length of gestation," said Dr. Gibbons. "While obvious issues of uterine fibroids or conditions that alter the shape of the uterus are suspected to affect pregnancy rates, conditions that result in poorer ovarian function to the point of needing donor eggs are not known. Further research is needed to fully understand this complex issue."

As assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in the U.S. mature, increasing attention is directed not just to pregnancy rates but also to the obstetrical outcomes of those resulting pregnancies -- meaning the newborn's birth weight, health and gestational age. Currently, about one percent of U.S. births are the result of ART therapies such as IVF, donor eggs, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, embryo cryopreservation, embryo donation, preimplanation genetic diagnosis, and male infertility surgery and medical therapy.

The study explored several scenarios and found that the birth weight associated with standard IVF -- in which the patient carried the embryo created with her own egg -- was greater than that associated with donor egg cycles, and less than that in gestational carrier cycles. This finding held true even when other factors were considered showing that the woman's own uterus may be a determining factor.

Gibbons said the study also determined that a diagnosis of male infertility did not affect birth weight or gestational age, yet every female infertility diagnosis was associated with lower birth weight and a reduced gestational age.

Patients diagnosed with a uterine health issue, such as fibroids or other factors, had babies with the lowest birth weights and gestational ages. This led the researchers to examine the uterine environment as it relates to the type of therapy being considered.

Gibbons explains that in standard IVF, an embryo is transferred to a woman who has just undergone controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, while in donor egg IVF and gestational carrier IVF, the embryo is transferred to a "natural" or unstimulated uterus. Then, the researchers looked at IVF utilizing frozen embryo transfer in which an embryo created with a patient's own egg is transferred to her own unstimulated uterus. They found that babies born of frozen embryo transfer cycles had markedly greater birth weights than those born as a result of standard IVF.

"That finding may help women seeking pregnancy and their physicians to consider frozen embryo transfer as a possible option if the uterine health is not a consideration," said Gibbons. "This study shows us how so many factors are related to a successful outcome and we continue to learn where further research may be needed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William E. Gibbons, Marcelle Cedars, Roberta B. Ness. Toward understanding obstetrical outcome in advanced assisted reproduction: varying sperm, oocyte, and uterine source and diagnosis. Fertility and Sterility, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.029

Cite This Page:

Texas Children's Hospital. "Assisted reproductive technologies: Uterine health more important than egg quality, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202132611.htm>.
Texas Children's Hospital. (2011, February 3). Assisted reproductive technologies: Uterine health more important than egg quality, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202132611.htm
Texas Children's Hospital. "Assisted reproductive technologies: Uterine health more important than egg quality, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202132611.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins