Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF, study suggests

Date:
May 13, 2011
Source:
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Summary:
An analysis of over 400,000 IVF cycles in the UK has shown that doctors should aim to retrieve around 15 eggs from a woman's ovaries in a single cycle in order to have the best chance of achieving a live birth after assisted reproduction technology.

An analysis of over 400,000 IVF cycles in the UK has shown that doctors should aim to retrieve around 15 eggs from a woman's ovaries in a single cycle in order to have the best chance of achieving a live birth after assisted reproduction technology.

The study, which is published online in the reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, found that there was a strong relationship between live birth rates and the number of eggs retrieved in one cycle. The live birth rate rose with an increasing number of eggs up to about 15; it levelled off between 15 and 20 eggs, and then steadily declined beyond 20 eggs.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Arri Coomarasamy, said: "This is the first study to look at the association between the number of eggs and live births. Some smaller studies have reported previously on the association between egg numbers and pregnancy rates, but not live births. This is also the first study to devise a graph that can be used by patients and clinicians to estimate the chances of a live birth for a given number of eggs."

Dr Coomarasamy, a Clinical Reader and Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the University of Birmingham (UK), and his colleagues analysed data from the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) on 400,135 IVF cycles that took place anywhere in the UK between April 1991 and June 2008. As live birth rates have steadily improved during this period, the researchers used data from 2006 to 2007 to create a predictive model that most closely reflected current practice. Using the model, they created a mathematical graph, called a nomogram, which shows the relationship between women's age, the numbers of eggs retrieved and the predicted live birth rate. Now patients and clinicians can use the nomogram when making decisions about the degree of ovarian stimulation required to achieve the optimum number of eggs for a live birth.

"Our data show that around 15 eggs may be the best number to aim for in an IVF cycle in order to maximise the chances of a live birth while minimising the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which is associated with a high number of eggs, usually over 20," said Dr Coomarasamy. "Mild stimulation protocols aim to retrieve less than six to eight eggs; a standard stimulation should aim for 10-15 eggs, and we believe this is what is associated with the best IVF outcomes; when the egg number exceeds 20, the risk of OHSS becomes high." *

He believes that doctors could combine the use of the nomogram with current methods of measuring a woman's ovarian reserve in order to work out how much her ovaries need to be stimulated in order to retrieve 15 eggs in a safe manner.

"There are tests of ovarian reserve such as anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC) which are good at predicting ovarian response and the egg yield following ovarian stimulation during IVF treatment. However, AMH and AFC are not good predictors of live birth rates. If clinicians use AMH or AFC to estimate the egg yield, they can then use our nomogram to convert this estimated number of eggs into a predicted live birth rate, thus completing the prognostic chain to estimate the chances of what both they and the women want: a live born baby."

The data also showed that during 2006-2007 the predicted live birth rate for women with 15 eggs retrieved was 40% for those aged 18-34, 36% for those aged 35-37, 27% for those aged 38-39 and 16% for women aged 40 and over.

Currently the HFEA collects data in a way that does not allow researchers to link information on IVF cycles using fresh embryos with IVF cycles using frozen embryos in the same woman. The authors of the study say that it is possible that this might alter the declining effect of higher numbers of eggs on fresh IVF cycles, because a woman has a greater chance of becoming pregnant if frozen embryos are available for transferring in subsequent cycles. However, "existing data suggest that the numbers of embryos frozen after a fresh IVF cycle are not enhanced by retrieving more than 18 eggs," write the authors.

Dr Coomarasamy said: "The HFEA have agreed to provide data linking fresh and frozen cycles to answer this research question and they may be releasing this information soon. By including the outcome following replacement of all frozen embryos generated from a single fresh IVF treatment, we could give an estimate of the cumulative live birth rate per IVF cycle. This is important information and we hope to gather the necessary data and report on this outcome in the future.

"None of this work would be possible without the support of the HFEA and we are very grateful to the staff there who validated these data."

*Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an excessive response by the ovaries in response to hormone drugs administered to stimulate the production of eggs for collection for IVF cycles. Mild and moderate OHSS causes abdominal pain, swelling and sometimes nausea and vomiting. In the rare, severe cases, it is a life-threatening medical emergency, with massive ovarian enlargement, fluid accumulation in the abdominal and pleural cavities, and risk of thrombosis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sesh Kamal Sunkara, Vivian Rittenberg, Nick Raine-Fenning, Siladitya Bhattacharya, Javier Zamora, Arri Coomarasamy. Association between the number of eggs and live birth in IVF treatment: an analysis of 400 135 treatment cycles. Human Reproduction, 2011 DOI: 10.1093/humrep/der106

Cite This Page:

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510211605.htm>.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2011, May 13). 15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510211605.htm
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510211605.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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