Miscarriage study could give hope to fertility patients

miscarriage and IVF

A new study into miscarriage and IVF conducted by the University of Aberdeen has provided hope for fertility patients. The research revealed women who miscarry during their first round of IVF treatment are more likely to have a successful pregnancy with further treatment than those who failed to become pregnant during the first round.

Understandably, miscarrying during the first cycle of IVF can be absolutely devastating for patients. So, the results of this latest study can provide reassurance to couples currently looking into their fertility options.

Study reveals approximately 25.7% of women miscarry during the first cycle

The ground-breaking study, published in Human Reproduction, analysed data from over 110,000 women. All had started IVF between 1999 and 2008. It revealed approximately 25.7% of them suffered a miscarriage during the first cycle of treatment. However, when compared to the women who didn’t fall pregnant at all, it was discovered they had an increased chance of having a successful pregnancy if they continued the treatment.

The actual statistics revealed women who did miscarry had a 40.9% chance of giving birth after undergoing two further cycles. This was higher than the 30.1% chance presented to the women who did not fall pregnant.

Even further reassurance was provided that those who did give birth also had a 49% chance of having a second baby in future cycles.

How successful is IVF?

It’s estimated around 1.5% of all babies born in the UK have been conceived via IVF. Of the couples who do go down the IVF route, around a quarter of resulting pregnancies end with a live birth. However, 22% do suffer a miscarriage.

The success rate of IVF is typically higher, the younger the patient is. NHS Choices reports that those under the age of 35 have a 32.2% chance of success. This drops to 27.7% for patients aged 35-37, then to 20.8% for patients aged 38-39. Those with the lowest chance of success are patients aged over 44, with a success rate of just 1.9%.

From these statistics, you can see how important it is to start IVF as early as possible. However, it is worth noting that the statistics do not specify how many rounds of IVF are needed to result in a live birth.

Could a blood test detect the chances of miscarrying during IVF?

In June this year, a study carried out by the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine, revealed a blood test could help to determine the chances of miscarrying during IVF treatment.

The researchers studied almost 2000 women who had gotten pregnant via IVF. They looked at the women’s hormone levels and discovered that a low level of Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin does appear to link to an increased risk of miscarriage.

The study showed if the woman’s blood contained under 30 units of hormones for every litre, they had just a 2% chance of not miscarrying. In contrast, women who had between 50 and 70 units had a staggering 52% chance of going on to have a successful pregnancy.

Overall, although it is obviously devastating to miscarry during the first cycle of IVF, this new study does provide hope to couples who may be discouraged from continuing treatment. It’s important to speak to a fertility specialist as early as possible to increase the chances of going on to have a successful pregnancy through IVF.