Just one in three women gives birth after a single IVF attempt, but the cumulative chance of a live birth increases with each cycle -- where women are offered three cycles nearly two thirds go on to have babies, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
The study followed almost a thousand women during their IVF treatment at Sahlgrenska University Hospital . The probability of having a baby was 35 per cent after one treatment, 52 per cent after two treatments and 63 per cent after three treatments. It was slightly higher for women under the age of 35.
Half of the couples who did not have a baby dropped out of IVF before three attempts. The most common reasons were that the treatment was felt to be too psychologically stressful, and that the chances of having a baby were considered to be very slim.
"My conclusion is that we need to get better at looking after patients' mental welfare during treatment," says Olivius. "A greater sense of wellbeing among patients would not only benefit them psychologically, but could also mean that fewer abandon treatment, which in turn could result in more couples having babies."
Patients need to have realistic expectations of IVF treatment; and doctors need to prepare a plan of action, which includes the possibility of failure. Otherwise, the treatment can become an emotional roller-coaster ride, causing patients to lose heart and give up prematurely, thus depriving themselves of their best chance of having a baby !