In IVF more (eggs) is not necessarily better

That’s one of the misconceptions (#7) in our book, “Conceptions & Misconceptions,” more is better.

And now a study reported from ASRM 2013 again shows that’s not true.

Retrieving more than 15 eggs from a woman during IVF increases the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome with only a minimal increase in live birth rate, according to Anish Shah, MD, of Duke University, and colleagues.

In a retrospective cohort study that used data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology’s IVF Registry — including more than 250,000 ART cycles in the U.S. from 2008 through 2010 — they found that the live birth rate when 11 to 15 eggs were retrieved was 39.3%.

That figure rose only to 42.7% when 16 to 20 eggs were extracted but the rate of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome jumped from 0.93% to 1.67%.

And in the highest category, when more than 25 eggs were extracted, the birth rate was in the middle — 41.8% — and the hyperstimulation syndrome rate soared to 6.34%.

The researchers concluded that it’s “time to re-evaluate our strategy for multiple follicular recruitment in IVF.”

So remember, in IVF as with many other things in life, quality can be more important than quantity.

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