Several studies presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2018 annual Scientific Congress and Expo in Denver, Colorado, showed that African American Women may have lower in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates than other races.
One study looked at the success rates of IVF procedures at a large Washington, DC area fertility center. They compared the results of over 36,000 IVF cycles performed between 2004 and 2016. Compared to Caucasian women, African American women had a 14 percent lower live birth rate. The African American women included in this study were on average slightly older, had larger BMIs, and were more likely to have diminished ovarian reserve compared to the Caucasian women in the study. The African American women were, on the other hand, less likely to have uterine disorders and their IVF cycles yielded more eggs and embryos than Caucasian women. But, still, African American women had lower pregnancy rates and their miscarriage rate was 24 percent.
Another study from the same investigators, using the same data set, showed that African American women delivered their pregnancies earlier than Caucasian women.
Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD, President of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, commented, “This important research points out the urgent need to better understand the factors that may contribute to these racial disparities. Improved knowledge of biological and other factors contributing to successful implantation and placenta development could lead to higher success rates and save patients from the heartbreak of a failed cycle or pregnancy loss.”