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Hum Reprod Update. 2013 Jul-Aug;19(4):354-65. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmt007. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Failures (with some successes) of assisted reproduction and gamete donation programs.



Although the possibilities for the treatment of infertility have been improved tremendously, not every couple will be treated successfully.


Crude overall pregnancy rates of 50-65% per patient can be achieved nowadays, irrespective of the type of profertility treatment applied first.


IVF only accounts for about 20% of the pregnancies achieved. Dropout is an important reason for not reaching the estimated pregnancy rate. Even after failed IVF, spontaneous pregnancies do occur. Sperm and oocyte donation (OD) offer additional chances to subfertile couples. Severity of the male factor (in sperm donation) and young donor age (in OD) are important determinants of success.


Analysis of assisted reproduction technology outcomes would benefit from more universally accepted definitions and deserves better statistical analysis. Long-term cumulative live birth rates of 80% may be expected if dropout can be limited. Milder stimulation, a patient-friendlier approach and better counseling may help to keep more patients in the program.


ICSI; IVF; assisted reproduction technology; intrauterine insemination; oocyte donation

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