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12-09-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Study reveals most important ‘embryo’ and ‘uterine’ factors for IVF


Journal abstract

MedWire News: The most important embryo-related factor in predicting IVF success is patient age, while the most important uterine factors are the number of embryos created and patient fertility history, report UK researchers.

Steve Roberts, from the University of Manchester, and colleagues conducted a study identifying the most important prognostic factors in IVF concentrating on an embryo-uterus model.

The model "represents the probabilities of an embryo being viable, given the embryo and patient characteristics and with a viable uterine environment," they explain.

Using data for 16,096 embryo transfers in 8,775 couples, Roberts et al found that IVF success (live birth) began to decline at 32 years of age and was just 50 percent by the age of 40-42 years.

Age had a stronger effect on the embryo than on the uterus "ie, it is the embryo age that is most important," write the researchers.

The strongest predictors of IVF success in terms of uterine parameters were the number of embryos created, pregnancy and infertility history, and the number of previous attempts-although this was a weak association.

The model showed useful overall predictive ability, with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve scores of 0.67 for treatment failure, 0.63 for a singleton birth, and 0.73 for twins, write Roberts and team, but it was unable to predict individual outcomes.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy