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IVF Outcomes are Puzzlingly Poorer in Women Under Age 25

L.H. Wu, K.C. Humm, L.E. Dodge, D. Sakkas, M.R. Hacker, A.S. Penzias

July 19, 2017
Emma Holt

What the research entails 

There’s a clear decline of women with increasing age giving live birth because it’s been well documented over the years. Researchers often look to women with increasing age to record live birth rates but what about younger women? They fail to investigate the reproductive performance of women aged 25 and younger and therefore there’s hardly any records. Until now. This retrospective cohort study done by Boston IVF, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility reports IVF outcomes in these younger women compared to women less than 30 years of age and older than 35. 

Who exactly they studied

As mentioned before, the researchers stratified 6,606 women, who met inclusion criteria, by their age at the start of the cycle, so women younger than 25, 25 to 30 years of age, and 30 to 35 years of age. They then compared their IVF outcomes in these age ranges and cohorts. Researchers also collected demographic, laboratory, treatment cycle characteristics, and IVF treatment outcomes in women undergoing their first cycle of IVF using their own oocytes from January 1995 through January 2011. The outcome they were looking for was a live birth. 

What the researchers uncovered

Researchers report that there are not significant differences in number of oocytes received, but very young women have poorer fertilization, pregnancy and live birth outcomes as opposed to women in their between 25-30 and 30-35 years of age. Between the two older groups (30-35 and 35+), however, there is no difference at all. View the table below. 

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What we can take away from this

The only thing researchers can promise is that future data will certainly include evaluation of IVF outcomes in donor oocyte cycles arranged by these same exact age groups. The hopes would be to identify the optimal oocyte donor age. What you shouldn’t do with this research if you’re a younger woman, is assume your chances of becoming pregnant are slim. Every woman’s body is different and that’s the beauty of the challenging journey at times. That’s why there are many medical advances out there to help you seek the attention you need to start a beautiful family. Always consult your doctor prior to deciding on whether or not you need a treatment and plan and if you do, what treatment you’ll need. You and you alone are the only one who can decide what’s best for your body, mind, and well-being.


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