But a new study is offering hope to women who suffer a miscarriage that they may be more likely to have a baby after further treatment, than women who don’t get pregnant at all.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen are hoping that the findings could provide comfort to women who are left devastated when a much longed for pregnancy ends in miscarriage after IVF.
The study found that the chance of having a successful pregnancy through further cycles of IVF was 10% higher for women who had previously suffered a miscarriage, than for those who had not become pregnant at all.
“Miscarriage can be a devastating experience for any couple, but especially for those who have already struggled with infertility,” said Natalie Cameron from the University of Aberdeen, who carried out the study.
“We hope our findings will provide reassurance to these couples as they consider their options for continuing treatment.”
Led by Dr David McLernon, Prof Siladitya Bhattacharya, and Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, the study examined data from more than 112,000 women who started IVF treatment between 1999 and 2008.
The study, published in Human Reproduction, found that those who miscarried during the first cycle had a 40.9% chance of having a baby over two further cycles of IVF.
This was in comparison to a 30.1% chance for those who did not conceive at all in their first cycle.
And women who gave birth following their first full cycle of IVF had a 49% chance of giving birth again after subsequent IVF cycles.
The news comes as last month it was revealed that the government plans to alter the age range that couples can receive funding for IVF treatment on the NHS.
Currently, women can receive a certain number of cycles on the NHS up until the age of 42, but under the new proposed guidelines, only women between the ages of 30 and 35 would be eligible for NHS-funded treatment.
One reason cited for the change is that success rates for IVF alter with age, with younger women more likely to be successful.
Statistics show that 32% of women under 35 were successful in 2010 with that percentage falling to 20% for women aged 38-39 and 13% for women between the ages of 40 and 42.
Over 250,000 children have been born through IVF since its introduction in 1991. That number is set to stagnate if this proposal goes ahead – especially with the fact that 13 areas in England have already severely restricted or stopped IVF treatment altogether.
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