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Older women using their own eggs? Issue framed with two oldest reported IVF pregnancies and a live birth

      Abstract

      Research question

      What level of IVF pregnancy success is currently possible in women of extremely advanced age?

      Design

      This study reports on outcomes in women aged 43–51 years at the Centre for Human Reproduction, an academically affiliated private clinical fertility and research centre in New York City.

      Results

      During the study years of 2014–2016, 16 pregnancies were established, all through day 3 transfers. Based on ‘intent to treat’ (cycle start), clinical pregnancy rates were 4/190 (2.1%), 5/234 (2.1%) and 7/304 (2.3%) and live birth rates were 2/190 (1.1%), 1/234 (0.43%) and 4/304 (1.3%) in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. With reference to embryo transfer, clinical pregnancy rates were 4/140 (2.9%), 5/159 (3.1%) and 7/167 (4.2%) and live birth rates were 2/140 (1.4%), 1/159 (0.63%) and 4/167 (2.4%) for the same years. The results for 2016 also included what are probably the two oldest autologous IVF pregnancies ever reported in the literature. These results were obtained with patient ages, percentage of cycle cancellations and other adverse outcome parameters steadily increasing year by year.

      Conclusions

      Female age above 42 is widely viewed as the ultimate barrier to conception with IVF. Data reported here, although small and preliminary, demonstrate that potential outcomes are better than widely perceived, while pregnancy and live birth rates remain significantly inferior to donor egg recipient cycles. However, for selected women at very advanced ages, especially with higher egg/embryo numbers, autologous oocyte IVF offers a better option than widely acknowledged, if they are given individualized age-specific care.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      Norbert Gleicher is Medical Director and Chief Scientist of the Center for Human Reproduction in New York as well as Guest Investigator at the Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Embryology at The Rockefeller University and (Adj.) Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vienna Medical School.