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

D T Baird, S Bhattacharya, P Devroey, K Diedrich, J L H Evers, B C J M Fauser, P Jouannet, A Pellicer, E Walters, P G Crosignani (Corresponding Author), L Fraser, J P M Geraedts, L Gianaroli, A Glasier, I Liebaers, A Sunde, J S Tapanainen, B Tarlatzis, A Van Steirteghem, A Veiga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


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

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

RESULTS 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.

CONCLUSIONS 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number4
Early online date3 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
EventESHRE Capri Workshop - Capri, Italy
Duration: 29 Aug 201231 Aug 2012


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


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