Egg retrieval- ideal numbers
For anyone undergoing IVF it is often a painful and stressful process. As well as the constant injections, monitoring of data and visits to the doctors there is always the uncertainty. My friend Nic knows all about this as she is currently undergoing cycle 3 of IVF.
Nic has become something of a Dr Google herself as she researches new findings on IVF and its protocols all the time. Because her end goal of a baby makes it all worthwhile.
I’m something of a study findings junkie myself so I was really pleased when I came across this article yesterday.
Essentially what it says is that after a study involving 400,000 IVF cycles in the UK ‘doctors should aim to retrieve around 15 eggs from a woman’s ovaries in a single cycle in order to have the best chance of achieving a live birth after assisted reproduction technology.’
The study was led by Dr Arri Coomarasamy of Britain’s Birmingham University “A standard stimulation should aim for 10-15 eggs, and we believe this is what is associated with the best IVF outcomes,” Coomarasamy said “When the egg number exceeds 20, the risk of OHSS becomes high.”
OHSS is also known as Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome caused by hormonal medications that stimulate the development of eggs in a woman’s ovaries. In ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the ovaries become swollen and painful and can cause women to suffer pain in the abdomen, swelling and on occasion can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Based on their study Coomarasamy and his team have created a mathematical graph, known as a nomogram. This is designed to show the following
1. the relationship between women’s age,
2. the numbers of eggs retrieved
3. the predicted live birth rate
According to Coomarasamy patients and doctors can use the nomogram, in addition to means, to aid making decisions about the optimum ovarian stimulation needed to get the ideal number of eggs.
With one in seven couples affected by infertility, data and study findings like this are yet another useful link on the information chain for would be parents like my friend Nic.
Will you be telling your doctor about this study?