Increased number of eggs at retrieval correlates with higher birth rates
and higher number of embryos frozen for future cycles.
In order to decrease the cost for patients undergoing IVF, some fertility specialists recommend a minimal stimulation protocol which utilizes less drugs than standard IVF stimulation protocols. Although this may be appropriate for some patients, higher dose drug stimulation typically results in a larger number of eggs retrieved and a higher percent of mature eggs available for IVF.
Researchers at Shady Grove Fertility Center looked at data from greater than 8,500 IVF cycles for patients 35 years and younger and found as the number of eggs that were retrieved per cycle increased so did the live birth rate. There was an increase in the percentage of children born when 10 to 19 eggs were retrieved compared to groups with 1-9 eggs retrieved. Also, the number of resulting embryos that were available for freezing increased significantly in the groups with 10 or more eggs. This increase in egg number results in a greater chance that patients would not only have a take home baby from their single IVF cycle, but also could continue to build their family by utilizing the frozen embryos created in that same cycle.
Similarly, Oregon Reproductive Medicine along with Reprogenetics presented information at the 2016 ASRM Scientific Congress and Expo, where they used a calculation to illustrate how many mature eggs are necessary to produce one genetically normal embryo based on maternal age. Their results are shown in the chart below:
Talk to your fertility provider about the plan that is best for you. It may be beneficial to spend more on fertility medications upfront, to fulfill your ultimate family goals.
Author: Tina Schuermann, ELD(ABB) Embryologist at Utah Fertility Center