Less successful outcome with IVF for ethnic minorities


A new study shows maternal ethnicity is a key factor in successful outcome of fertility treatment.

Much lower live birth outcome for ethnic minorities

Researchers from Nottingham University’s Research and Treatment Unit in Reproduction (NURTURE) studied the relationship between the ethnicity of patients and the clinical success of their fertility treatment. The UK study included 885% white European women and 15% ethnic minorities undergoing their first cycle of fertility treatment including IVF and ICSI. The data was analyzed for live birth outcome and revealed that when compared with white European women, the live birth rate for ethnic women were significantly lower, 44% versus 35%. The numbers were remarkably similar for clinical pregnancy rates and implantation rates.

Rates varied among ethnicities

Live birth rates among the various ethnicities broke down with 21% for Middle East Asian women, 23% for African-Caribbean women and 38% for South East Asia women.

It is unclear why this happens

“Our data indicates that live birth rates, clinical pregnancy rates and implantation rates following fertility treatment, particularly IV, are significantly lower in ethnic women when compared to white Europeans. The reason for the reduced implantation rates and subsequent reduced outcomes in the ethnic minority group is still unclear. Further research into genetic background as a potential determinant of IVF outcome, as well as the influencing effects of lifestyle and cultural factors on reproductive outcomes, is needed. Subsequently, these findings could be used to modify clinical strategies in fertility treatments to increase success rates among all ethnic minority groups,” explained Dr. Walid Maalouf from NURTURE, Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences University of Nottingham.

Findings helpful in counseling women

“We know that the main aim of couples undergoing fertility treatment is to achieve a healthy baby and findings from this study are helpful in understanding that ethnicity may be a significant indicator for success following such treatment. It is important that women are fully aware of their realistic chances of success when undergoing any form of assisted reproductive therapy ad this information could help clinicians better inform and counsel patients.” Said John Thorp, BJOG deputy editor-in-chief.

Source: BJOG, MedicalNewsToday


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