A retrospective study of the effect of increasing age on success rates of assisted reproductive technology.

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To demonstrate the effect of increasing age on the outcome of assisted reproductive technology, particularly among women aged 40 years or older.


A retrospective analysis was conducted using prospectively collected data for all in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles among women aged 30-35 years or 40-44 years conducted at Merrion Fertility Clinic, Dublin, Ireland, between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2014. The relationship between age and treatment outcome was assessed.


Among women aged 30-35 years, 726 cycles led to 281 (38.7%) clinical pregnancies and 242 (33.3%) live births. By contrast, among women aged 40-44 years, 433 cycles led to 102 (23.6%) clinical pregnancies and 64 (14.8%) live births (both P<0.001). The live birth rate was particularly low after cycles among the women aged 42 years (5/89 [5.6%]) or 43 years (2/30 [6.7%]).


The success rates of assisted reproductive technology are decreased among women aged older than 40 years. Fertility clinics have a responsibility to fully inform this group about the limitations of assisted reproductive technology.

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