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New Trends in Infertility Treatment

Experts describe the latest advances in techniques for treating infertility.

Treatment Options continued...

The treatment, he says, "will increase the pregnancypregnancy rate from about 3% per month to about 12% to 15% in women under age 40 and to about 5% to 7% in those over age 40."

"But many couples are saying, 'I want to be more aggressive,'" Ringler says. "Most often they say that due to age, but also to the success rate [of the more aggressive techniques]." Many ask to move on before the three months is up, he says.

If they move on to in vitro fertilization or IVF, the chances of pregnancy are greatly increased, he says. In IVF, the woman's eggs are surgically removed from the ovaries, mixed with sperm outside the body, and allowed to fertilize before the embryo is then transferred back into the uterus. "With IVF, if the woman is under age 40, the pregnancy rate is about 40% in the first attempt," Ringler says. In women over 40, the success rate is greatly dependent on age, he says.

Over-40 IVF success rates are tied to age, agrees Steven J. Ory, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist in Margate, Fla., and president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. For women 40 to 42, the success rate with IVF is about 15%, he says. But it's less than 5% for women over age 42. Still, he says, proceeding to IVF quickly is one of the biggest trends now, whatever a woman's age.

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