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DO you know that only few women have successful pregnancies on their first round of In-vitro fertilisation (IVF)?

It is for this that Nordica Fertility Centre Managing Director, Dr Abayomi Ajayi advised women to go for multiple IVF cycles.

He said one IVF is more expensive than the multiple package.

He said Nordica multi-cycle packages maximise women’s chance for success by giving them more attempts, at a lower cost.

Ajayi said IVF is a fertility treatment in which sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are assessed for quality, and one or more are placed in the uterus through the cervix.

The big difference between an IVF cycle and a regular menstrual cycle, according to him, is that ovulation does not take place in an IVF cycle. Instead, the eggs are retrieved at  maturation and are fertilised in the IVF lab to create embryos.

Citing a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, which reported the cumulative live birth rates after ovarian stimulation cycles, Ajayi said the research has shown that women who undergo multiple cycles of IVF are more likely to have a baby.

“The study looked at chances of having a baby successfully after several rounds of IVF or other types of assisted reproduction techniques. According to researcher Michael Chapman, this study showed that women who are undergoing IVF do have a ‘reasonable’ chance of getting pregnant, as he explained that the rates of success are higher for younger women.

“At present, women, who are trying assisted reproduction are counselled about the low chances of success before they start on the treatment. This study can change what is being told the women,” Ajayi explained.

He added: “Until now, there was no data on the success rates of multiple cycles vis-a-vis single or a couple of cycles of IVF. This is the first long-term data that researchers have. Overall, live birth rates was 32.7 per cent after the first cycle and 54.3 percent at the end of eighth cycle, according to conservative estimates. The rates are 77.2 per cent after eighth cycle as per optimal estimates write researchers.

“In women, who started before 30 years, the rate of success after first cycle was 43.7 percent and rose to 69.2 percent (conservative estimates) or 92.8 percent (optimal estimates) at the seventh cycle. Women aged between 40 and 44 years, however, showed a success rate of 10.7 percent for the first complete cycle and 21.0 percent (conservative estimates) or 37.9 percent (optimal estimates) for the eighth cycle.”

Ajayi assured that a woman who tried the multiple cycle plan, and got pregnant, her financial balance would be returned to her.

“That is economically okay, because most clients pay out of pocket. Except for a few banks that have a policy that covers assisted fertility therapy, including IVF, most fertility challenged couples pay out of pocket by saving up. Also, there is no insurance cover for fertility challenged couples at the moment in the country. It is seen as a personal issue. The government has the resources to establish a national fertility centre where only fertility issues would be researched into, fertility challenged couples can be attended to through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement to ensure sustainability of the facility, but as long as it is just some private clinics doing it, IVF is bound to be expensive,” Ajayi said.

Also, he said the success rate of fertility clinics should be part of the parameters used by potential clients to evaluate IVF clinic before seeking treatment.

“With increased public health education and enlightenment programmes demystifying infertility, more people are aware that it is a common problem and they seek help early. The challenge of course, remains where to seek help and what couples should look out for when making their choices.

‘’There are certain factors that couples might want to consider when choosing a fertility clinic, such as the implementation of a quality management system, experience and track record of the clinic, ethical practice standards and collaboration with international clinics,” he said.

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