IVF- 15 harvested eggs is the magic number

11th May 2011

Experts have discovered the 'magic number' of eggs to use in IVF for the best hope of successful treatment.

Scientists looked at over 17 years of data to find that 15 is the perfect number of eggs to be harvested from a woman, in order to result in a live birth.

Taking more eggs is less safe, and no more effective, and taking less does not produce the same level of results, the study showed.

More than 400,000 IVF cycles were reviewed during the study, including second and third attempts. A statistical method was then used to produce a predictive model based on extraneous variables, such as age and number of eggs extracted.

Leading fertility expert Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in reproductive and developmental medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: "It will be useful for IVF doctors, and we need to be looking at live births. There are far too many studies that look at pregnancy rates and sadly pregnancies aren't always successful."

One or two eggs will normally be implanted during the IVF process, with the rest kept behind in case future attempts are needed.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1. Sunkara, Sesh Kumal. "Association between the number of eggs and live birth in IVF treatment: an analysis of 400 135 treatment cycles." Human Reproduction. 10th May 2011.

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