Doubts over IVF study

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A SHEFFIELD fertility expert has cast doubt on a new study that claims doctors should retrieve 15 eggs from women undergoing IVF treatment to give them the best chance of a live birth.

The report, in the medical journal Human Reproduction, says the likelihood of giving birth begins to drop after more than 15 eggs are taken.

Retrieving more than the ‘magic number’ of eggs increases the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can cause pain, weight gain, dangerous blood clots and oxygen starvation.

But Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in reproduction and developmental medicine at Sheffield University, said the research would be of more use to doctors than patients.

“If you’re a couple wondering whether or not you should try IVF, you’re still going to have to rely on our traditional knowledge base.

“Some women don’t respond to the fertility drugs and some women will have a very low ovarian reserve so you won’t be able to get 15 eggs.

“Arguably, you won’t know that until you start. It will be useful for IVF doctors.”