One of the biggest problems facing patients and doctors during fertility treatment is when to decide to switch to an alternative method, after the failure of a particular approach.
Now researchers from the University of California in San Fransisco (UCSF) may have the answer.
They conducted a study which followed 408 patients going through various forms of fertility treatment, such as drugs to stimulate ovulation, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF, and made some interesting discoveries.
They found that patients going through drug treatment alone saw a ‘diminishing return’ after two cycles, which was also the case for people having IVF, whereas patients going through IUI saw the same effect after three attempts.
One of the lead authors, Dr James Smith, told Reuters that ‘If couples are not getting pregnant after several cycles of each, a change to a different strategy is probably warranted’.
This research should therefore help both doctors and patients in making more informed choices in regard to their treatment options.
The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.