Is the cumulative live birth rate following in vitro fertilization (IVF) lower with government coverage than prior to coverage?

Adhwaa Khudhari, Chamile Sylvestre, Simon Phillips


Background: Most studies conclude that the cumulative pregnancy rate depends on embryo quality and quantity, which is directly related to patient’s age. In the best-case scenario, the cumulative pregnancy rate reaches 79% when the number of embryos reaches 15. Other studies reported 75% probability of live birth after 6 cycles of controlled ovarian stimulation and IVF.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study comparing IVF cycles between January 2008 to December 2009 (before governmental coverage), and between January 2012 to December 2013. University-affiliated private IVF clinic. 298 good prognosis IVF patients from 2008-2009 and 610 patients from 2012-2013 were included. The cumulative LBR per IVF cycle was the main outcome measure; the secondary outcome measures were the type of protocol used, percentage of ICSI cycles, fertilization rate, proportion of day 3 versus (vs) day 5 embryo transfers, average number of embryos transferred, average number of frozen embryos, the clinical pregnancy rate and the multiple pregnancy.

Results: no statistically significant difference in the cumulative LBR; it was 44.8% in 2008-2009 but 40.3% in 2012-2013. p: 0.134. The long agonist protocol was used the most 2008-2009 (75.5% of the cycles) compared to antagonist protocol in 2012-2013 (77.2%) p <0.01. There was no difference in the use of ICSI, but the fertilization rate in 2012-2013 (60.9% vs 65.9%, p=0.001). The proportion of day 3 embryos transferred in 2008-2009 (82.2%) and 2012-2013 (43.9%), p=0.005, and the proportion of day 5 embryos transferred is 3.7% in 2008-2009 but 54.9% in 2012-2013, p<0.001. The average number of embryos transferred in 2008-2009 was 1.96 vs 1.08 in 2012-2013. The average number of frozen embryos per cycle was not significantly different. The clinical pregnancy rate was not significantly different (56.8% vs 54.3%). The multiple pregnancy rate is 19.4% in 2008-2009 and 0.5% in 2012-2013.

Conclusions: In good prognosis IVF patients, the cumulative LBR per cycle started was not significantly different after IVF provincial coverage and the move towards eSET on day 3 or day 5. No advantage of transferring multiple embryos in this group of patients, and that transferring one at a time reduces significantly the multiple pregnancy rate and its complications.


Cumulative pregnancy rate (CPR), Frozen embryo, ICSI, IVF, LBR, Number of embryo transfer

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