A new study soon to be published in the journal Fertility and Sterility presents strong evidence that women aged 38-42 with unexplained infertility have higher live birth rates from IVF compared to insemination (IUI). In the article by Goldman et al, “A randomized clinical trial to determine optimal infertility treatment in older couples: the Forty and Over Treatment Trial (FORT-T),” (in press), the authors followed 154 couples receiving fertility treatment with a female partner aged 38-42 who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: IVF, IUI with oral medication or IUI with injectable medications.

They found women had a 31% live birth rate after one cycle of IVF compared to 16% from two cycles of IUI and 14% from two cycles of IUI with injectable medication. Couples not successful in their first two cycles used IVF in subsequent tries. Patients who went immediately to IVF had 36% fewer cycles than those who did IUI. At the end of the study 115 couples completed treatment and 46% delivered a baby. Of all live births 84% were from IVF.

This study confirms a long suspected belief among fertility specialists that IVF is a more effective treatment for women aged 38-42 with unexplained infertility than IUI. Treatment success was achieved faster with IVF and was less expensive for patients beginning treatment with IVF than for those beginning with IUI who subsequently ended up needing IVF. Because age is such a critical factor to the outcome of fertility treatment, women aged >37 should weight their options carefully.

In many cases IVF will be the better option, especially where cost is an issue. At Green Valley Fertility Partners we treat each patient individually. For some couples IUI may be the right choice, especially if covered by insurance. For most others, especially those with time pressure IVF will achieve the goal faster. Call 702 722 BABY (2229) to arrange a consult with Dr. Jeffrey Fisch.