Blastocyst transfer for multiple prior IVF failure: a five year descriptive study

Patients with recurrent IVF failure are generally regarded as having a poor prognosis, and when female age exceeds 35yrs such patients face a particularly bleak outlook. This study reported on blastocyst transfer (BT) performed over a five-year interval in patients seeking “second opinion” after multiple failed IVF cycles. Clinical features and reproductive outcomes were compared between two sets of poor-prognosis IVF patients undergoing BT for the first time, the initial group underwent treatment in 2002 (n=66) and a second group presented five years later (n=392). The two clinical sets had no patients in common. The 2002 group had an average of 3.5(±1.1) prior failed IVF cycles at baseline, and mean (±SD) patient age was 36.4(±3.9)yrs. Average number of oocytes retrieved in this group was 10.4(±5.3) with a fertilisation rate of 58.8%. Although embryo arrest resulted in no transfer for 19 patients (28.8%), clinical pregnancy was achieved for 59.6% of transfers. Five years later, 392 patients underwent BT, but this group had an average of 4.5(±2.3) prior failed IVF cycles. Mean (±SD) female age was 36.0(±3.9)yrs, and the average number of oocytes retrieved in this group was 9.1(±5.4); the fertilisation rate was 59.5%. No blastocysts were available for transfer in 99 cases (25.3%); clinical pregnancy was achieved for 50.0% of transfers. The number of blastocysts transferred was similar in the two groups (1.6 vs. 1.3; p=0.06); the twinning rate rose slightly from 8.2% to 15.1% (p=0.12) despite an increased utilisation of single embryo transfer in 2007 (19.7% vs. 22.2%; p=0.40). Comparisons from 2002 and 2007 found no important differences between the two patient groups, except for a significantly higher rate of prior failed cycles in the 2007 group (p