The validity of the cumulative pregnancy rate (CPR) calculated by life-table approach, obtained in a transport in-vitro fertilization (IVF) programme, was tested by the determination of possible influence of selective drop-out of patients with a poor treatment prognosis. A cohort of 1211 patients who had a first IVF cycle was followed, and the CPR after three IVF cycles was assessed. First cycles of patients who discontinued treatment after failed IVF, and of those who did not achieve a pregnancy but proceeded to a subsequent cycle, were compared for fertilization rate and for occurrence of prognosticators of poor treatment outcome: oocyte yield < or =2, and replacement of <2 embryos. The CPR after three cycles was 54.9%. No differences were found in the first and second cycles of patients who continued treatment and those who dropped out. Selective drop-out of patients with a poor treatment prognosis was not found. Therefore, although calculations of CPR using life-table analysis generally overestimate the real probability of pregnancy after successive IVF cycles, the calculated CPR after three IVF cycles gives a reliable indication of the chance of occurrence of a pregnancy for the population studied.

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Human Reproduction
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Roest, J., van Heusden, A. M., Zeilmaker, G., & Verhoeff, A. (1998). Cumulative pregnancy rates and selective drop-out of patients in in-vitro fertilization treatment. Human Reproduction. Retrieved from