IVF can be successful even after sterilisation, study shows

We usually think of IVF as being for people who are struggling to have children, not people who’ve decided they don’t want kids (or think they’ve had enough). But a new Australian study has found that women who’ve been sterilised and then undergo IVF have a similar chance of success as women who are having the treatment due to fertility issues.

As Scientific American reports, Dr Eva Malacova and her team at the University of Western Australia conducted a review of successful pregnancies for women who’d had IVF after tubal ligation, where a woman’s fallopian tubes are clamped or sealed together so they can’t release an egg.

Looking at 178 IVF cycles between 1996 and 2010, they found that women who’d been sterilised in the past had a 31% success rate, compared to women with known fertility problems, who had a 34% chance of delivering a baby.

Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t have any details of how many cycles of IVF each woman had been through. But this still offers new hope for women who don’t want to have their sterilisation reversed, but have changed their mind about trying for a child.

Somewhat ironically, Dr Malacova and her colleagues have published their findings in the new issue of the journal Contraception.

Image via Kitt Walker’s Flickr.

Diane Shipley