IVF Treatments Not as Successful in African American Women

Note: All information is embargoed until the time of presentation at the Scientific Congress, unless otherwise indicated.


Embargoed for Release: 12:01 am CDT Monday, October 8, 2018 

Note: Press room open Sun. October 7, 2pm-5pm CDT; Mon. October 8-Wed. October 10 8:00am-5:30pm CDT.

IVF Treatments Not as Successful in African American Women

Denver, CO – Several studies presented this week at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress revealed that outcomes of IVF procedures among African American women were not as good as for other races.

The first study examined outcomes from IVF procedures at a large Washington, DC area clinic. They examined results of over 36,000 procedures performed between 2004 and 2016 and compared results between patients who self-identified as either Caucasian or African American. They found that African Americans had a 14% lower live birth rate than Caucasian patients. The African American patients were on average slightly older, had a higher BMI, were more likely to have diminished ovarian reserve, but were less likely to have uterine disorders. The African American patients responded better to ovarian stimulation protocols – more eggs were retrieved, and more embryos were produced.  However, pregnancy rates were lower and clinical pregnancy loss was 24% among the African American patient population.

Another study from the same team using the same data set and found that even in singleton pregnancies, the African American patients delivered earlier than the Caucasian patients.

“This important research points out the urgent need to better understand the factors that may contribute to these racial disparities. Improved knowledge of biological and other factors contributing to successful implantation and placenta development could lead to higher success rates and save patients from the heartbreak of a failed cycle or pregnancy loss” said Christos Coutifaris MD, PhD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

O-10 L.A. Bishop et al   African American Patients Experience Reduced Pregnancy, Higher Pregnancy Loss, and Lower Live Birth from IVF Embryo Transfers Despite Producing More Oocytes and more Transfer Quality Embryos than Caucasian Patients

O-12 L.A. Bishop et al    Lower Gestational Age and Increased Risk for Preterm Birth Associated with Singleton Live Birth Resulting from IVF Among African Americans versus Comparable Caucasian Women


ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org 


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