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More research is needed to understand why ethnicity is a factor in IVF success

Black and south Asian women undergoing fertility treatment in the UK are significantly more likely to miscarry than white women, a study suggests.

In what is thought to be the largest study of in vitro fertilisation and ethnicity, researchers from the University of Birmingham analysed 13,473 first cycles of IVF at fertility clinics in the UK and Ireland between 2008 and 2012.

South Asian women were one and a half times more likely to experience miscarriage than white women, despite little difference between the two groups in ability to become pregnant.

Live birth rate following IVF lower in black and south Asian women than white women

Picture credit: Alamy

The live birth rate was significantly lower in black women than in white women 19.8% compared with 34.7% and just 22.6% of black women achieved clinical pregnancy compared with 39.5% of white women.

Lead author Rima Dhillon said the study provides robust evidence of an association between ethnicity and IVF success and that more study of the disparities

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In what is thought to be the largest study of in vitro fertilisation and ethnicity, researchers from the University of Birmingham analysed 13,473 first cycles of IVF at fertility clinics in the UK and Ireland between 2008 and 2012.

South Asian women were one and a half times more likely to experience miscarriage than white women, despite little difference between the two groups in ability to become pregnant.

Live birth rate following IVF lower in black and south Asian women than white women

Picture credit: Alamy

The live birth rate was significantly lower in black women than in white women – 19.8% compared with 34.7% – and just 22.6% of black women achieved clinical pregnancy compared with 39.5% of white women.

Lead author Rima Dhillon said the study provides ‘robust evidence of an association between ethnicity and IVF success and that more study of the disparities is needed to improve IVF outcomes for all ethnic groups.

‘There needs to be careful consideration of whether such information should be provided to patients as part of pre-treatment counselling as, although ethnicity is a factor that patients are unable to change, it may have implications on their decision making,’ she said.

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