Updated 03 October 2016

Women conceive naturally after stopping fertility treatment

An online survey indicates that many women fell pregnant naturally after ceasing fertility treatment.

Nearly one-third of women who have infertility treatments get pregnant naturally within a few years of stopping treatment, a new study suggests.

Potential limitations

Researchers conducted an online survey of 403 women who had fertility treatments called assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in-vitro fertilisation.

Ninety-six women didn't get pregnant during treatment. But, 34 of the women later got pregnant naturally.

Three hundred and seven women conceived while receiving infertility treatments. After treatment, 84 of those women were able to conceive naturally, the researchers said.

Read: After IVF, some couples conceive naturally

Most – 87 percent – of the natural conceptions occurred within two years after the end of infertility treatments, the research revealed.

The authors of the study did note potential limitations of their work, however. For example, they said women who had successful pregnancies might have been more likely to respond to the survey.

Really useful information

The study was published in the journal Human Fertility.

Read: Births from fertility treatments reach 5 million

The findings show that "regardless of the outcome of [ART] treatments – whether the patients conceived or not – there is about a 30 percent likelihood of conceiving over a six year period," study author Dr Samuel Marcus said in a journal news release.

Marcus is an obstetrician/gynaecologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lewisham University Hospital in London.

"This is really useful information that doctors can use to counsel patients about their chances of pregnancy after undergoing assisted conception," journal editor Allan Pacey said in the news release.

"It certainly suggests that there remains a reasonable chance of spontaneous pregnancy after [ART] has been attempted," Pacey added.

Read more:

Three-parent fertility treatments?

Coffee intake may affect fertility treatment

Treatment for infertility: is it ever too late?


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