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February 28, 2005

In Vitro Fertilization At Health Center
Boasts High Success Rate

A newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 2002 shows that the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the UConn Health Center achieved rates above the national average in many categories and age groups, including notable success for women under age 37. More than 70 percent of IVF cycles nationally occur in women age 37 or younger.

The report is encouraging news for Connecticut couples who are considering fertility treatments at the Health Center. Success rates are based on the number of babies born through IVF.

The report shows that 51.9 percent of women between the ages of 35 and 37 had babies using traditional IVF at the Health Center, compared to the national average of 37.1 percent. For women between the ages of 38 and 40, 32.6 percent had babies using traditional IVF at the Health Center, compared to 26.4 percent nationally.

In addition, the report shows that the Health Center had a much lower rate of higher-order multiples (triplets or more) than the national average. At the Health Center, only 2 percent of women under age 35 and 3.2 percent of women between the ages of 38 and 40 had pregnancies with triplets or more, compared to national averages of 7.2 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.

The new report, 2002 Assisted Reproductive Technology Success Rates, reflects pregnancy data for 2002 provided by 391 reporting fertility clinics throughout the U.S.

The report is intended to help consumers make informed decisions about having a baby through IVF. According to the report, more than 45,000 babies nationwide were born with the help of assisted reproductive technologies in 2002, up from 40,687 babies in 2001.

“It’s important to review credible data from sources such as the CDC when choosing a fertility center,” says Dr. John Nulsen, a Health Center fertility specialist. “We advise people to gather as much information as possible.”

It is also important, Nulsen adds, to make sure the fertility practice is certified by national organizations, such as the College of American Pathologists, and that the physicians are all board-certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility or are candidates for board certification. The UConn center meets all of these requirements.

UConn’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Services was one of the first Connecticut sites to offer IVF, and currently has the largest IVF center in the state. The combined UConn team, including the nursing and lab staff, has decades of experience in fertility treatment. There is also a dedicated psychologist in the practice to support the emotional needs of patients.

During traditional IVF, women take medications to develop multiple ovarian follicles that contain mature eggs capable of fertilization. The eggs are retrieved through a simple procedure under ultrasound guidance; they are then exposed to sperm, and the resulting embryos are transferred back into the uterus.

Along with IVF, the Health Center offers a full range of fertility services, including testing, counseling, and advanced treatments.

For more information, call 860.679.4580 or visit the website .