According to BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the ethnicity of women who are undergoing fertility treatment can affect live birth rates.
The study completed researched 38,709 women who were undergoing their first in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles from 2000 to 2010. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of a woman’s ethnicity on the outcome of the fertility treatment.
The Breakdown of the Subjects
The women studied ranged in age from 29.7- to 35.8-years-old. Ethnicities that were included in the study were white and black British, white Irish, white and Mediterranean European, Middle Eastern, South Asian Indian, Chinese, South Asian Bangladeshi, black African, South Asian Pakistani, black Caribbean, mixed race and other Asian.
Almost three-quarters of the women were white British, while the smallest group was South-Asian Bangladeshi at only 0.27 percent.
There were several factors that were analyzed during the study, including the number of eggs retrieved from the woman, the number of fertilized eggs, the number of embryos that were created, the rates of implantation and finally the live birth rate. The live birth rate was the main outcome of the study. Researchers took certain factors into consideration while analyzing the data, such as the patient’s age, the cause of infertility and whether they were having ICSI or IVF.
White British women had the highest likelihood of having a live birth, while Irish, black African, South Asian Indian, South Asian Pakistani, South Asian Bangladeshi and other Asian women had much lower chances of having a live birth. When compared, white British women had a live birth rate of 26.4 percent compared to the 17.4 percent for black African women and 17.2 percent for white Irish women.
The study also revealed that white British women had a significantly higher number of eggs retrieved during the process. Some ethnicities, such as South Asian Indian, black British, South Asian Bangladeshi, black African, South Asian Pakistani, black Caribbean and Middle Eastern women had the highest risk of being unable to reach the embryo transfer stage.
Genetic background is a potential determinant of the quality of the egg and sperm, but variation in each ethnicity’s environmental exposures may also play a role in the results. Lifestyles, diets, culture and socio-economic factors may also influence the quality of eggs and sperm. Some ethnicities also have a higher accessibility to fertility treatment and a higher likelihood of seeking medical care resulting in reproduction.
Other health issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome in women from South Asia possibly impacted the quality of eggs as well. This study shows that the ethnicity of a woman plays a factor in the likelihood that IVF for ICSI will be successful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 12 percent of women have fertility problems and an increasing number of people are looking for medical interventions to help them get pregnant.
This study that looks at the differing ethnicities of possible mothers is telling of some obvious differences in the population. The reasons that are behind the variation in fertility abilities need to be researched in more detail to determine the exact cause, but it may help improve fertility success among all ethnicities of women. This will help women tailor their exact treatment to their ethnicity’s strengths and weaknesses to increase their likelihood of conceiving.