How Your Ethnic Background May Impact Your Fertility
Several recent studies have found that IVF is not as successful in Black women than white women — and researchers aren’t sure why.
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, seemingly a large reliable dataset.
Researchers found that black American women had a 14% lower live birth rate than white women. The rate of clinical pregnancy was 9% lower, and live birth was 14% lower for black women relative to comparable white women. Last, the preterm (premature) birth rate of black women is 49% higher than other women in the United States.
In what appears to be a paradox, the black American women 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% greater among the studied black American population.
Researchers considered several theories to explain the discrepancy between black and white women in the United States. We are unsure how these findings relate to the Canadian population and to women of other ethnic backgrounds. However, we are sure that more study is warranted. Having a greater understanding of the factors affecting fertility, pregnancy, health and positive pregnancy outcomes will permit people to make better-informed decisions about their health care.
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