15 is the magic number for IVF11th May 2011
Experts have determined that 15 eggs is the perfect number of eggs to take from women undergoing IVF fertility treatment.
The results of a large study which examined 17 years of data showed that this number of eggs gives the highest chance of a live birth.
The research showed taking a higher number of eggs was not as safe and did not give any better results.
The researchers discovered that the amount of live births decreased when less than 15 eggs were removed from ovaries during an IVF cycle.
The degree of success peaked at 15-20 eggs and then started to decrease. If more eggs are removed, the ovaries can be overstimulated, which can lead to pain, blood clots and death.
The researchers looked at information from over 400,000 IVF cycles carried out in the UK from 1991-2008.
Fertility expert Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in reproductive and developmental medicine at the University of Sheffield, said the information from the study would prove more useful to doctors than patients.
"It will be informative for people undergoing IVF but it’s not going to assist those who haven’t yet started treatment. If you're a couple wondering whether or not you should try IVF, you're still going to have to rely on our traditional knowledge base," he explained.
"But it will be useful for IVF doctors, and we need to be looking at live births. There are far too many studies that look at pregnancy rates and sadly pregnancies aren't always successful."
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