How many eggs should I freeze?

A large IVF unit in the US has used its extensive database to calculate how many eggs women should freeze to have a reasonable chance of a having a live birth when they return to use the eggs later.

The figure below illustrates by how much the chance of a live birth rate increases with the number of frozen eggs that are available. That chance declines with a woman's age. The highest chance is achieved when using donor eggs (usually from young fertile egg donors).

 Source: Human Reproduction, Vol.32, No.4 pp. 853–859, 2017

Source: Human Reproduction, Vol.32, No.4 pp. 853–859, 2017

Don't skip your flu shots!

Can flu shots help women get pregnant? That is the question being discussed in the top journal Science this week. Professor Sarah Robertson, a world expert on immunology in reproduction from the University of Adelaide, is excited. She has previously warned that the indiscriminate use of corticosteroids in IVF is unsafe and ineffective but she can see how the flu shots may deliver on two fronts: protecting women against the flu and improving their chances to get pregnant.

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Careful with corticosteroids!

Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald picked up on an article By Prof Sarah Robertson, Australia's most eminent reproductive immunologist. In her article Prof Robertson warns against the use of corticosteroids such as prednisolone in IVF. There is virtually no evidence that corticosteroids improve live birth rates but we know they are associated with significant risks.

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Thrush meds and miscarriage risk

Women treated for vaginal thrush had an increased risk of miscarriage if they had been taking the antifungal drug fluconazole by mouth. An analysis of 1.4 million pregnancies in Denmark published in JAMA compared women taking the drug by mouth or vaginally. Oral use of this drug was associated with a 60% increase risk of a miscarriage compared to women taking the vaginal medication. The intravaginal formulations of antifungals are usually the first line treatment for pregnant women, but oral fluconazole is used in cases of recurrence or severe symptoms or when topical treatment has failed.

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