September 24, 2022

One-third of women conceive naturally after IVF

Couple has naturally-conceived twins soon after their IVF twins.

British couple Stuart and Julie Dalgetty were shocked to discover that Julie was having twins at 37 – their second set in two years. The astonishing feature of the explosion of their household is that 2-year-old Lily and Daisy were born after several desperate years of IVF treatment in March 2011, while 9-month-old Molly and Nell were conceived naturally and were born in October 2012.

Their IVF experience was awful, Julie told the Mirror. “It just consumes you,” she said. “We would get our hopes up then they would be dashed.”

The Dalgettys are an extreme case, but natural conception after an IVF birth is not uncommon, according to Australian research published in published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. One in three women who have their first baby through infertility treatment, become pregnant again naturally within two years of their first birth.

Women whose infertility was initially diagnosed as “unexplained” were more than twice as likely as others with a specific infertility diagnosis to become pregnant naturally. Lead researcher Dr Karen Wynter, of Monash University, said unexpected pregnancies in some of the women could be associated with undiagnosed infertility such as endometriosis. “It is possible that some of the women had undiagnosed endometriosis and that might be why they were struggling the first time,” Dr Wynter said. “The pregnancy itself actually helps to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with endometriosis and the second pregnancy comes around easier.”

Michael Cook
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IVF