Cochrane Summaries

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In vitro fertilisation (IVF) may lead to more pregnancies than other options for unexplained infertility, but the evidence is not conclusive

Pandian Z, Gibreel A, Bhattacharya S
Published Online: 
18 April 2012

IVF is frequently used for couples with unexplained infertility as it may be able to bypass a variety of biological problems by ensuring fertilisation outside the body. However, it is expensive, invasive and can lead to complications (including multiple births). Other options for unexplained infertility include trying naturally for a pregnancy, drugs to stimulate the ovaries ('fertility drugs') and introduction of washed sperm within the womb (insemination). The review of trials found that IVF may result in more births than other techniques for couples with unexplained infertility, but the research is not conclusive. Adverse outcomes and costs have not been adequately addressed in the trials.

This record should be cited as: 
Pandian Z, Gibreel A, Bhattacharya S. In vitro fertilisation for unexplained subfertility. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003357. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003357.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
1 July 2011