Clinical Pregnancy Rates Lower for Some Ethnic Groups After In Vitro Fertilization

(HealthDay News) — Black women appeared to have worse in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes than white women, according to a review published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Leigh A. Humphries, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature search to identify studies that compared clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates for more than 2 racial and/or ethnic groups after non-donor IVF cycles.

The researchers identified 24 studies. Based on the 5 US registry-based studies, black, Hispanic, and Asian women had lower clinical pregnancy rates and/or live birth rates after IVF, compared with white women. Significant disparities in these primary outcomes were similarly seen in clinic-specific studies, potentially attributable to differences in infertility diagnosis, spontaneous abortion, and obesity. Definitions of race/ethnicity, inclusion of first cycles versus multiple cycles for individual women, and collected covariates varied between studies. 

Limitations of studies included sample size, inadequate adjustment for confounding, selection bias, and extensive missing data.

“Although current evidence points to race and ethnicity, especially black race, as strong predictors of poorer outcomes after IVF, the utility of results is constrained by the limitations described,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Humphries LA, Chang O, Humm K, Sakkas D, Hacker M. Influence of race and ethnicity on in vitro fertilization outcomes: systematic review. Am J Obstet Gynceol. 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.09.002.