(HealthDay News) — Black women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) are only about half as likely as white women to become pregnant, and the racial disparity persists even when donor eggs are used, data presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2014 Annual Meeting show. 

Researchers found a live birth rate of 30.7% in white patients after IVF, compared with 16.9% in black patients. Analyzing more than 4,000 IVF cycles over 2 years to assess the impact of race, scientists from University of Chicago also found that miscarriage after IVF occurred twice as often among blacks than whites. 

These racial differences remained even though the researchers controlled for factors affecting pregnancy such as age, BMI, hormone levels and smoking. Asian women also experienced somewhat lower live birth rates than white women after IVF, but rates among Hispanic women were comparable to white women.

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“We were just struck by these outcomes,” study researcher Eve Feinberg, MD, of the University of Chicago Medical Center, told HealthDay. “They had been reported previously in other studies, but our study, which is quite large, really confirmed those other findings.”

In another study being presented at the ASRM meeting, researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City found that racial differences for IVF success persisted between white and black women even when donor eggs were used. 

In that research, led by Lisa Carey Grossman, MD, uterine conditions such as fibroids or prior cesarean surgery were taken into account. Because black women have higher incidences of such conditions, the researchers compared black and white egg donor recipients who had similar uterine histories. 

Despite that, black women still experienced significantly lower success rates than white women (32% vs. 44%).


  1. McQueen DB et al. Abstract P-416.
  2. Grossman LC et al. Abstract P-418. Both presented at: American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2014 Annual Meeting; Oct. 18-22, 2014; Honolulu.