Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 209–215 | Cite as

The impact of younger age on treatment discontinuation in insured IVF patients

  • Laura E. Dodge
  • Denny Sakkas
  • Michele R. Hacker
  • Rachael Feuerstein
  • Alice D. DomarEmail author
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



This retrospective cohort study aimed to determine whether age influences treatment discontinuation among insured patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). We hypothesized that the youngest patients would be the least likely to discontinue treatment.


All women age 18–42 who underwent their first fresh, non-donor IVF cycle from 2002 to 2013 were followed until a live birth was achieved, until they discontinued treatment at our center (not presenting for treatment for a one-year period), or until they completed six fresh or frozen embryo transfer cycles, whichever occurred first.


Of 11,361 women included, 4336 (38.2 %) discontinued treatment at our center before achieving a live birth or undergoing six IVF cycles. Discontinuation differed by age for cycles 2–4 (all P ≤ 0.004), with the proportion among women age 40–42 averaging 6–7 % higher than the other groups; discontinuation per cycle was similar among women <30 compared to women age 30–<35 and 35–<40. This continued in cycles 5 and 6, and in the sixth, 35.2, 32.0, 32.3, and 40.2 % of women among the four age groups discontinued treatment, respectively (P = 0.17). In cycles 2–5, women in the oldest two age groups with secondary infertility consistently discontinued treatment more frequently than those with primary infertility.


We found that women in the oldest age group were more likely to discontinue IVF treatment than younger women. Surprisingly, we found that the youngest women discontinued treatment in a similar fashion to women age 30–<40.


Infertility In vitro fertilization Treatment discontinuation 



This work was conducted with support from the Domar Foundation and from Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health Award 8UL1TR000170-05) and financial contributions from Harvard University and its affiliated academic health care centers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura E. Dodge
    • 1
    • 2
  • Denny Sakkas
    • 3
  • Michele R. Hacker
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Rachael Feuerstein
    • 3
  • Alice D. Domar
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive BiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Boston IVFWalthamUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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