The aim of this study was to explore the achievement of parenthood 8 years after starting IVF, considering multiple pathways to parenthood during and after IVF treatment. Medical data on 6507 couples who began IVF between 2000 and 2002 were obtained from the databases of eight French IVF centres. Information on long-term outcome was available for participants in the 2008-2010 postal survey. Multiple imputation methods were used to account for missing data. Eight years after starting IVF, 71% (95% CI 69 to 74) of treated couples had a child. This included 41% live births after IVF in the IVF centre, 7% live births after another treatment or after IVF in another centre, 12% live births after spontaneous conception and 11% adoptions. This study provides a longitudinal overview of paths to parenthood among couples successfully and unsuccessfully treated by IVF. These results should give hope to infertile couples as seven out of 10 couples finally became parents. However, IVF is not the only path to parenthood, and couples should be informed of the other possible avenues.
Keywords: follow-up studies; in vitro fertilization; multiple imputation; parenthood.
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