Why do couples discontinue unlimited free IVF treatments?

Yechezkel Lande, Daniel S. Seidman, Ettie Maman, Micha Baum, Ariel Hourvitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Worldwide, IVF is often discontinued before a live birth is achieved due to high costs. Even when partial financial coverage is provided, often medical providers advise treatment discontinuation. In Israel, unlimited IVF is offered free of charge for a couples' first two children. Our objective was to assess the reasons couples discontinue IVF treatments before achieving two children in a completely unlimited cost-free environment. This cohort study included all primary infertile women, <35 years, referred for their first IVF cycle to Sheba IVF unit between 2001 and 2002. Patients were followed until February 2012. Those who ceased treatments for 12 months were interviewed to assess the main reason they ceased treatments. Of the 134 couples included, only 46 ceased IVF treatments without achieving two children, after performing an average of 6.2 IVF cycles to achieve their first birth. The reasons given were: lost hope of success (13), psychological burden (18), divorce (6), medical staff recommendation (5), bureaucratic difficulties (3) and general medical condition (1). The main reasons for "drop out" in our cost-free environment were as follows: psychological burden and lost hope of success. Due to high availability of treatments, medical staff recommendation was a less significant factor in our study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-236
Number of pages4
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Cost-free cycles
  • Drop out
  • IVF
  • Lost hope of success


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