Racial disparities in frozen embryo transfer success

Quetrell Heyward, Jessica R. Walter, Snigdha Alur-Gupta, Arnav Lal, Dara S. Berger, Nathanael Koelper, Samantha F. Butts, Clarisa R. Gracia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare pregnancy and birth outcomes after frozen embryo transfers (FETs) among White, Black, and Asian women and evaluate the effect of patient, protocol, and cycle characteristics on success. Methods: A retrospective chart review identified women who underwent an autologous FET at an academic fertility center between January 2013 and March 2020. Results: White, Black, and Asian women completed 1,181 (71.7%), 230 (14.0%), and 235 (14.3%) cycles, respectively. Black women were significantly less likely to achieve a positive hCG level (AOR 0.66, 95% CI 0.49–0.90), clinical pregnancy (AOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53–0.97), and live birth (AOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.47–0.89) compared to White women after adjusting for possible confounders. There were no differences in the aforementioned outcomes when looking at cycles completed by Asian versus White women. When comparing outcomes by endometrial preparation protocol, significant differences were seen amongst the three groups for live birth rates following natural cycle FETs (52.36%, 25.81%, and 44.19% for White, Black, and Asian women, respectively, p = 0.02), a difference not appreciated after programmed FETs. Conclusion: Black race is associated with significantly worse pregnancy and live birth rates following FET when compared to White race. Additionally, significant differences in live birth rates among White, Black, and Asian women exist following natural cycle FET versus programmed FET. These disparities in success are not only important for patient counseling, but also when determining management strategies to improve fertility rates among minority women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3069-3075
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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