Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Laura J. Adkins

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be viewed as high stakes gambling with more than one winning outcome and more than one outcome leading to failure. Knowing the odds of successful outcomes, the odds of outcomes leading to failure, and the various costs is a tremendous asset in any form of gambling. Four important variables have been reported to affect pregnancy rates in IVF programs: age of patient, number of unsuccessful prior attempts, embryo morphology, and number of embryos transferred.

While it is desirable to optimize pregnancy rates, such optimization may often result in a high incidence of multiple gestation. Data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology show that the pregnancy rate per retrieval for standard IVF increased from 21.9% in 1991 to 29.1% in 1994 and that the U.S. national incidence of IVF high order (triplet or more) multiple gestation also increased from 5% to 6.5%. Any trend toward a higher incidence of high order multiple gestations is alarming since the obstetric and neonatal risks for high order multiple gestation are significantly increased. Multiple gestation is also associated with an increased risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a life-threatening medical condition.


Fertilization in vitro, Human.

Fertilization in vitro, Human – Mathematical models.