Roughly one in five women who underwent fertility treatment to get pregnant with their first child can go on to conceive naturally afterwards, new research reveals.

A first-of-its-kind study from University College London (UCL) has found that 20% of women who had IVF to conceive their first child are likely to fall pregnant easily in the future.

During the study, the team of academics assessed more than 5,000 women to examine how likely it is for them to conceive naturally after having fertility treatment to get pregnant with their first child.

They discovered that nearly a quarter of women who underwent IVF to fall pregnant with their first child went on to conceive naturally within three years after.

Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex, with one in seven couples experiencing it.

Chief author Dr Annette Thwaites said: “Our findings suggest that natural pregnancy after having a baby by IVF is far from rare.

“This is in contrast with widely held views – by women and health professionals – and those commonly expressed in the media, that it is a highly unlikely event.”

She added: “Knowing what is possible would empower women to plan their families and make informed choices regarding further fertility treatment and/or contraception.”

Read the full study in the journal Human Production.

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