19 Jul In Vitro Fertilization Gives Couples Hope
Are you and your partner considering use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant? If so, you are probably wondering what are the success rates for this procedure. After all, IVF is an expensive process, so it helps to know the facts.
Many couples are turning to in vitro fertilization because they struggle with infertility. A young, fertile couple only has a 20% chance of conceiving naturally during a 30 day interval. With IVF, the success rates are 35%. Having this perspective will help you understand how IVF can help you conceive. IVF success is impacted by many factors, which include body mass index (BMI), age, sperm count, and reproductive history (miscarriages, number of pregnancies, and complications).
Infertility is defined as inability to conceive after 12 consecutive months of unprotected intercourse (6 months for women age 35 years and older), or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. In the United States, 12% of women have used infertility services, and 1 in 8 couples report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining the pregnancy. Around 1/3rd of infertility is attributed to the male partner, 1/3rd is attributed to the female partner, and the remaining 1/3rd is considered unexplained infertility. For women who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% will deliver a healthy baby.
IVF statistics vary according to the female partner’s age. In 2011, researchers evaluated the percentage of women who gave birth after IVF using donor eggs/embryos compared to fresh eggs/embryos. The results showed, for older women, success rates increased with use of frozen embryos. However, for women age 37 years and younger, use of fresh embryos produced better results.
The IVF Process
With IVF, the woman is treated with hormones for several weeks to stimulate the growth of multiple eggs. When eggs are ripe, they are removed from the ovaries and placed into a petri dish with the partner’s sperm. Donor sperm is used when male factor fertility issues are severe. Form slow moving sperm, the eggs can be fertilized using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This involves inserting a single sperm directly into each egg. Regardless of fertilization technique, when eggs grow into embryos, they are placed into the woman’s uterus.
IVF Success Rates with Fresh Embryos
Women age 34 years and younger – 46.3%
Women age 35-37 years – 38.4%
Women age 38-40 years – 27.5%
Women age 41-42 years – 16.6%
Women age 42 years and older – 6.5%
IVF Success Rates with Frozen Embryos
Women age 34 years and younger – 39.3%
Women age 35-37 years – 35.7%
Women age 38-40 years – 30.3%
Women age 41-42 years – 24.5%
Women age 42 years and older – 16.5%
Does Number of IVF Cycles Matter?
When considering IVF statistics, it is important to consider how many IVF cycles were involved. According to researchers, few studies are available regarding first IVF cycle pregnancies. IVF statistics show that the average couple has the greatest chances for live birth success when they commit to trying 2-4 IVF cycles.
Birth Defects and Miscarriage
According to recent clinical studies, there are mixed finding regarding birth defects in children conceived by IVF. According to available data, the chances of naturally conceived children developing a birth defect is the same as children conceived using IVF. The rate of birth defects for both groups is 3-5%, with no difference seen.
Regarding miscarriage, several factors must be considered. Studies show that miscarriage rates are nog higher for women who use IVF. In fact, IVF statistics show that rate of miscarriage increases with the woman’s age, which is true also for women of the general population. For women 20 years of age, the rate is around 15%, but that miscarriage rate increases to 50% for women age 40 years and older.
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American Society for Reproductive Medicine (2007). Assisted reproductive technology in the United States: 2001 results generated from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine/Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology registry. Fertility and sterility, 87(6):1253-1266.
Sunderam S, Chang J, Flowers L, et al. (2009). Assisted reproductive technology surveillance–United States, 2006. MMWR Surveill Summ, 58(5):1-25.
Wright VC, Chang J, Jeng G, & Macaluso M (2008). Assisted reproductive technology surveillance–United States, 2005. MMWR Surveill Summ, 2008;57(5):1-23.