15 Mar How Successful is IVF? Info from US Fertility Network
IVF centers must report their in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates each year to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many clients feel that these success rates are a reason to choose an IVF center. Clients should understand IVF pregnancy rates in order to make an educated decision.
How are IVF Success Rated Calculated?
IVF success rates are basically pregnancy rates after IVF. All IVF success rates are calculated by dividing the number of live births by the number of procedures. These rates vary depending on which procedure was used and how the endpoint is determined. Clinics also report clinical pregnancy rate, which is the number of positive pregnancy test divided by the number of procedures performed (cycle start, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer).
IVF Success Rates in the U.S.
There were 174,962 IVF cycles performed in the United States in 2013, according to a recent National ART Outcomes Report by the CDC. Average success rates based on live birth per transfer of fresh embryos were:
- For women 34 years of age and younger, 47.7% live births
- For women age 35-37 years, 39.2% live births
- For women age 38-40 years, 28.5% live births
- For women age 41-42 years, 16.3% live births
How to Interpret IVF Success Rates
When selecting an IVF center for fertility treatment, there are a few factors to consider. These are:
- Beware of IVF centers with extraordinarily high IVF success rates. Unless your case is simple, based on previous testing and specialty consultation, IVF success is not a guarantee.
- Ask before you make the first appoint if the fertility center has predetermined cut-off values. These values are based on age, number of follicles on ultrasound, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels.
- Consider the center’s IVF success rates in the egg donor program. The center is likely to be skilled in IVF if it has much success with the use of egg donors.
Finding the Right IVF Center for You
IVF pregnancy rates should be considered in the fertility center selection process. However, clinical outcomes and live births are most predictive of success. You should also consider the size of the fertility clinic, as lower rates are seen in facilities that do more IVF procedures.
In the U.S., IVF programs usually select clients who will have favorable outcomes, and over the last three decades, national pregnancy rates have increased. When selecting an IVF center, those that work with difficult cases will have lower success rates. If you have major fertility issues, this is one factor to consider.
IVF Success Factors
#1: Age – Your age is an important factor to consider. Younger women have higher success rates, but using donor eggs can increase live birth IVF success for women 34 years of age and older.
#2: Previous pregnancy – If you were pregnant previously with the same partner, you have a better chance using IVF. Factors that reduce IVF success include use of a different partner and history of recurrent miscarriage.
#3: Type of fertility problems – Factors that decrease the likelihood of IVF success include uterine abnormalities, fibroid tumors, and exposure to DES. In addition, ovarian dysfunction reduces IVF pregnancy chances.
#4: Use of donor eggs – For women age 35 and older, higher success rates are seen for women who use donor eggs. Using a younger woman’s eggs increase the chances of pregnancy, with a 55% live birth rate seen when fresh donor eggs are used.
#5: Lifestyle habits – To improve your chance of having a baby, you should avoid smoking, alcohol, and maintain your weight. Overweight women have less IVF success than women of normal size. In addition, smokers have problems with implantation, require twice as many IVF attempts, and need higher doses of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries.