How Successful is IVF?


For a successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, individualized patient care and a personalized treatment plan is required. The success of IVF depends on the age of the woman, the expertise of the fertility center, and the patient’s compliance with treatment.


Factors that Contribute to IVF Success

IVF success rates vary, depending on the circumstances. A few factors that contribute to IVF success include:

  • Woman’s age – Live births resulting from IVF vary according to the woman’s age. Women who are age 34 years and younger have a higher success rate, which is around 30-40%. The older the woman is, the lower the success rate. Aging of the female egg supply contributes to less chance of producing quality eggs for fertilization.
  • Cause of the infertility – The actual cause of the couple’s fertility problems affects IVF success rates. Infertility can be related to issues with the woman’s reproductive system, or it can be related to the male reproductive system.
  • Pregnancy history – If a woman has experienced one live birth in the past, she is more likely to have a successful IVF procedure than a woman who has never had a baby. This is called the ‘previous birth advantage.’
  • Use of donor eggs – Women who are age 40 years and older often use donor eggs, which greatly improves the chances of delivering a healthy baby. Birth rates are higher when a young woman’s eggs are used.
  • Use of own eggs – When a woman is young, birth rates are better than when donor eggs are used. By using the woman’s own eggs, the chance of delivering a live birth is 40% in the late 20s, but goes down to 10% by age 43 years.
  • Fresh eggs – Use of fresh eggs for IVF are more likely to result in pregnancy than use of cryopreserved (frozen) eggs. However, when egg donors are used, frozen eggs are less expensive.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statistics

According to the CDC’s National ART Outcomes Report, around 175,000 IVF cycles are performed in the U.S. each year. Based on these statistics, the average success rates based on live births per transfer from fresh embryos is:

  • 48% for women age 34 years and younger
  • 39% for women aged 35-37 years of age
  • 28% for women aged 38-40 years of age
  • 16% for women aged 41-42 years of age


What the Fertility Center does to Improve Success Rates

  • Provide a thorough evaluation to diagnose cause of infertility – To make sure IVF will work, the fertility specialist provides a comprehensive diagnostic workup for infertility.
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – IUI is cost effective and can increase IVF success rates. Patients with a good prognosis with IVF often become pregnant sooner using IUI.
  • Move challenging patients to donor services early on – When poor quality eggs or problematic sperm are detected, our fertility specialists recommend donor eggs and sperm early on in the IVF process. The center evaluates the male and female partners before recommending donor procedures.


What the Couple can do to Increase IVF Success Rates

  • Eliminate stress – Too much stress and emotional strain can decrease the chances of pregnancy. We recommend stress reduction techniques during the IVF process, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and counseling.
  • Don’t over-exercise – Exercise produces physiological stress, and too much of this can affect pregnancy odds. Be cautious when engaging in high-intensity workouts during the IVF process.
  • Take necessary vitamin supplements – Folic acid is required to protect against fetal neural tube defects. In addition, to maintain a pregnancy, the woman should have adequate vitamin D and C, and must eat a well-balanced diet.