IVF Success Rates
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IVF Success Rate

Contents

What Is The Success Rate Of IVF?
National Average Success Rate Of IVF
What Can Affect My Success Rates?
Other Things That Can Go Wrong
Personal Stories


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What Is The Success Rate Of IVF?

According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), in 2008, 34 percent of all IVF cycles resulted in a live birth. Improvements in the IVF process continue to make the treatment more successful, for example the success rate in 1989 was only 14 percent. On average it takes three IVF cycles to become pregnant. When assessing a fertility clinic, ask them for their 'live birth' figure, as opposed to pregnancy rate. While a woman can become pregnant with IVF, it really doesn't mean much if she has a miscarriage. At the end of the day, the 'take home baby rate' is the only statistic that matters.

National Average Success Rate Of IVF

Age Under 35 35 to 37 38 to 40 41 to 42 Over 42
Percentage of live births after IVF Cycle 42% 32% 22% 12.5% 4%
Average number of embryos transferred 2 2.2 2.6 3 3.1
Number of live births with twins 32% 27% 22% 17% 10%
Number of live births with triplets or more 1.5% 1.5% 1.1% 1.1% 0.9%

What Can Affect My Success Rates?

Age: The age of the woman is the most important factor. Success rates decline as age increases and rapidly declines after the age of 37.
Number of Embryos Transferred: The success rates can vary depending on how many embryos are transferred. However, beyond a certain point, more is not always necessarily better. Too many and the risk of multiple pregnancy is high, and multiple pregnancies are much more prone to miscarriage, pregnancy complications and birth defects. Generally women under 35 should not have more than 2 embryos implanted, or the risk of multiples increases significantly. The ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) have issued guidelines on the recommended amount of embryos to transfer.
Pregnancy Complications: The risk of low birth weight or premature births are higher with ART procedures, primarily because they carry a higher rate of multiple pregnancies. On average 30 percent of IVF treatments result in twins, compared to 1 to 2 percent of natural pregnancies.

Other Things That Can Go Wrong

Failure To Ovulate
About 10 percent of women do not respond to infertility drugs which are supposed to stimulate egg production. What one fertility clinic defines as a 'poor response' may be different to another clinic. When you are given fertility medications, you will be carefully monitored by transvaginal ultrasound and blood tests to check for your response. If it is low, your dosage may be increased. However for many the first IVF treatment cycle is more a matter of trial and error, so that the correct level of medication may only be right by the next cycle. This may particularly apply to women with PCOS syndrome.

Womb Does Not Thicken Enough
By the time your eggs are collected your womb (uterus) should be 9 to 10 cm thick (in response to fertility treatment). If it isn't this makes it difficult for an embryo to stick (imbed). Poor uterus lining can be caused by previous infections, uterine fibroids or excessive previous use of clomiphene (infertility treatment). Acupuncture may be recommended to increase blood flow to the womb. In fact many fertility clinics have resident acupuncturists on site. To increase your chance of success, be sure to follow our IVF preparation guidelines.

Personal Stories

I've gone through 3 cycles so far, with no success. They all ended in miscarriage, the first one was ectopic. I have high FSH levels and my tubes are blocked. I'm 38. I transferred 3 embryos on my first cycle, 2 on the next and 4 on the last cycle. I'm trying again but this time I'm going to wait and transfer the eggs after 5 days of incubation rather than 3. My doctor thinks this will increase my chance of conceiving by 10 percent. Hopefully it will work because we've already spent more than $60,000. Considering IVF costs, this is our last chance.
Charlene, Texas

It took me 2 cycles to have my babies - yes, I ended up with twins! I had high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, but it all worked out fine. We're very happy.
Susan, LA

I had one stimulation cycle and then 2 more frozen embryo cycles, with no luck. Then on my fourth attempt we went back to a stimulation cycle and I got pregnant with my twins. They are 3 years old now.
Anne, Wisconsin

I had all 3 of my kids by IVF. The first cycle I miscarried. In the second cycle I got pregnant with twins but lost one twin at 15 weeks. The other twin turned out fine thank God. The third cycle was a frozen embryo cycle, but they didn't thaw out, so that didn't work. The last cycle I used a stimulation cycle and got pregnant with twin girls, they turned out perfect too. IVF turns your life upside down, but when you get the results, it’s all worth it.
Patsy, Florida

Related Questions
• Pregnancy complications: Can endometriosis cause miscarriages?
• Naturally and with fertility drugs: How common are twins?

  Related Articles on IVF Success Rates

For more useful guides, see the following:

IVF protocols: Blueprint for your treatment and therapies.
Day 5 embryo transfer: Blastocyst embryos.
Assisted hatching: Will it improve my IVF success rate?
How important is genetic screening for IVF babies?

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