How Many IVF Cycles Are Average Before Becoming Pregnant?

average time to become pregnant
What Is The Average Number Of IVF Cycles To Fall Pregnant?

On average it takes 3 IVF cycles for a woman to become pregnant and give birth to a baby. Of course some women are successful on the first cycle while others may need 4 or 5 attempts (or more if their budget stretches to it). According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), in 2008, 34 percent of all IVF cycles resulted in a live birth. This is a big improvement on previous years, for example, the success rate in 1989 was a mere 14 percent. When you are choosing a fertility clinic for your treatment, be sure to ask them for their IVF success rate. Specifically ask them for their 'live birth' figures as opposed to pregnancy rate. Becoming pregnant is only part of the equation, if you miscarry; it's back to square one. At the end of the day, the 'take home baby rate' is the only statistic that matters.

Related Questions
A low down on the real costs: How much does IVF cost?
Improving your chances with donor eggs: What is egg donation?
Should you consider genetic testing? How important is genetic screening for IVF babies?
Tips on improving your pregnancy rates: How can I improve my chance of IVF success?

Personal Stories: How Many Cycles Did It Take You?

I'm 38 and just finished my 4th IVF/ICSI cycle and am waiting for the results. I got pregnant on the first cycle but it was later diagnosed as a blighted ovum. Nothing happened on the second or third, so fingers crossed this time. The doctor said the embryos were first grade so I hope they implant. The hardest part is not knowing why they don't implant. Maybe I'm just going to have to accept it's my age.
Harriet, London

I'm 43 and got pregnant on my second cycle, but I used donor eggs - the doctor said there was no way I'd get pregnant without them. He was probably right, and it worked quickly. I'd highly recommend it.
Grace, LA

I've tried IVF/ICSI 4 times so far and no luck. We've running out of money, and the emotional anxiety of it has worn me down. The first IVF treatment was canceled because I only produced one egg after taking the infertility drugs. I have high follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels and was told this was a possibility. The next cycle the doctor tried a new IVF protocol and I ended up with 8 mature eggs. Half of them fertilized and the embryologist said they looked great quality. They put 2 into me, both implanted but I miscarried. I tried again, using the other 2 embryos and miscarried again. It gave me hope that if implantation could happen, then maybe I could get pregnant. We tried again, but still failed. I'm now thinking about donor eggs, it seems the best way forward at this stage. Depends if I can get the money together.
Sara, Austin

I got pregnant on my second IVF cycle, we were thrilled. That was a few years ago. Now I'm 43 and we wanted to try again. We decided to opt straight for egg donation because the doctor said I was 70 percent likely to get pregnant rather than 5 percent using my own eggs. We found a donor within 3 weeks, she was 23 and produced 19 eggs. 12 went to the blastocyst stage, they transferred 2 embryos and froze the other 10. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about a donor egg, but there was no difference between that and my first pregnancy. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Anne, Seattle

I'm 34 with premature ovarian failure. It means my eggs are the equivalent of a 43 year old woman’s. I'm about to start on my third IVF cycle, the previous two ended up in miscarriage around week 6. The doctors gave me an endometriosis diagnosis which explains the ovarian failure. I'm thinking of going for egg donation, but abroad where it’s supposed to be much cheaper.
Josie P, Dallas

• Need more information? See: In Vitro Fertilization
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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