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Does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Work? What the Research Shows

Some research shows that in vitro fertilization (IVF) works surprisingly well for some women! Here’s what one study shows about fertility treatments – it’ll give you hope if you’re having trouble getting pregnant naturally.

“This [research] shows that, overall, IVF is extraordinarily effective and largely overcomes infertility, especially in younger women,” says lead author Beth Malizia, MD, a clinical fellow at Boston IVF and in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


Malizia and her colleagues analyzed data from 6,000 couples who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. The success rates of this fertility treatment is higher than I expected…

Whether or not you’re trying IVF to get pregnant, you need to know when you’re ovulating! The Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test is the bestselling kit on the market. If you are trying in vitro fertilization, your fertility clinic may provide you with an ovulation test. If you aren’t, make sure you make love on your most fertile days.

Does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Work? What the Research Shows

Infertility affects more than 6 million women in the U.S. between ages 15 and 44, say the experts at the National Center for Health Statistics. Dr Malizia says her goal in conducting this research about whether vitro fertilization (IVF) works was to provide information that would answer a primary question every couple trying IVF wants to know: “What are the chances that I will walk away with a baby?”

These researchers found that the chances of a live birth following in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy range between 65 and 86 percent in younger women and between 23 and 42 percent in women aged 40 and older. This information is from a longitudinal research study conducted by Dr Malizia and Alan Penzias, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF (along with coauthor Michele Hacker, ScD).

“IVF treatment has come of age,” says Dr Penzias. “Although we continue to address the challenge of age-dependent decline in fertility, with these successful results, we have shown that fertility can be restored to the majority of young women who want to have a baby.”

How In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Works

According to this research, each IVF cycle consists of four steps:

  1. The patient takes a course of fertility medication to encourage egg development.
  2. Eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure.
  3. The retrieved eggs are fertilized in the laboratory.
  4. Approximately three to six days following egg retrieval, fertilized embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.

If you’re not sure you’re ready for this type of fertility treatment, read Should You See a Fertility Specialist? 5 Signs It’s Time.

How IVF Pregnancy Rates Are Reported

If your fertility clinic shares how in vitro fertilization works for them (their success rates, in other words – which they should make public!), make sure that you are aware of how pregnancy rates are reported.

“Traditionally, IVF has been reported as pregnancies per IVF cycle,” explains Malizia. “These calculations can not only be difficult to comprehend, but can also be misleading since they don’t take into account the difference in success between the first-time patient and the patient who did not become pregnant in previous IVF attempts.”

Malizia’s study takes this into account, and shows that in vitro fertilization works for many couples! For more info on this study, go to Study Examines Live Birth Rates Following In Vitro Fertilization (a press release from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center).


And to learn why in vitro fertilization doesn’t work more often, read Success Rates of Getting Pregnant With In Vitro Fertilization.

Have you tried fertility treatments – and did they work for you? Comments welcome below.


3 thoughts on “Does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Work? What the Research Shows”

  1. Thank you for your comments, Sharon! I’m glad you’re a mom at last, and will have to check out your blog. Something tells me you tried in vitro fertilization treatments…

  2. Your blog is amazing! Every Mom has a Journey and I see that you went through one heck of a journey. Please visit our website to learn more about what it means to finally become a Mom, at Last!

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