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Success Rates of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

in vitro fertilization success rates

What are the chances you’ll get pregnant with IVF? (image by h.koppdelaney, via flickr)

Here are some statistics on the success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF), to give you hope if you’re having trouble getting pregnant or are coping with infertility.

“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 coping with infertility and using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. The success rates of in vitro fertilization are surprisingly high!


For more info about coping with infertility treatments, read IVF: A Patient’S Guide by Rebecca Matthews. It’s a solid introduction to in vitro fertilization for people who are new to the process.

And, read on for some great news about the success rates of IVF…

Success Rates of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

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 that her goal in conducting this research about the success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF) was to provide information that would answer a primary question: “What is the chance that I will walk away with a baby?”

These researchers found that the chances of a successful 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.”

The Steps of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

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

First, the patient takes a course of fertility medication to encourage egg development. Second, eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure. Then the retrieved eggs are fertilized in the laboratory and finally, approximately three to six days following egg retrieval, fertilized embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.

“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 does take this into account, and has found the success rates of in vitro fertilization to be happily high! 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).


For more info on this fertility treatment, read Does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Work? What the Research Shows.


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If you’ve experienced a successful in vitro fertilization, I’d love to hear from you! And if you’ve tried and tried to get pregnant – but keep getting disappointed, I’d also love to hear how you are…and if you have any tips for couples coping with infertility.

8 thoughts on “Success Rates of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)”

  1. Dear Crissy,

    I missed your comment – I’m so sorry! What happened – was your ivf successful? Did you get any words of advice or wisdom from other blogs? Sometimes it doesn’t help to know the stated success rates for in vitro fertilization, because it can cause anxiety and stress, which isn’t good for anyone…

  2. Hi ladies,

    I am in my second cycle of IVF. My first cycle resulted in a chemical preggnancy. I think it is safe to say I am cautiously optimistic about this round. I am trying to research the success rate for the second round of IVF. I am 30 years old (31 December 19th). I have lessened my activity level and increased the amount of water I drink all in hopes of increasing my success this time around. Does anyone have any percentage rates for my husband and I or helpful suggestions or words of wisdom? All are appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Chirssy

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Sarah,

    I’m sorry to hear that your little girl passed…that’s very sad. But, it’s good to know that the in vitro part was successful.

    I hope you get pregnant with this round if IVF, and stay pregnant! If you think of it, please come back and let me know how you’re doing…I will hope and pray for you!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  4. I am enjoying reading about the research. We are entering our second round of IVF this month. The first time we did injectibles and an IUI with only one follicle and it was a failed attempt. After a total of 4 years (16 week miscarriage before we were ever trying) we did our first IVF attempt never once getting pregnant on our own. We were able to get 21 eggs, 19 ICSI’d and only 6 fertilized. By day three only 3 were 8-cell embryos. We did a 3-day transfer and put two back in while freezing the rest. We did get pregnant with one little girl. Its unfortunate but my little girl passed at 21 weeks with numerous problems. Had she made it full term there was nothing they could have done for her. But the IVF was successful.

  5. Karen in Indianapolis

    This makes me feel a lot more optimistic about IVF. The success rate doesn’t mean much to me unless it’s related to actually bringing a baby home. Also, this article doesn’t mention it, but I believe that % was related to up to 6 tries as a group, not per cycle. That also makes me feel better, so that if our first try fails, we know that we should keep going, because it just may take a few tries and that makes our overall chance better.

  6. Using”3D/4D Ultrasound- Guided Embryo Transfer” will increase significantly your chances of getting pregnant. Learn more and suggest it to your IVF physician.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Kelly — you’re right, asking your doc about the success rates of all reproductive technologies is a great idea.

    And, don’t be deterred by low success rates, because you could be part of the percentage that gets pregnant! I think it’s important to strike a balance between hope and realistic thinking.

  8. I was a co-guest on the radio show Creating A Family and Dr. Stillman mentioned that IVF has a higher success rate than artificial insemination (IUI) and that it can be cost effect as compared to IUI’s if you do a lot of IUI cycles to get pregnant. Also, IVF has a lower occurrence of high-order multiples than IUIs too.

    It’s important to ask your doctor about success rates with all of the technologies available so you can decide which route is best for you.

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