Infertility Success Rates
Most patients are very interested in the success rates that can be expected from procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) , and donor egg . The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains IVF statistics for “reporting clinics” in the United States. Unfortunately, the CDC data is usually reported at least two years after the clinic reports are submitted.
No success rate statistics for any procedure can be applied to a particular couple. The reports must be read carefully to learn the many variables that contribute to success rate calculations. For example, a practice with a large percentage of younger females receiving IVF will most likely report higher success rates. These rates probably do not apply to you if you are in your thirties.
When a program reports IVF success rates of 45% per cycle this does not mean that 45% of couples who undergo IVF will take home a baby. This is an “average” and some couples will conceive in the first cycle whereas others will require three cycles.
For example, in most infertility programs the 45% statistic means that if 100 couples undergo IVF, 45 will have a fetal heartbeat. A certain percentage of these women miscarry during the first trimester, which lowers the “take home baby” rate.
Interestingly, University practices sometimes treat patients that have failed therapy at other programs, including multiple cycles of gonadotropins with IUI. These types of patients are much more difficult to treat and consequently success rates may be lower.
The cause(s) of your infertility also has a large influence on success rates. Patients who have fallopian tube damage, and no other contributing factor, typically have IVF success rates in the 30-40% range. Others who may have conditions such as advanced age may have lower success rates.
Also, success rates for procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) are not tracked by the CDC even though IUI is often a first line procedure. In general, per cycle success rates with IUI in most programs are between 15-20%.
Donor egg IVF normally produces the highest success rates because eggs from young fertile women are used. Many programs report donor egg success rates in the 50% range.
Our physicians prefer to personally discuss success rates with each individual couple. They take into account factors such as the cause(s) of your infertility, FSH level, age, previous treatments, whether or not this is your first child, any history of miscarriage and many other factors. We feel this is the best means to provide an honest appraisal of your chances of taking home a baby.