Understanding the Success Rates of IVF

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IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization, also known as assisted reproductive technology (ART). The process per se entails the extraction of the eggs, the retrieving of a sperm sample and eventually combining the sperm and the egg in a laboratory dish. The final step is transferring the embryo in the uterus. Many couples struggling with fertility issues consider this option. But how successful is it really? How is the success rate of IVF calculated?

It’s worth noting that the success rate of IVF has to do with numerous factors, as follows: the reason for infertility, maternal age, reproductive background, and other lifestyle elements. It’s also worth pointing out the difference between pregnancy rates and live birth rates, which aren’t the same thing.

How Are IVF Success Rates Calculated?

One way of calculating the success rate of IVF at a clinic is by dividing the number of live births by the number of procedures. Most fertility clinics showcase this information, and couples should look into this before choosing one.

Also, statistically speaking, the live birth rate for IVF cycle varies depending on the age of the mother. Therefore, for women under the age of 35, the live birth rate is of 54 to 43 percent. For women between the age of 35 and 37, the rate is smaller – 42 to 33 percent, whereas between the ages 38 to 40, the percentage of success ranges from 23 to 27 percent. Finally, for women over 40 years old, the live birth rate is of 13 to 4 percent.

That being said, with age, the chances of getting pregnant inevitably diminish. Even if you are younger, this is still no guarantee that the IVF procedure will be a successful one. The success rate of IVF varies by the clinic, as well. When inquiring about the success rate, make sure you refer to the live birth rates, instead of pregnancy rates.

Many people assume that they are the same thing. But even if the inception per se is accomplished, this doesn’t eliminate the chance of miscarriage altogether. Therefore, not all conceptions result in going home with a baby. In addition to that, some rates also include chemical pregnancies. This is why it makes sense to ask specifically about the live birth rate when browsing for clinics.

Having a Look at the Success Factors of IVF

Considering that we’re dealing with a complicated process, it can be influenced by numerous factors. We’ve briefly mentioned them, but let’s have a closer look.

For one thing, there is age, of course, as it plays a key part in all pregnancies, not only in IVF pregnancies. With age, the likelihood of pregnancy with IVF is lower. However, it is still higher than it would be to get pregnant naturally.

The type of fertility issue you’re dealing it will also play its part. The conditions that are most likely to respond to IVF treatment are low sperm count, ovulation issues, fallopian tube blockage, and endometrioses. Conditions that are less responsive include: long term infertility, uterine abnormalities, ovarian dysfunction, fibroid tumors, or dual infertility.

If you’ve carried out pregnancy in the past, then the chance of a successful IVF treatment is higher for you. Still, if you had a miscarriage, then the chances are lower. Consulting with a doctor is advisable, in order to find out an explanation to the miscarriage and whether this will affect your IVF treatment or not.

Also, when it comes to lifestyle elements, perhaps the most noteworthy ones are smoking and weight. Smoking is harmful to both men and women and if you’re pursuing fertility treatment, you should give up this habit. Moving on to weight, being underweight or overweight may impair a woman’s capability of ingesting the fertility medicine prescribed in order to carry the baby to term.

The Bottom Line

On a final note, you should know what to expect before pursuing IVF. This process will have a major impact on your overall wellbeing – this includes your physical and mental health. So, you should keep in mind that the reason why you’re going through all this is to extend your family. And while the stress is still significant, at the end of the day, you’ll come to the conclusion that all your efforts were worth it.