IVF Success Rate by Age – Overview
Infertility is unfortunately too common and it is estimated to affect around 15% of couples who are trying to conceive. Depending on your specific situation, there are various infertility factors that may be treated using in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
IVF procedures are expensive and also take an emotional and physical toll which often leaves patients wondering if IVF is worth it. Luckily, IVF is usually successful. This is especially true for women under the age of 35 years or those who use donor eggs.
There are some factors that need to be considered when determining if IVF is the right choice to conceive for you.
Age-based IVF Success Rates
According to national data collected by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the chances of success rates of conception decrease in inverse proportion to the patient’s age.
These are the chances of a successful birth after one egg retrieval using either a frozen embryo transfer cycle or using freshly retrieved eggs/embryos during the cycle.
- Below 35 years = 54.5%
- Between 35 and 37 years = 41.1%
- Between 38 and 40 years = 26.7%
- Between 41 and 42 years = 13.8%
- Over 43 years = 4.2%
As you can see, the success rate for an IVF procedure drops drastically when a woman crosses 40 years of age. This is the reason that most women over 40 choose to use donor eggs. The success rate of an IVF procedure with donor eggs is not affected by the woman’s age.
Frozen vs Fresh Embryo IVF Success Rate
When using fresh donor eggs, the chances of a successful conception and birth per cycle are:
- With frozen embryos = 46.5%
- With fresh embryos = 55.3%
Multiple Cycles vs Single Cycle
As mentioned above, the rates of success above are meant for the one-egg retrieval method. The chances of success are significantly increased with multiple cycles of IVF.
Instead of relying on only a single chance, you should undergo several IVF trials to achieve successful conception.
A study shows that the live birth rate for the first cycle of IVF is around 29.5%. After the fourth try, success rates were over 20%. Beyond the sixth cycle, the success rate for conception increased to an astonishing 65.3%. Earlier, experts suggested completing 3 to 4 IVF cycles so the chances of successful conception increase dramatically with more cycles.
However, if you add the high expense of IVF procedures to the psychological stress experienced by couples, it is quite difficult to meet multiple IVF cycle goals. Very few couples are willing, or able to try more than 2 to 3 cycles.
If the IVF technique is not showing satisfactory results even after multiple attempts/cycles, you should consider adoption or other alternatives to get positive results.
Different Factors Affecting IVF Success Rates
The success of an IVF procedure depends on several different factors. Some of these factors are not under our complete control while some can be improved effectively through changes in lifestyle.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) has developed a patient-predictor tool that can provide deeper insight into the odds of success of IVF procedures.
We assume that you have not undergone the IVF procedure before and this is your first attempt. In such a situation, the following factors are considered when determining the success rate of an IVF procedure:
- Any previous full-term births
- Number of pregnancies
- If you plan to use donor eggs or own eggs
- The cause of infertility (if known)
The success rate for any IVF clinic is important to consider when choosing where to undergo the IVF procedure.
However, the stated rate of success for individual clinics should not be taken as definite. A clinic with an excellent conception rate may be turning away couples with lower chances of conception.
Or, they may be transferring a higher number of embryos per cycle to increase the chances of conception however this is a very risky move.
Hence, make sure to consult with your physician or Ob-Gyn to determine which clinic will be able to help you in the best way possible with a successful IVF treatment. You should also ensure to enquire about any potential risk of complications from the procedure before choosing to initiate the treatment.
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