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IVF Success Rates

What is the Typical Success Rate for IVF?

Read our guides to IVF success rates at different ages here:

IVF Success Rates at 25 to 29 or younger
IVF Success Rates at 30 to 35
IVF Success Rates at 39
IVF Success Rates at 40
IVF Success Rates at 40 to 45

A quick Google search results in a plethora of sources reporting on success rates of IVF.

While it’s encouraging to see so much transparency when it comes to this data, the collection of information can be overwhelming.

Because different methodologies are used to collect similar types of IVF data, it’s important to drill down to the source to reveal how data is collected and calculated.

This allows you to get the most accurate picture of how successful IVF may be for you.

The reason there is so much IVF success rate data available is that clinics use these numbers to attract patients.

After all, you wouldn’t want to choose a provider that can only quote general statistics about IVF, right?

While this information is useful during the clinic selection process, it’s best to use larger picture data when making the decision of whether IVF is right for you.

All this is to say that for a process as intricate as IVF with a nearly endless list of factors that may influence success, a “typical” success rate simply doesn’t exist.

But have no fear, there is useful data here! Read on for a deeper dive into IVF success rates in relation to the varying factors that influence outcomes.

IVF Success Rates Reviewed

If you’re considering in vitro fertilization, most commonly referred to as IVF, you likely have many questions.

This curiosity is normal as IVF is an expensive and lengthy process that requires conscience research and deliberation before pursuing it.

One of the most burning questions you likely have is, “Will IVF work for me?” As with most major life decisions, there is no simple answer to the question.

There is, however, a whole host of data available to give you a broader picture of how successful IVF may be for you.

How Are IVF Success Rates Calculated?

When it comes to IVF success rates, there are two important data points to define: live birth rate and pregnancy rate.

While they both appear to be a bit self-explanatory, the second is not as straightforward as it seems. “Live birth rate” is what it sounds like — the number of babies that were born.

The latter is a bit fuzzier. Some pregnancy rates include chemical pregnancies, such as those that occur when hCG (a pregnancy indicating hormone) is present, but before an ultrasound can be performed or a viable fetus has formed.

To avoid confusion when researching clinics, ask for both rates and clarify how the pregnancy rate is collected.

Another positive attribute of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) information is that each data point is clearly attributed to a data set, noting all numbers come from national information based on a defined number of ART cycles in a certain year.

For example, the first set of data in the CDC IVF Success Rates section above is based on 91,090 ART cycles in 2015.

Data Sources: SART and the CDC

One source of this data comes from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), a professional organization made up of practitioners in reproductive technology, the field that encompasses IVF.

Because SART is a national collection of leaders dedicated to maintaining high standards in their field of practice to better serve patients, you can count on its data to be comprehensive and unbiased.

Another source of unbiased IVF success rate data comes from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC confirms self-reported data submitted by clinics on success rates for multiple reproductive technology activities, including IVF, meaning verified rates for individual clinics as well as aggregate success rates are available.

The Most Recent IVF Success Rate Data

The most recent IVF success rate data is from 2015. You will find data sets that speak to successes for multiple outcomes of success — pregnancy, live births, multiple births — in a variety of circumstances — by diagnosis, with or without donor eggs, etc.

IVF Success Factors

IVF is a complicated process made up of many stages and influenced by many factors.

Whether or not IVF is successful depends on highly personal circumstances, from a woman’s age to if she’s previously been pregnant.

Here are the top six factors that play a role in the success rate of IVF:

Age

A woman’s age plays a role in all pregnancies. With IVF, it’s no different — there is a distinct correlation between age and IVF success rates.

Although women of a certain age might experience more likely success with IVF, it’s also a go-to treatment used by older women who may have trouble getting pregnant naturally.

Although the success rate of IVF is lower in certain age groups, it’s more likely to conceive through IVF than naturally.

Fertility issue

Most families who seek IVF treatment do so in hopes of overcoming a fertility issue and having a biological child of their own.

Fertility issues most commonly responsive to IVF are:

  • Ovulation issues
  • Endometriosis
  • Fallopian tube blockages
  • Low sperm count

Issues less likely to respond to IVF are:

  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Fibroid tumors
  • Ovarian dysfunction
  • Dual infertility (both partners struggling with separate infertility issues)
  • Long-term infertility

Former pregnancy

If you’ve been pregnant before, the likelihood of IVF working for you is higher than average, even if fertility treatments were used in the past.

Pregnancies that ended in a miscarriage may point to a lower chance of success.

However, in the case of miscarriage, you should consult your doctor, as they will be able to more closely identify the cause of miscarriage and whether or not it’s likely to affect your IVF success.

Donor eggs and/or sperm

Using donor eggs or sperm during the IVF process may lead to a higher success rate in couples experiencing particular fertility issues.

With either type of donation, couples may opt for an anonymous donor or choose someone they know.

Choosing to use donor eggs or sperm can lead to greater chances of embryo transfer success, especially in situations where IVF patients have had difficulty with embryo development in previous in vitro cycles.

Clinic

Choosing an IVF clinic is an extremely personal decision and arguably the most important choice you’ll make during the IVF process.

Proper research is key to an experience you feel comfortable and confident about. Consider factors such as staff experience and whether or not the clinic has had success treating patients with your type of fertility issue.

Learning about laboratory quality is also part of the clinic screening process.

A good lab will go above minimum requirements in standards of collection and care.

The embryologist — the person who grows the embryos before transfer — as well as air quality, light and temperature all contribute to the success of your IVF cycle.

Lifestyle

The majority of factors affecting IVF success rates are out of your hands, but there are two lifestyle choices that influence success — smoking and weight.

Smoking is detrimental to fertility in both men and women and should never happen during the IVF process.

When a woman is over or underweight, it may also have a significant influence on success, from the absorption of fertility medicines to the ability to carry a baby to term.

Age and IVF: In Vitro Fertilization Stats

SART IVF Success Rates by Age

SART’s most recent data reports the live birth rate at:

  • 40–43% for women under 35
  • 33–36% for women 35–37
  • 13–18% for women 40–44
  • Unlikely for women over 44

CDC IVF Success Rates by Age

All numbers below are results from using fresh embryos from nondonor eggs during the cycle.

The CDC’s most recent data answering the question, “What is the chance of having a term, normal birth weight and singleton live birth per IVF cycle?”

  • 3% for women under 35
  • 17% for women 35–37
  • 1% for women 38–40
  • 1% for women over 40

The CDC’s most recent data answering the question, “What is the chance of getting pregnant per ART cycle?”

  • 3% for women under 35
  • 32% for women 35–37
  • 1% for women 38–40
  • 4% for women over 40

The CDC’s most recent data answering the question, “What is the chance of having a live birth per embryo transfer?”

  • 5% for women under 35
  • 4% for women 35–37
  • 4% for women 38–40
  • 5% for women over 40

This data is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to all the IVF success rate data the CDC has to offer.

Find the information that most relates to your specific circumstances here.

Be sure to toggle between questions and scroll up and down to find data on the results of using fresh embryos from nondonor eggs, frozen embryos from nondonor eggs, or fresh or frozen embryos from donor eggs for each.

You will also find data on success rates based on your infertility diagnosis, including:

  • Tubal factors
  • Uterine factors
  • Ovulatory dysfunction
  • Diminished ovarian reserve
  • Endometriosis
  • Male factors
  • Unknown factors
  • Multiple female factors only
  • Multiple female & male factors

IVF Pregnancy Rates by Age

Maternal age plays a large role in whether or not an IVF patient will have success in getting pregnant.

Age is such an important factor that IVF data is based on how old a woman is when she undergoes reproductive assistance.

When looking at a clinic’s reported success data, you may notice a split between IVF success rates under 35 and IVF success rates over 40.

In fact, CDC data shows that IVF success rates for women under 35 are nearly six times higher than women over age 40.

According to the CDC, the chance of getting pregnant with one IVF cycle is:

  • 52% for women under 35
  • 7% for women 35–37
  • 36% for women 38–40
  • 8% for women over 40

The pregnancy rate is traditionally higher than the live birth rate since a percentage of pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth.

While IVF success rates over 40 are much lower than those of younger women, maternal age isn’t necessarily prohibitive of becoming pregnant; in fact, more women over the age of 40 are seeking to become parents through the use of IVF despite the lower level of success.

Risks of Multiple Births

Multiple births are quite common with successful IVF cycles; that’s because the chances of a successful IVF cycle increase if you elect to transfer more than one embryo per cycle.

If more than one embryo implants, you can end up carrying twins, triplets or other sets of multiples.

As more women and couples choose to utilize IVF, researchers understand that the rate of multiple births has drastically increased.

IVF data from 2013 shows that more than 40% of births made possible through in vitro were of twins or multiples.

And research over a longer period of time shows a 60% increase in twin births between 1980 and 2001 thanks to IVF.

For the most part, fertility specialists and researchers believe the increasing rate of multiple births is due to the practice of transferring several embryos at one time in the hopes that at least one will implant (though in many cases, more than one does).

While multiples can often be an unintended surprise, some women and couples choose to specifically try for twins.

IVF for twins isn’t uncommon due to the cost of reproductive assistance; some IVF patients who want several children but have smaller budgets opt to transfer multiple embryos at one time in the hopes that at least two will take.

This IVF for twins strategy is also considered by women who want multiple children but are older and may have few childbearing years left.

Risks of IVF Treatment

Any medical procedure involves risks and IVF is no different. The medications used to stimulate the ovaries before egg retrieval can cause a serious side effect called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

OHSS affects approximately 10% of women who undergo IVF treatments with symptoms such as bloating, pain, cramping and weight gain, ranging from mild to severe.

Women may also experience bleeding, infection or bowel damage during the egg retrieval process.

Another risk of IVF treatment is a canceled cycle, which occurs when a woman’s body does not sufficiently respond to fertility medications and follicles within the ovaries do not produce or mature rapidly enough.

Frozen Embryos vs. Fresh Embryos Pregnancy Rates

During the IVF process you may elect to freeze some of the embryos created, as oftentimes more are made than can be used in one cycle.

The process is common, with up to 60% of IVF patients electing to freeze embryos.

Frozen embryos may be used in future IVF cycles, providing a more cost-effective approach to future cycles, or they can be donated to another couple.

Many couples also find ethical solace in the process, which avoids having to dispose of any remaining embryos.

Finally, freezing embryos can be a plus for a couple wishing to avoid multiple births since they can implant fewer embryos per cycle and keep others for a future cycle, if needed.

The CDC separates success rate data for fresh and frozen embryos. The chance of having a full-term, normal birth weight baby with fresh embryos per IVF cycle is:

  • 35% for women under 35
  • 9% for women 35–37
  • 5% for women 38–40
  • 9% for women over 40

While the chances with frozen embryos is:

  • 5% for women under 35
  • 1% for women 35–37
  • 3% for women 38–40
  • 3% for women over 40

One Cycle vs. Multiple Cycles Pregnancy Rates

Because IVF is both financially and emotionally costly, many patients wonder about the success rate of IVF first time cycles.

While many factors play a role in whether or not the first cycle of IVF will lead to a pregnancy, studies show that the odds of conceiving in one cycle hover around 30%.

Age remains a large variable — IVF patients under 40 using their own eggs have a 32% chance of getting pregnant; 40 to 42-year-old women have a 12% chance of conceiving on the first cycle.

Less than 4% of women over 42 get pregnant on the first round of IVF.

While the odds sound low, remember that the natural chances of getting pregnant in any given month are about 20 to 25%, meaning IVF does raise the odds of conception.

Still, research shows that while the success rate of IVF first time cycles isn’t high, the chances of getting pregnant after multiple IVF rounds do increase.

Many reproductive endocrinologists encourage prospective parents to undergo three rounds of IVF before calling it quits because the probability of getting pregnant drastically increases after three rounds — as high as 45 to 53% according to British researchers.

Donor Egg Pregnancy Rates

There are many situations where using donor eggs in the IVF process can lead to higher chances of pregnancy.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, women who are unable to get pregnant with their own eggs or have a diminishing reserve of eggs may have success with donor eggs.

While anyone can choose to use their eggs or a donor’s eggs, there are some situations where a woman may want to use donor eggs:

  • Being over the age of 40, at which time a woman’s remaining eggs may not be as healthy
  • Trying to prevent passing on an inherited genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease
  • Being diagnosed with conditions that impact egg production, such as premature ovarian failure or early menopause

While every fertility specialist and clinic will have specific data on its success with donor eggs, the odds of getting pregnant through IVF with donor eggs are quite good, especially for women over the age of 35.

According to 2015 data from the CDC, combining IVF with donor eggs has the highest success.

When fresh donor eggs are used, 50% of embryo transfers led to a successful pregnancy and live birth.

PGD and PGS Success Rates

Preimplantation Genetic Screen (PGD) is one option for increasing the success rate of your IVF cycle.

PGD refers to a process in which embryos are genetically tested for genetic diseases and chromosomal disorders.

This testing offers high-risk couples the option of choosing an embryo that is more likely to survive implantation and be carried full-term without complications.

Although it does not affect the success rate, PGD can also be used for gender selection during IVF, a process most often selected by parents looking for gender balance in their family.

PCOS Pregnancy Rate with IVF

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) occurs when there is a hormone imbalance in a woman’s body, specifically related to elevated testosterone.

The increase in testosterone limits ovulation, leading to fertility issues. IVF is one of the most common treatments for women with PCOS who want to get pregnant but have not been able to do so naturally or with other fertility treatments.

There is up to a 70% pregnancy success rate and 60% live birth success rate among women with PCOS who attempt IVF.

Tubal Ligation Pregnancy Rate

IVF can help women who have had tubal ligation surgery (also known as getting your “tubes tied”) who later decide they would like to become pregnant.

Women in this situation usually have two options — tubal reversal or IVF. The success rate for tubal reversal is higher than with IVF, but not an option for all women since the procedure requires a minimum amount of healthy fallopian tube left to do so.

A tubal reversal results in a 70 to 75% success rate for a 35-year-old woman, while IVF results in 40 to 50% success.

IVF Success Rates by City

Variations in IVF success rates by city are not statistically significant. In other words, there is not one city more successful at IVF than another. Here are three examples to illustrate this point:

Chicago IVF Success Rates

The CDC has data on six clinics in Chicago. The data below speaks to the chance of having a full-term, normal birth weight baby per IVF cycle using embryos from nondonor eggs:

Institute for Human Reproduction (IHR):

  • 2% for women under 35
  • 7% for women 35-37
  • 9% for women 38-40
  • 2% for women over 40

University of Illinois at Chicago IVF Program

  • 3% for women under 35
  • 19% for women 35-37
  • 3% for women 38-40
  • 9% for women over 40

Women’s Health Consultants

  • 7% for women under 35
  • 2% for women 35-37
  • 3% for women 38-40
  • 0% for women over 40

University of Chicago Medicine Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility

  • 7% for women under 35
  • 8% for women 35-37
  • 15% for women 38-40
  • 0% for women over 40

Fertility Centers of Illinois-River North IVF

  • 3% for women under 35
  • 8% for women 35-37
  • 5% for women 38-40
  • 4% for women over 40

Northwestern University

  • 1% for women under 35
  • 7% for women 35-37
  • 4% for women 38-40
  • 5% for women over 40

Boston IVF Success Rates

The CDC has data on two clinics in Boston. The data below speaks to the chance of having a full-term, normal birth weight baby per IVF cycle using embryos from nondonor eggs:

Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center

  • 35% for women under 35
  • 9% for women 35-37
  • 5% for women 38-40
  • 9% for women over 40

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • 1% for women under 35
  • 6% for women 35-37
  • 1% for women 38-40
  • 4% for women over 40

New York IVF Success Rates

The CDC has data on nearly 20 clinics in New York. Data for five of those clinics is below, and speaks to the chance of having a full-term, normal birth weight baby per IVF cycle using embryos from nondonor eggs:

Manhattan Reproductive Medicine

  • 25% for women under 35
  • 16% for women 35-37
  • 37% for women 38-40
  • 13% for women over 40

NYU Fertility Center

  • 25% for women under 35
  • 4% for women 35-37
  • 9% for women 38-40
  • 8% for women over 40

Columbia University Center for Women’s Reproductive Care

  • 15% for women under 35
  • 7% for women 35-37
  • 7% for women 38-40
  • 5% for women over 40

Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, LLP

  • 1% for women under 35
  • 8% for women 35-37
  • 7% for women 38-40
  • 5% for women over 40

Advanced Fertility Services

  • 50% for women under 35
  • 18% for women 35-37
  • 0% for women 38-40
  • 0% for women over 40

IVF Success Rates by Clinic

While comparing IVF success rates from city to city is not very useful, looking at data between various clinics shows noticeable and significant differences among them.

Compare information for various clinics here.

It’s important to understand that even though a clinic may have a lower success rate, it does not necessarily discount the skill or expertise of the practitioners.

Take for example a clinic that specializes in treating more extreme fertility issues; the success rate may be lower on paper, but higher for those with your specific treatment needs.

Finding a skilled team in the specific fertility areas affecting you is the most important piece of the decision.

How to Use IVF Success Rates to Find the “Right” IVF Center

Selecting an IVF fertility clinic is a big choice — it can be tricky to balance budget concerns with wanting the best care, as well as finding a specialist or reproductive endocrinologist near you.

So, when it comes to finding the best IVF clinics, where do you begin? One starting point is using IVF center success rates.

Looking at an IVF fertility clinic’s success rates can show you a wealth of information: what kind of procedures the clinic uses, and how successful they are; what kinds of infertility causes the clinic treats and how great a job it does with those conditions; how well the center works with women of different ages and their success outcomes.

The best IVF clinics’ data will also show their ratio of IVF cycles to the number of live births.

Having this information can show you if the center not only has skilled, quality doctors, but if it may be a financial drain.

Centers with a low live birth to IVF cycle ratio can waste not only money, but the window of time you may be able to get pregnant.

You should know that the best success rates IVF clinics offer aren’t the only thing to seek out.

In fact, a clinic with the highest success rates may look good on paper but may not feel right to you in person after a consultation.

Trusting your gut, paired with good research, can help lead you towards the right reproductive endocrinologist and IVF center.

Can IVF Fail?

Unfortunately, there are times and situations where an IVF cycle may fail. You should know that many women do not get pregnant during their first IVF cycle.

Just because a round of IVF isn’t successful doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying again — it’s possible to still have success with IVF. A failed round of IVF is often attributed to:

  • Inadequate ovarian response due to an issue with hormones or the ovarian follicles
  • Low egg or embryo quality caused by a genetic defect, older maternal age, early menopause, or other factors
  • An embryo’s difficulty implanting in the uterus

Success with IVF depends on a variety of factors. After a failed IVF cycle, your fertility specialist will work with you to determine why it wasn’t successful, and what adjustments should be made before trying again.

Some of those changes may include modifications to medications or considering the use of donor eggs.

Increase or Improve Your IVF Success Rate

As noted previously, many factors of IVF are out of your control, but there are a few things you can manage that will potentially increase your pregnancy chances.

A fertility specialist will recommend that you maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and stop smoking to help with IVF success.

While there’s no specific fertility diet, nutrition research shows there are fertility enhancing foods. Some fertility specialists recommend the best diet for IVF success to include healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins, and large servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you’re trying to improve your fertility through diet, be sure to focus on fresh, natural foods, but don’t feel bad at all about a piece of cake or dessert — having a balanced diet is important to both your health and your mood, since stress is associated with infertility.

Stress is directly linked to overall health, which influences the effectiveness of treatments such as IVF.

Other anecdotally successful methods include special diets, teas and herbal supplements, though many fertility specialists believe these diet additions have such varying results that they’re not a surefire tool in achieving pregnancy.

Most fertility specialists will recommend that you keep taking a prenatal vitamin while undergoing IVF to ensure that your body has enough folic acid (which helps prevent a variety of birth defects).

It’s important to discuss any supplements you are taking with your reproductive endocrinologist so that they have a full understanding of potential interactions with any fertility medications you are prescribed.

What is IVF?

IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology that allows a woman to become pregnant despite having fertility conditions that make achieving pregnancy difficult.

Having been around since the late 1970s and becoming more and more popular in recent decades, IVF is one of a handful of fertility procedures that can help a woman become pregnant, and carry and give birth to a child.

The process is based on harvesting a woman’s eggs, externally fertilizing them, and transferring the embryos to a woman’s uterus, where they develop into a fetus.

IVF is one of the most commonly used fertility procedures that women and couples turn to when they want to start or expand their family but are facing infertility.

Stages of IVF Treatment

IVF is a multi-step process. The precise steps you will need (or elect) to take vary from family to family.

In general, IVF treatment includes harvesting eggs and sperm, fertilizing the egg in a laboratory to create an embryo and planting the embryo in a uterus and/or freezing them for later use.

In preparation for IVF treatment, women usually go through fertility treatments with medications and injections to increase the likelihood of success.

From start to embryo implantation, the typical IVF cycle lasts six to eight weeks and includes the following stages:

  • Fertility medication (stimulating the ovaries)
  • Trigger injection (injection of medicine that induces the final maturation stage of eggs)
  • Egg and sperm collection
  • Embryo growth in lab
  • Embryo implantation

Starting IVF Treatment

IVF treatment begins long before your first medical procedure. In fact, one might argue that even as you read this article you’ve begun the emotional and intellectual preparation for IVF treatment.

Creating a research-backed foundation for your choice to move forward with IVF is just the foundation you need to feel comfortable with such a big decision.

The first step to starting IVF is to ask lots of questions, explore your options and focus on making a decision that is wholly right for you.