How Successful is IVF Treatment?

How Successful is IVF Treatment?

Given the high cost of a single cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is normal for a couple to reconsider their decision to undergo it. Most often, such couples end up thinking whether IVF will work for them. But the good news is that IVF does work as a technique. It is generally successful for women aged below 35 and those who decide to use donor eggs. On the flip side, the chances of successful conception in the first cycle of IVF is low. For all age groups of women, the odds of giving birth to a baby over three cycles of IVF is around 34 to 42 percent.

However, that does not mean that a woman cannot get pregnant in the first cycle of IVF. While for some women it just takes one attempt, others may take as many as five to six attempts to be able to conceive successfully. Some women, sadly, are not able to conceive no matter how many cycles of IVF they undergo. The overall success of IVF depends on various factors. For example, it depends on the age of the female partners and the quality of the eggs that she produces. Additionally, it also depends on the quality of the sperms with respect to their structure, motility, and mobility.


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Overall, IVF treatment is a successful technique in itself. It has enabled millions of couples from around the world to conceive a baby and give birth to it without any complications. Thanks to advanced technological tools and other advancements in the field of infertility treatment, even women aged 40 and above are now able to get pregnant and give birth. This is why an increasing number of celebrities and other career-oriented women are not in favor of delayed motherhood.

Factors Affecting Success of IVF

The factors that affect the success of IVF are of prime interest for any couple who are planning to give it a shot. There are several factors that may hinder you from getting pregnant through IVF. Some of these factors are explained below.

Age of the female partner

The quantity and the quality of eggs in a woman’s ovarian reserve decrease with an increase in age. The younger the women, the better is the quality of her ovarian reserve. It is estimated that two-thirds of the eggs of a woman in her 20s are genetically normal and available for use in the future. Whereas for a 35-year-old and 40-year-old woman, only 40 to 50 and 10 to 20 percent of the eggs are genetically normal, respectively.

This is the reason why even healthier women who are above 35 are less fertile than other healthier women who are less than 35 years of age. The following table highlights the overall probability of liver birth using IVF in different age groups of women.

Female age group

Live birth rate per retrieval (%)



35 to 37


38 to 40


41 to 42





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History of previous pregnancies

The IVF success rates are higher if the female partner has been pregnant before with the same male partner with whom she is undergoing IVF. On the other hand, a history of repeated miscarriage or spontaneous abortion or a different partner may, on the other hand, may reduce the chances of IVF success.

Use of donor eggs

Women aged above 35 especially those aged between 40 and 43 are recommended to use donor eggs. This is because then there are greater chances of IVF success. The doctor may ask the couple to opt for donor eggs with better quality so as to improve the chances of conception during the IVF cycle.

Women aged 40 and above who decide to use donor eggs have been scientifically proved to show 53.5 percent live births per cycle with fresh embryos. The success rate when using frozen embryos, on the other hand, is around 38.5 percent.

Lifestyle factors

Weight issues and smoking are the two independent factors that decrease the success of IVF.  Both overweight or obese and underweight women are at a greater risk of experiencing IVF failure. Therefore, staying within the healthy range is the best a woman could do to increase her chances of conception during an IVF cycle.

Many women are advised to stop smoking at least three months before the first IVF attempt. Women who smoke have lower implantation rate than their non-smoking counterparts. Additionally, they require higher doses of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Such women also experience a greater number of failed fertilization cycles. Therefore, they are more likely to undergo a greater number of IVF attempts.

Type of fertility issue

Some males suffer from fertility issues, which may hamper the success of IVF. Additionally, specific female fertility issues such as fibroid tumor and uterine abnormality also decrease the chances of IVF success.

The chances of IVF success is also less in women who suffer from ovarian dysfunction. High FSH levels, which indicates low ovarian reserve, is one such dysfunction that lowers IVF success. Such women often need greater doses of ovulation stimulation drugs.

 Experience and expertise of the fertility specialist

Your fertility specialist will play a leading role during the entire process. He or she will not only conduct the procedure but also provide you emotional and psychological support throughout the IVF journey. Therefore, you must choose the specialist carefully. An IVF specialist who holds qualification and experience is bound to deliver greater IVF success rates.

Quality of fertility clinic

The quality of the clinic that you choose for infertility treatment has a great impact on IVF success. The fertility center that you choose must be accredited and recognized by an official body. Additionally, the laboratory where all the IVF steps are performed must possess the latest tools and technology and a suitable environment.

You should also plan to scrutinize the type of patients that have come to the clinic in the past and take a note of their age and the fertility problem. You can ask the clinic representative about the number of cases they have handled so far. Also, ask about the rate of IVF success maintained at the clinic.

Length of infertility

The length of infertility also has an impact on IVF success. For example, the longer the time frame a couple has been infertile, the lower are the chances of IVF success.


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Last modified on blank at Oct 08, 2019


Guneet Bhatia

Guneet Bhatia is an avid reader, healthcare writer, and is currently Director of Patient Care Department, MediGence. She has also been featured on many prominent Healthcare portals such as IBTimes, HCIT Expert, Clinician Today.


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