Is Infertility Treatment With IVF Always Successful?

Infertility treatment with IVF

Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination  in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure; only about 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. However, since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.

How successful is treatment of infertility with IVF?

Given the high cost of IVF, you’re probably wondering if IVF will work for you. The good news is that IVF is generally successful, especially for women under age 35 and those using donor eggs. For women of all ages, the odds of a live birth are between 34 and 42 percent over three cycles. The success rates are generally reported according to the woman’s age since as a woman gets older, the IVF success rates go down if she’s using her own eggs. According to statistics from 2014 to 2016 Live Births per Egg Retrieval are as following:

  • For women younger than 35, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval is 54.4 percent.
  • For women ages 35 to 37, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval is 42 percent.
  • For women ages 38 to 40, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval is 26.6 percent.
  • For women ages 41 to 42, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval is 13.3 percent.
  • For women ages 43 and up, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval is 3.9 percent.

As you can see, IVF success goes down significantly after age 40. For this reason, most women 40 and up use donor eggs.

Which kind of infertilities are treated by IVF?

When it comes to infertility, IVF may be an option if you or your partner have been diagnosed with:

  • Endometriosis
  • Low sperm counts
  • Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Problems with ovulation
  • Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs
  • The inability of sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus
  • An unexplained fertility problem

What are the risks of IVF?

IVF doesn’t always result in pregnancy, and it can be both physically and emotionally demanding. You should be offered counselling to help you through the process. There are also a number of health risks involved, including:

  • side effects from the medications used during treatment, such as headaches
  • multiple births: this can be dangerous for both the mother and the children
  • an ectopic pregnancy: where the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes, rather than in the womb
  • ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): where too many eggs develop in the ovaries


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