How Much Have IVF Success Rates Changed The Past 10 Years (and Why)
IVF success rates are a very important statistic to pay attention to when reviewing your respective fertility clinics. There are several places you can go to study IVF success rates, including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Assisted Reproductive Technologies homepage, as well as the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) Clinic Summary Report. Both organizations maintain meticulous records regarding the IVF success rates of reporting clinics and how those rates break down according to categories, such as specific infertility diagnoses, age, frozen or fresh embryos, non-donor and donor eggs, etc.
IVF Success Rates Continue To Trend In an Upwards Direction
If you take the time to evaluate these statistics over the past 10 years, you will see that the number of IVF cycles resulting in a live birth continues to trend in an upwards direction. In 2003, just under 21% of all IVF cycles using non-donor eggs resulted in live births. By 2012, that number jumped to just over 22%. While this leap of 1+ percent may not seem like a lot, in fact, it is indicative of how continuous research and innovation in regards to endocrinology and assisted reproductive technologies are able to help a growing number of adults with infertility issues become parents.
There are several reasons why IVF success rates are experiencing a slower increase in success rates than you might like to see, one of which is related to the age brackets of participating women. As with natural fertility and conception, age matters. The older you are when you begin your IVF cycles, the lower your chances are for a successful live birth.
In “the beginning of IVF”, circa 1980s, the bulk of the women using IVF were in their 20s or early 30s and were diagnosed with medical conditions that caused infertility, most notably non-functioning fallopian tubes. As the years have progressed, and women have waited longer to get married and start families, we are seeing an increased number of women in their later 30s and early 40s who are using IVF to treat age-related infertility. This can tweak the success rates a bit because IVF success rates fall dramatically in women over the age of 30 who opt to use their own eggs.
Women in Higher Age Brackets Experience a Higher Rate of IVF Success by Using Donor Eggs
Remember we said that the 22% of IVF cycles using non-donor eggs were successful? Compare that with the fact that in 2003 40% of all IVF cycles using donor eggs resulted in live births, and in 2012 nearly 47% of IVF cycles using donor eggs resulted in live births. These represent large leaps in success rates, the bulk of which reflect the age of the viable egg in question. Fertility specialists have found that the younger the egg, the more likely the chances of IVF success – regardless of whose egg it is.
For this reason, we often recommend that women in their later 30s and into their 40s seriously consider using donor eggs, especially if they can only afford a single round of IVF treatments. The highest IVF success rates are always found in the lowest egg age bracket and by using fresh embryos for transplant.
Another thing to keep in mind as you review IVF success rates between clinics is that some clinics refuse IVF treatment to women who are less likely to experience conception and a live birth in order to keep their numbers up. If you feel drawn to a particular clinic but are concerned about their success rates, it’s worth scheduling a consultation so they can answer questions about their statistics. You may find that those are the same clinics willing to go the extra mile to help you and your partner conceive.
For more information about IVF cycles and success rates, contact RRC today
Image source: IVF/wikipedia/blausen.com
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RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.