Probability of Success with IVF Treatments


The probability of success with IVF treatments depends upon a number of factors, such as the age of the woman, the cause of infertility, the quality of eggs retrieved and the quality of the semen.

“The single most consistent variable affecting ovarian reserve is the woman’s age. This is because a woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. In most women in their 20s about 3/4 of the eggs are genetically normal. However, there will be some that are genetically abnormal. It appears that the best eggs are ovulated first. The older a woman is, the fewer genetically normal eggs she has left to respond to fertility drugs. This age relationship holds true even in the fertile population. At age 35 about 40-50% of eggs are chromosomally normal, at age 40 about 10-20% and then much fewer after that. Therefore, in older women fewer normal embryos are available for implantation into the uterus. Hence, healthy women over 35 are less fertile than their younger counterparts. Women 40 and over may have only a 20% or lower live birth rate with IVF treatment using their own eggs, even though several embryos are replaced into the uterus.” Read more… – Gail F. Whitman-Elia, MD, MPH, HCLD

The national averages (2016) show the following probabilities:

Female age Live birth rate per retrieval
< 35 41.3%
35-37 31.7%
38-40 21.6%
41-42 10.6%
> 42 3.4%

The success rate for having a baby depends a great deal upon the type of treatment e.g. are the woman’s own eggs being used, use of donor eggs, the age of the woman, especially if the woman is older than 38.

You will see in the table below that the probability of successfully having a baby increases considerably with a donor.

Treatment type Live birth per transfer
Donor eggs 50.7%

For more information on success probabilities please view www.sart.org.

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