The probability that a woman under the age of 35 will become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) on the very first attempt (that is, the very first egg retrieval) is approximately 55 percent on a national scale. However, as the woman ages, that number decreases in a steady fashion.
According to Mark P. Trolice, M.D., founder of The IVF CenterSM, who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and is board-certified in both of those fields, “Over 275,000 cycles of IVF have performed annually across the country.” Patients frequently inquire about the success rate of IVF on the very first attempt, making this one of the most frequent questions that he is asked.
At The IVF CenterSM, Dr. Trolice and his team adhere to the philosophy that the success rate of the IVF procedure is reliant on the combined efforts of both the clinical and laboratory staff. Remembering this is of the utmost significance. Why? Because, as pointed out by Verywell Family, “the high cost of IVF, in addition to the psychological distress experienced by couples, makes it difficult to go through multiple IVF cycles.” One study found a correlation between increased anxiety and waiting longer to become pregnant while undergoing IVF treatment. In order to address this issue, Dr. Trolice and his team ensure that a clinical specialist is on call around the clock, and they also employ a full-time reproductive health psychologist who is available to answer questions and offer emotional support.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures performed has more than doubled in the past ten years. IVF is responsible for the conception of approximately 1.9 percent of all babies born each year. However, the percentage of patients who experience positive outcomes following one of these procedures can differ significantly between medical centers. How can you make sure that the fertility team you choose will give you the best chance of having a successful outcome with your IVF procedure?
Here is what you need to know about in vitro fertilization, how the procedure works, and your real world chances of it working on the first cycle. A cycle is defined as an egg retrieval and the complete use of all embryos during fresh or frozen embryo transfer attempts. Here is what you need to know about IVF, how the procedure works, and your real world chances of it working on the first cycle.
How Does IVF Work?
IVF is a highly complicated procedure with a series of steps, and a few different medications, to help with fertility and the conception of a child. IVF requires a doctor to retrieve mature eggs from the ovaries of a woman during a minor office procedure while she is under intravenous sedation. Those eggs are fertilized by sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized embryo is then transferred to the uterus – a single blastocyst embryo is recommended for transfer in women less than 38 and for all women when the embryo is determined to be chromosomally normal.
Once the patient’s health is cleared and the process starts, there are basically five steps within IVF:
- The woman’s eggs are stimulated to grow and mature by daily injectable fertility drugs
- The eggs are removed in a minor surgical procedure called a follicular aspiration
- Sperm will be collected from your donor or partner
- Insemination of the eggs by sperm occurs in the lab
- About three to five days after fertilization, the doctor will place the embryo into the uterus while extra unused embryos are frozen for subsequent transfer. (In good responding patients, all embryos are frozen since studies have shown higher success in these patients with frozen thaw embryo transfer.
There are many cycle options with the IVF process:
- Standard (insemination of intended parents egg with intended parent sperm)
- Donor sperm (insemination of intended parent egg with donor sperm)
- Embryo donation (transfer of non-biologically related embryo)
- Egg donation (sperm of the intended parent inseminates donor eggs for the intended parent to carry the pregnancy or through the use of a gestational carrier)
- Gestational carrier (a non-intended parent who carries a non-biologically related embryo)
IVF increases your chances of getting pregnant if you’re having fertility problems. There is an emotional, physical, and financial burden that goes along with IVF and other fertility treatment procedures. It makes sense to look at some of the factors affecting the success rate of IVF before considering IVF.
What Factors Impact the Success of IVF?
- The quantity and quality of the eggs/embryo
- The quantity and quality of sperm
- The stimulation protocols and the timing of ovulation
- For implantation, the receptivity of the endometrium, or lining of the uterus
- The ease of the embryo transfer process
There are multiple tests that fertility doctors conduct to determine the reproductive and physical health of the IVF patients. Dr. Trolice says, “The evaluation of the woman prior to IVF ensures that her uterine anatomy is normal. We also assess her ovarian age through a hormone test called AMH or antimullerian hormone.” Ovarian age helps doctors determine the amount of fertility medications to use during the IVF cycle.
The chronological age of the woman also significantly impacts the quality of the egg and embryo. As women get older, there is a more rapid loss of their endowment of eggs. It starts to become more challenging beginning at around 32 years old. The success rates decline to around 13% by the time the woman reaches age 40.
The chances of conceiving through the IVF procedure are higher if the patient(s) have had a successful pregnancy in the past. If the woman has a fertility issue like fibroid tumors, or uterine abnormalities, IVF may be less likely to work. There are also lifestyle issues that will negatively impact the success rate of IVF, mainly cigarette smoking. Additionally, vaping, alcohol/drug use, and an elevated body mass index can impair pregnancy success.
How to Find the Right Fertility Team
To find the right fertility clinic, look closely at their success rates with the IVF procedure. You can look up fertility clinics on the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) website to see their outcome statistics as well as an estimate of your cumulative success of a baby from one to three cycles. You can also look on the clinic’s website for patient testimonials. Make sure the clinic doctors are board-certified in R reproductive endocrinologistsEndocrinology and Infertility and members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). SART demonstrating adherence to the highest standards in IVF.
To find out more about the team at The IVF centres and how we can help you achieve your dream, contact us online anytime to schedule an appointment.
How Long Does it Take To Get Pregnant After Starting IVF?
How long does it take to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization? Approximately one month and a half are required for each IVF cycle. About half of all women under the age of 35 who undergo their first IVF egg retrieval and subsequent embryo transfer(s) will subsequently become pregnant and have a child as a result of the procedure.
As the most commonly performed assisted reproductive technology (ART) used worldwide by couples trying to have a baby, it is not surprising there are lots and lots of questions about in vitro fertilization (IVF)!
We’ve selected the top questions asked on-line, to answer:
- What is IVF treatment and how does it work?
- Is (the) IVF procedure painful?
- How long does it take to get pregnant with IVF?
What is IVF treatment and how does it work?
In vitro fertilization is the most effective, commonly performed infertility treatment in the world.
IVF is a sequence of procedures that involves fertilization of an egg outside a woman’s body in a specialized lab. It is often performed after other methods of trying to get pregnant have failed.
To begin, fertility drugs are usually prescribed to help stimulate egg development. Even if a woman has no problem with ovulation, the drugs help produce more than a single egg which improves the pregnancy rate. Generally, 10 to 20 eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a small needle. Healthy, mature eggs are mixed with a special medium and sperm in a specialized lab to fertilize the eggs. On average, about two-thirds of the eggs retrieved are sufficiently mature to fertilize.
There are two ways to fertilize an egg: conventional insemination, where the egg and sperm are combined in a petri dish with a special medium and then incubated. The other option is intra-cytoplasmic injection (ICSI) where the sperm is injected into the egg using a needle and sophisticated operative microscope. ICSI is used approximately 70% of the time when fertilization is less likely due to factors such as poor semen quality or previous IVF failure.
Your IVF team (physicians and embryologists) will decide which approach to use based on multiple factors related to the couple going through IVF. Both methods have approximately the same success rate.
Once embryos have developed, they are examined and graded by an embryo specialist. A top-graded embryo is selected for transfer; remaining good-quality embryos may be frozen for later use. The embryo transfer usually takes place 5 or 6 days after egg retrieval, but occasionally earlier on day 2 or 3. A single embryo is usually transferred to the uterus to avoid a multiple pregnancy which carries greater risk of complications for babies and mothers. Hopefully, within a day or two, the embryo hatches and implants to the uterine lining where it continues to develop into a fetus.
About 12 days after an embryo transfer, a blood pregnancy test will be performed and If a pregnancy is confirmed, you’ll be followed with blood tests and eventually, ultrasounds, to confirm viability and whether there’s a multiple pregnancy. If the pregnancy appears normal at 9-10 weeks, you’ll be referred back to your obstetrician!
To learn more detail about the entire process, please see our blog How is IVF Done- Step-by-Step?
Now, for the rest of your top questions:
Is (the) IVF procedure painful?
There are a few steps in the IVF process that may cause minor discomfort as described below. It is very unusual to have more than minor pain.
Most fertility medications are administered by injection. Today, they use an easy-to-administer technology – like a pen – that is an improvement over those given a few years ago
Egg retrieval is a surgical procedure to remove the eggs from your ovaries. A small needle is used, going through the top of the vagina into one ovary and then the other. An anesthesiologist will closely monitor your sedation via an IV and you shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort during the less than 30 minute process.
You may feel some minor cramping the day of the procedure which is usually gone the next day. There may be a feeling of fullness and/or pressure due to expanded ovaries from the ovarian stimulation which may last for a few weeks.
Embryo transfer uses a soft, flexible, and thin catheter to transfer the embryo into the uterus. An abdominal ultrasound makes sure the tip of the catheter places the embryo at the best location for the embryo to implant. Pain and discomfort are rare, and the experience has been compared to how it feels to get a pap smear.
How long does it take to get pregnant with IVF?
One cycle of IVF takes about two months. Women younger than age 35 will get pregnant and have a baby with their first IVF egg retrieval and subsequent embryo transfer(s) about half the time.
Women who don’t get pregnant following the first IVF cycle still have very good chances of getting pregnant on second, third and even more cycles of IVF. There are many factors that affect your ability to get pregnant and have a healthy baby using IVF. Your doctor can usually give you reasons why you are not getting pregnant and explain your chances to have a baby with IVF.
Age is the factor that most affects IVF success rates. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Clinic Report, the average percentages of live birth from IVF by age are:
- 9% for women under age 35
- 2% for women age 35-37
- 0% for women age 38-40
- 6% for women age 40-42
- 9% for women over the age of 42
In addition to these statistics, it’s important to note that the cumulative success rate for a live birth increases with additional IVF cycles for all women. However, the success rate still remains lower for older women. Also, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently observed that the IVF success rate for every age category has been increasing in the last few years as techniques and experience advance,
You should also be able to ask any fertility clinic about their IVF success rates. Keep in mind, clinic success rates vary based on the characteristics of their patients and individualization of patient care so this should probably not be the only factor you consider when selecting a fertility clinic.
Many couples are not successful the first time going through IVF and continuing with additional IVF cycles often involves purchasing a separate cycle of treatment each time it doesn’t work. While most patients choose to finance their treatment one cycle at a time, selecting a multicycle plan offers more chances for IVF success and at a lower cost per cycle.
Success with ARC Fertility
ARC Fertility is dedicated to making sure all couples facing infertility have the opportunity to try IVF. As a result, we’ve developed different multicycle treatment programs and a refund option. That means couples can afford several cycle attempts and receive a refund on any used cycles. To learn more about these options and read New York Times coverage of fertility refund programs, click here.
ARC Fertility offers different programs for different needs; one of our concierge fertility specialists can help you determine if one our programs might work for your situation. The Two-Cycle Plus treatment package offers 4 chances to get pregnant with 2 egg retrievals and up to 4 embryo (fresh or frozen) transfers. The Three-Cycle Plus treatment package offers 6 chances to get pregnant with 3 retrievals and up to 6 embryo transfers.
Services included with the multicycle programs are based upon the usual type and number of services needed during an average IVF cycle: office visits, ultrasounds and blood work required for up to two (or three) cycles, along with the use of any frozen embryos obtained during the retrievals for a total of up to 4 (or 6) embryo transfers (fresh and/or frozen) depending on which treatment package is selected.
Clinical care is provided following the cycle until a serum pregnancy test is performed. Obstetrical and other medical services are not covered as part of this program. If a pregnancy loss occurs during the benefit period, additional infertility services are provided through the balance of the time period, up to the maximum of services. The occurrence of a live birth completes and ends the treatment.
Just as there’s no one path on any infertility journey, there are options to choose from as you pursue your goal of having a healthy baby. Be sure to discuss these important issues with your doctor or specialist.