IVF Success Rates

Our patients have experienced a considerable amount of success in our IVF program. The data below are reported as percentages and are categorized by age of the female partner. These percentages represent take-home baby rates. To give a better idea of expected delivery rates, we have combined all data reported to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) since 2006.

A couple of comments about success rates. There has been concern that the current practice of freezing all embryos for later use may be twisting the reported pregnancy rates. I use the term twisting because pregnancy rates could go up or down depending on who gets a transfer and who has all their embryos frozen. If all embryos are frozen, the cycle may disappear from the report. If good patients (lots of eggs) had their embryos frozen and bad patients (few eggs) had their embryos transferred (because there were not enough good ones to freeze or to biopsy) it would make the fresh transfer rate lower and the frozen rate higher. The reverse could also happen. Good patients might transfer because they have plenty to freeze and can try frozen transfer later if needed while poor patients might freeze all to collect lots of embryos so they could use them when they were older. Since we only freeze good embryos, the women with few but good embryos would disappear from the fresh transfers but those with no good embryos to freeze would stay with the fresh transfers even though they did not have a transfer and would be recorded as a failed cycle. There are many programs were over 90% of women freeze all of their embryos, usually because they are having genetic testing done on them. This brings up another problem. If most of the frozen transfers in a center have been biopsied and shown to be genetically normal, that program should have exceptionally high delivery rates with frozen transfers. In our program, only about 10% of couple have the embryos tested so that will not result in any significant improvement in our delivery rates.

So, how to make the reporting better? The ideal report would be one that showed you how many women had babies from one egg retrieval adding the fresh transfer and the frozen embryo transfer(s). Problem is that it canít be done in an easy fashion. But that is what will start with the 2014 report. Remember that embryos made in 2014 may be transferred in 2015 or 2016 or many years later. The reports only cover one calendar year. Looking at the preliminary 2014 reports is very confusing. Even though it is our data, we cannot tell how we did by looking at the report. I cannot tell how other programs are doing. Despite the substantial effort put into this problem, the resulting report is virtually impossible to interpret. We will attempt to continue to keep a summary posted, and the year to year reports are available at SART and the CDC.

Are pregnancy rates higher with frozen embryos? Answer: it depends. Our number suggest that they are pretty close to each other. Others have reported better pregnancy rates with frozen compared to fresh. One of the largest programs in the country says it depends on how you stimulate the ovaries. If you overdo it, the pregnancy rates with fresh fall and delivery rates are better with frozen. If you do a more moderate stimulation to get fewer eggs, delivery rates are equal. So many programs (like ours) encourage these couples with too many eggs to freeze all and not transfer because it is safer for the mother and she is more likely to become a mother if we transfer frozen embryos. By the way, when we do this the reporting systems reports this as a not pregnant/failed cycle. This is one of the reporting problems that the new system hoped to correct.

2006 through 2013

Fresh Cycles

  < Age 35 35-37 38-40 41-42 >42
Number of cycle starts 255 118 79 38 23
% delivered per cycle starts 52.8% 42.4% 25.3% 13.2% 17.4%
Average number of embryos transferred 1.8  1.8 2.3 2.9 3.2


Frozen Embryo Cycles

  < Age 35 35-37 38-40 41-42 >42
Number of cycle starts 49 32 16 4 4
% delivered per transfer 51.0 43.8% 6/16 1/4 1/4
Average number of embryos transferred 1.6 1.6 1.8 2 2

SART Statement
The data presented in this report should not be used for comparing clinics. Clinics may have differences in patient selection, treatment approaches, and cycle reporting practices which may inflate or lower pregnancy rates relative to another clinic. Please discuss this with your doctor.

CDC Statement
Comparison of success rates across clinics may not be meaningful. Patient medical characteristics and treatment approaches vary.

Prior performance does not guarantee future performance.

Please contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have about IVF.



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