Success rates for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) vary and depend on many factors such as:
- Age of the partners
- Cause of infertility
- The clinic
- Type of ART
- Egg (fresh or frozen)
- Embryo (fresh or frozen)
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) collects success rates on ART for some . Due to the Wyden Act, passed by Congress in the 1990s, it requires all IVF clinics to report their pregnancy rates to the CDC. According to the 2003 CDC report on ART, the average percentage of ART cycles that led to a healthy baby were as follows:
- 37.3% in women under the age of 35
- 30.2% in women aged 35-37
- 20.2% in women aged 37-40
- 11.0% in women aged 41-42
ART can be expensive and time-consuming. But it has allowed many couples to have children that otherwise would not have been conceived.
Dr. Sam Thatcher, a fertility specialist explains, “Over the last several years, pregnancy rates have significantly improved and most centers and couples are enjoying the benefits of greater chances of success. The two largest obstacles that we now face are not pregnancy rate, but access to therapy and limitation of number of embryos transferred and thus multiple pregnancy rates. Both could be easily solved in a cost-effective way by universal coverage by insurance of infertility and assisted reproduction and by limiting the number of embryos replaced to two.
“In reality, there is probably little that separates most ART centers. No center can guarantee a pregnancy. No center can precisely predict chances of success. Should we not start to downplay the business and mechanistic side of ART and concentrate on sound, individualized, cost-effective patient care in well-respected and proven centers? In the final analysis, there can be no substitute for an informed consumer, frank conversation, and a sound doctor-patient relationship.”