Considering in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Then it’s important to learn about IVF success factors that can help or hinder your getting pregnant.
IVF Success Factor 1 – Age
Your age and using your own eggs are important IVF success factors to consider. While younger women have higher chances of IVF success, factors that reduce the chances of IVF success include being an older womanwith fewer eggs and the lower quality of an older woman’s eggs.
In fact, the live birth IVF success rate for women under 35 who start an IVF cycle is 40 percent. However, women over age 42 have a 4 percent success rate.
IVF Success Factor 2 – Previous pregnancy
More IVF success factors to think about include whether or not you were pregnant previously and if it was with the same partner.
If you were pregnant previously with the same partner that’s currently undergoing IVF treatment, there is a greater probability of IVF success. Factors such as a history of recurrent miscarriage or a different partner may reduce the chances of IVF success.
IVF Success Factor 3 – Type of fertility problems
While some male infertility problems do impact IVF success, factors like uterine abnormalities, exposure to DES or fibroid tumors also decrease the likelihood of success with IVF.
Very important to know: IVF success factors are dependent on ovulation. Ovarian dysfunction, like high FSH levels which indicate a low ovarian reserve, may reduce the chances of IVF success. Factors that may lower pregnancy rates and reduce success with IVF include needing large amounts of ovulation stimulation drugs.
When both partners are infertile with lower chances for IVF success, factors such as the length of time you have been infertile is important to consider. The chances of IVF success decrease with the amount of time a couple has been infertile.
IVF Success Factor 4 – Use of donor eggs
Donor eggs are a significant consideration, especially if you are over 35-40, as there may be a higher rate of IVF success. Factors such as egg quality and age of donor are important. Using donor eggs from younger women may increase the chances of pregnancy for women over 40. 2011 findings show a 55 percent live birth success rate with a fresh donor egg/embryo transfer.
IVF Success Factor 5 – Lifestyle habits
Stop smoking if you want to improve your chance of having a baby. In fact, many times the woman is required to stop smoking at least 3 months before starting IVF treatment.
- Smokers require higher dosages of fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries
- Smokers have lower implantation rates than nonsmokers
- Women who smoke require almost twice as many IVF attempts
- Women who smoke experience more failed fertilization cycles
More IVF success factors to mull over include losing weight if you are overweight or obese. Women who are overweight have an increased risk of infertility as well as miscarriage. Overweight women also have less IVF success with fertility treatments than women of normal weight. Underweight women are also at greater risk of having success with IVF. Bottom line: aim to stay within a healthy weight range.
IVF Success Factor 6 – Fertility clinic
The center you choose to perform the IVF treatment can greatly affect your IVF success. Factors to think about when reviewing the success rate of fertility centers include:
- The training and experience of the IVF clinic and staff
- The live birth rate per IVF cycles started
- The rate of patients pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more)
- The laboratory used by the clinic and the qualifications of their staff
- The types of patients accepted at the clinic, more specifically their age and fertility problem
Keep in mind that some clinics are more willing to accept patients with a lower chance of IVF success or they may specialize in particular treatments.
Know your IVF success factors as you plan to get pregnant
Remember, just as with any chronic illness, knowledge is power with infertility. The more you learn about specific IVF success factors, the more control you will feel about high-tech treatments that help you get pregnant and start a family.
- American Pregnancy Association: In vitro Fertilization: IVF
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology: Clinic Summary Report
- IntegraMed: IVF Success Rates: The IVF Success Rate Odds: