What Is IVF Success Rate? Important Things To Consider

Fertility clinics use the term IVF success rate to talk about how successful treatment is. But the term actually refers to a number of things. IVF success rates track each outcome of IVF, from implantation to live birth.

People look at IVF success rate when they want to know how likely it will be to have a baby. IVF success rates vary in very big ways, especially when it comes to age. For this reason, consider all of the factors when it comes to IVF success, not just age. Consider the type of IVF, the clinic, and the diagnosis, too.

Take the time to learn about IVF success rate, which rates matter most, and how to use the rates. On the other hand, avoid relying too much on these rates. Why? Because IVF success rates are statistics; they apply to large groups of people, but not individuals.

This article covers IVF success rates in detail as a guide to understanding IVF treatment and outcomes.

Various Types of IVF Success Rates

Every year, fertility clinics send their success rates to the CDC for reporting. Please note that not all clinics do this, but they should. When clinics report the results from their IVF treatments, people can get a better idea of how well IVF will work for them.

While certain clinics may come up with their own types of success rates, the CDC publishes some  important rates:

  • Transfer Rate
  • Transfers Per Retrieval rate
  • Live Birth Rate
  • Singleton Live Birth Rate

Additionally, it also have different rates for ages, donor eggs or embryos and non-donor eggs and embryos. As a result, IVF success rates vary according to the fertility situation.

In order to come up with these rates, clinics track additional numbers, including cycles and retrievals. Most of these success rates are based on number of transfers.

What is a transfer? When a fertility specialist places an embryo inside the uterus, a transfer takes place. Clinics call this procedure embryo transfer. All things considered, specialists consider the embryo transfer procedure most important. If a transfer fails, IVF cannot be successful.

In other words, in order to have successful IVF, the specialist must complete a successful transfer. That is why transfers make up the basis for most of the success rates.

IVF Success Rate Definitions

IVF Success Rate and General Definition
Transfer RateThe number of transfers per 100 cycles.
Transfers Per Retrieval rateThe estimated number of transfers per retrieval, on average.
Live Birth RateThe number of  deliveries of one or more living infants per 100 transfers.
Singleton Live Birth RateThe number of deliveries of singleton infants per 100 transfers.

Keep in mind that an embryo transfer is the most critical part of the IVF process. Without a successful transfer, implantation cannot happen.

Transfers per retrieval takes the transfer rate a step further. This rate can help shed light on a clinic’s success with fertilization. For instance, a retrieval could in 12 viable eggs, but none may successfully fertilize in order to be ready for transfer. Unfortunately, that situation dramatically impacts transfers per retrieval rate. On the other hand, this rate is impacted by other decisions, including the decision to freeze the eggs for transfer later.

Understanding Live Birth Rates

There are two basic rates: live birth rate and singletons live birth rate. These two IVF success rates are the most commonly used.

By and large, clinics and patients consider live birth rate the single most important IVF success rate. Ultimately, women use IVF to have a baby. Therefore, that is the most important outcome. At the end of the day, women and couples want to know one thing: will IVF improve their chances of having a healthy baby?

Live birth rates vary by clinic, but more importantly, they vary by age and diagnosis.

live birth rates by age

As shown, the younger the woman undergoing IVF, the higher the live birth rates. The reverse is also true. When fresh, non-donor eggs are used, IVF success rates are higher with younger women.

For this reason, clinics may show additional data or provide varied live birth rates for women of all ages. However, modifying or manipulating an IVF success rate is a bad practice. Clinics and fertility specialists should always provide realistic, raw IVF numbers to women and couples. That way, people can make informed decisions and take risks they are comfortable taking.

Live births vs stillbirths

Live birth as a term isn’t specific to fertility. All births recorded and tracked are either live, or not (stillbirth). Please note, though, that IVF itself does not increase the likelihood or decrease the likelihood of a live birth vs a stillbirth. Other fertility factors or complications may make stillbirth a stronger possibility, IVF as a treatment doesn’t factor into this.

Live birth vs cancellations and miscarriages

Consider the fact that live birth is based on transfers, not pregnancies. Additionally, cancellations don’t factor into live births. So, if eggs are retrieved, fertilized, but a specialist does not transfer them, that data doesn’t count. Therefore, cancellations are completely excluded from the live birth rate.

Miscarriage or failed implantation, however, does factor into the live birth rate. If a transfer is successful, but does not result in pregnancy and therefore doesn’t result in a live birth, the live birth rate is impacted. In addition, a miscarriage will impact live birth rate.

For this reason and also for other reasons, many fertility specialists are upfront about the likelihood of failed implantation or miscarriage. If a clinic has a strong reason to believe IVF will not result in pregnancy or conception, they will probably suggest other treatment or options. IVF’s main job is to assist a woman with conception. If other fertility issues would impact her ability to carry a baby to term, the fertility specialist will be clear about that.

How IVF Success Rates Are Determined and Discussed

Clinics calculate specific IVF success rates by taking the total number of a certain event and dividing it by a base number. Specialists get the most commonly used IVF success rate – live birth rate – by dividing total number of live births by total number of transfers.

Reports and website should always tie an IVF success rate to a period of time. For example, a clinic’s 2016 live birth rate should be specified, rather than a general number. If the clinic wants to, it can specify that the live birth rate they are providing is all time/lifetime. However, people considering that particular clinic won’t have good information if the clinic doesn’t provide it.

Several clinics publicly display their IVF success rates on their websites. Clinics post this information upfront and online because that is how many people research clinics before visiting.

Every woman and couple’s fertility circumstances are different. For this reason, the odds of success may be higher or lower than the success rates posted. A good fertility doctor will explain the success rates, but at the same time, provide clarity and insight into a woman’s personal fertility issues.

What To Expect from IVF Clinics

Clinics have very good reason to openly discuss their success rates: they want to attract potential patients! A very good clinic is open about almost everything, from how consultations will work, to what happens after IVF is completed.

Fertility clinics that provide quality treatment and care will do the following:

Share success rates openly. Whether posted online or provided in a document, a high quality fertility clinic openly shares success rates. When a clinic is new, it should provide explanation. That explanation should include a detailed overview of the treatment and expected outcomes.

Discuss individual circumstances. Success rates don’t tell the whole story. Therefore, experienced and well-qualified fertility specialists discuss individual circumstances and personal odds of success. This is the ethical thing to do. Women seeking fertility treatment should always remember that no two fertility situations are exactly the same.

Provide time to consider and compare. Some specialists may apply appropriate amounts of pressure on couples and women to make fertility decisions. Usually, pressure is applied when timing is critical. However, choosing IVF or any other assisted fertility treatment requires time, patience, and research. Emotions play a big role in this process.

Provide options. Regardless of a clinic or specialist’s IVF success rate, they should provide options. IVF treatment is just one type of fertility treatment; there are several others. For some, IVF represents a last resort to getting pregnant, due to the expense. Others opt for IVF right away. Quality fertility clinics offer options, even if they only focus on IVF.

Screen people well (and possibly screen out). Clinics will always schedule a consultation first. No clinic will allow a patient to self-schedule IVF treatment. A fertility specialist will determine whether or not IVF is the best path. Unfortunately, some people seeking IVF treatment may be turned away. If the likelihood of IVF treatment working is too low, most fertility specialists will not move forward with it. Because of this, carefully consider clinics with very high success rates. They may be high because they only work with people who already have good chances of success.

Other Factors for IVF Success to Consider

IVF success rate is NOT the only factor to consider when it comes to selecting a clinic or specialist. It’s also not the only thing to consider when choosing a treatment path. Before making a decision, consider the following.

Number of Rounds/Cycles

Always consider the number of cycles that go into the IVF success rate. Here’s why: it can take several rounds of IVF to achieve an acceptable success rate. Some women and couples cannot afford to do IVF as often as it is necessary to become pregnant.

Be prepared to ask about number of cycles. Quality clinics will always include this data when discussing success rates and what to expect.

Cost of IVF Treatment

IVF treatment expenses can be quite high. For some couples, the treatment is actually cost prohibitive. Loans, gifts, and installment options may cover the cost of treatment. However, it must be coupled with the overall likelihood of success. All too often, couples are saddled with incredible amounts of debt after failed IVF. If possible, consider BOTH the cost of IVF treatment and the success rate before making any decisions.

Procedures, Tests, and Medications

Get in-depth information about the medications used and how each procedure works. Medications can take a huge toll on the body. Sometimes, women express that they did not realize how medications would negatively impact them.

Your Own Prognosis & Odds of Success

In some cases, success rates are lower for the general pool of women than they are for individuals. Talk to your fertility specialist about your own prognosis. Fertility specialists know that some people have a greater chance of success than others. You can use our IVF success calculator to predict success rate. So don’t walk away from a clinic on IVF success rates alone. A high quality clinic and excellent treatment plan can make a massive difference in success.

Additionally, online forums and support groups may provide information to increase the likelihood of success. Women who have been through IVF before can lend insight and tips to help, and they often do. Several bloggers post tips. Always take them with a grain of salt, but don’t discard them completely.

A fertility doctor will also likely provide some guidance on increasing success during all phases of IVF treatment. Ultimately, IVF success rate alone cannot be the sole determining factor.

IVF Success Rates by Ages, Own/Donor Eggs

*The following IVF success rate reports are base on the latest 2017 CDC data with 20 or more transfers.

IVF Success Rates Under 35 with Own Eggs (Nondonor Eggs)

Average live births rate under 35 with own eggs is 47.4% in total 55171 IVF tranfers. Average singleton live births is 38.2% .

IVF Success Rates at 35-37 with own eggs(nondonor eggs)

Average live births rate at 35-37 with own eggs is 42.8% in total 23777 IVF cycles. Average singleton live births is 35.1%.

Clinic NameLive Births at 35-37Singleton Live Births at 35-37Total Transfers at 35-37
BLOOM REPRODUCTIVE INSTITUTE68.341.541
CCRM MINNEAPOLIS67.658.834
COLORADO CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE67.252.7256
IVF PLANO66.733.321
CONCEPTIONS REPRODUCTIVE ASSOCIATES OF COLORADO66.757.184
MID-IOWA FERTILITY, PC66.760.045
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REPRODUCTIVE CENTER65.857.938
WESTERN FERTILITY INSTITUTE65.050.020
REPROMED FERTILITY CENTER65.050.020
ORM FERTILITY64.952.6114
Sum 673
Avg = 66.4 Avg = 51.4 Avg = 67.3

IVF Success Rates at 38-40 wtih own eggs(fresh nondonor eggs)

Average live births rate at 38-40 with own eggs is 35.5% in total 16486 IVF transfers. Average singleton live births is 30.4%.

Clinic NameLive Births at 38-40Singleton Live Births at 38-40Total Transfers at 38-40
CONCEPTIONS REPRODUCTIVE ASSOCIATES OF COLORADO73.567.349
FERTILITY CENTER OF LAS VEGAS64.360.728
COLORADO CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE62.849.1218
REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCE CENTER OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA60.254.5123
ORM FERTILITY59.351.981
UNIVERSITY FERTILITY CONSULTANTS59.251.049
CAROLINAS FERTILITY INSTITUTE58.548.841
HRC FERTILITY-ORANGE COUNTY58.552.482
NEW DIRECTION FERTILITY CENTERS58.347.236
ADVANCED FERTILITY CARE, PLLC58.350.024
Sum 731
Avg = 61.3 Avg = 53.3 Avg = 73.1

IVF Success Rates at 41-42 with own eggs(fresh nondonor eggs)

Average live births rate at 41-42 with own eggs is 27.9% in total 4,389 IVF transfers. Average singleton live births is 25.1%.

IVF Success Rates over 42 with own eggs(fresh nondonor eggs)

Average live births rate over 42 with own eggs is 21.0% in total 734 IVF cycles. Average singleton live births is 19.5%.

Average number of transfers per retrieval (Nondonor eggs, New patients)

Clinic NameAge <35Age 35-37Age 38-40Age 41-42Age ≥43
METROPOLITAN REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE, PC1.82.0
REPRODUCTIVE SPECIALTY CENTER1.61.01.01.01.5
SETH LEVRANT, MD, PC1.50.71.31.0
SHADY GROVE FERTILITY-PENNSYLVANIA1.50.90.90.4
SRM SPOKANE1.51.60.90.50.4
MIDWEST REPRODUCTIVE CENTER, PA1.51.20.7
PROGRAM FOR ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AT ATRIUM HEALTH'S CAROLINAS MEDICAL CENTER1.51.30.60.50.5
BELLINGHAM IVF & INFERTILITY CARE1.51.72.42.01.5
WISCONSIN FERTILITY INSTITUTE1.51.01.00.7
FERTILITY SOLUTIONS, PC1.41.10.90.60.6
Avg = 1.5 Avg = 1.3 Avg = 1.0 Avg = 0.6 Avg = 0.5
Min = 1.4 Min = 0.7 Min = 0.6 Min = 0.6 Min = 0.5
Max = 1.8 Max = 2.0 Max = 2.4 Max = 2.0 Max = 1.5

Fresh Donor Eggs IVF Success Rates Using Fresh Embryos, Fresh egg

Clinic NameFresh Egg Live BirthsFresh Egg Singleton Live BirthsFresh Egg Total Transfers
ADVANCED FERTILITY CENTER OF CHICAGO80.065.735
HOUSTON IVF DBA77.454.831
UCSF CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH76.973.152
DALLAS-FORT WORTH FERTILITY ASSOCIATES75.869.733
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA73.973.923
SAN DIEGO FERTILITY CENTER71.150.038
TEXAS FERTILITY CENTER70.470.427
THE ADVANCED IVF INSTITUTE70.065.020
UTAH FERTILITY CENTER69.656.523
SANTA MONICA FERTILITY69.065.529
Sum 311
Avg = 73.4 Avg = 64.5 Avg = 31.1

Fresh Donor Eggs IVF Success Rates Using Fresh Embryos, Frozen egg

Clinic NameFrozen egg Live BirthsFrozen egg Singleton Live BirthsFrozen egg Total Transfers
ADVANCED FERTILITY CENTER OF CHICAGO71.752.853
REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCE CENTER OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA71.461.921
IVFMD/SOUTH FLORIDA INSTITUTE FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE63.256.676
REPRODUCTIVE CARE CENTER60.654.533
REPRODUCTIVE RESOURCE CENTER OF GREATER KANSAS CITY60.056.730
ZOUVES FERTILITY CENTER59.145.522
DAMIEN FERTILITY PARTNERS56.044.025
SEATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE55.849.0104
WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE54.145.961
IVF NEW ENGLAND52.950.034
Sum 459
Avg = 60.5 Avg = 51.7 Avg = 45.9

Donor Eggs IVF Success Rates Using Frozen Embryos

Average donor eggs live births rate using frozen embryos is 46.1% in total 12553 frozen donor eggs IVF cycles. Average singleton live births is 39.3%.

Clinic NameFrozen Embryo Live BirthsFrozen Embryo Singleton Live BirthsNumber of transfers
REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE ASSOCIATES OF PENNSYLVANIA81.076.221
OVERLAKE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, INC., PS79.279.224
FERTILITY INSTITUTE OF HAWAII78.378.323
ORM FERTILITY75.052.8360
CCRM MINNEAPOLIS72.255.636
POMA FERTILITY70.866.724
THE CENTER FOR FERTILITY AND GYNECOLOGY69.849.153
CONCEPTIONS REPRODUCTIVE ASSOCIATES OF COLORADO69.152.755
SANTA MONICA FERTILITY68.460.576
NORTH CAROLINA CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE68.245.522
Sum 694
Avg = 73.2 Avg = 61.7 Avg = 69.4

Donor Eggs IVF Success Rates Using Donated embryo

Clinic NameDonated Embryo Live BirthsDonated Embryo Singleton Live BirthsNumber of transfers
ORM FERTILITY69.455.149
DALLAS-FORT WORTH FERTILITY ASSOCIATES57.153.628
REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE ASSOCIATES OF PHILADELPHIA56.556.523
REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY ASSOCIATES55.952.934
REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE ASSOCIATES OF NEW JERSEY51.148.945
PACIFIC NORTHWEST FERTILITY AND IVF SPECIALISTS50.050.032
FERTILITY TREATMENT CENTER, PC50.036.422
SEATTLE REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE48.244.656
IDAHO CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE48.133.327
NASHVILLE FERTILITY CENTER47.444.738
Sum 354
Avg = 53.4 Avg = 47.6 Avg = 35.4

More IVF success rate reports