Infertility Stats and Success Rates
According to the American Society For Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects 6.1 million American women and their partners, about 10 percent of the reproductive age population.
Recent improvements in medication, microsurgery, and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), make pregnancy possible for more than half of the couples who pursue treatment. There are more than 100,000 babies born in the United States as the result of ART, and more than a million babies worldwide.
One of the most confusing issues related to assisted reproductive technologies is understanding the success rates for a particular clinic or program. This confusion stems from the fact that success rates may vary depending on the reason for the infertility, the age of patients being treated, and the type of procedure being used.
Another area of potential confusion is the way the pregnancy rate is reported. For example pregnancy rates can be reported by cycle, by patient, or by the type of procedure, all of which give different results.
Because of these factors, comparison of different programs by using statistics alone is not recommended. A valuable source of information about ART success rates can be found on the Reproductive Health web site provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In these reports, information about each clinic is presented in a one-page table that includes the types of ART used, reason for the infertility, success rates that each clinic reported, and individual program characteristics. Clinics are listed in alphabetical order by state, city, and clinic name. The vast majority of clinics also report to SART (Society for Assisted Reproduction) where those results are tabulated much earlier than the CDC. For more information on up-to-date results, please check www.SART.org.
Many people considering ART will want to use this report to find the "best" clinic. However, comparisons between clinics must be made with caution. Many factors contribute to the success of an ART procedure. Some factors are related to the training and experience of the ART clinic and laboratory professionals and the quality of services they provide. Other factors are related to the patients themselves, such as their age and the cause of their infertility. Some clinics may be more willing than others to accept patients with low chances of success or may specialize in various ART treatments that attract particular types of patients.