Calculating the Odds of a Baby Through IVF

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Women who are undergoing fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization are most likely to ask one major question from their doctor: What are the chances that this is going to work? According to a recent study, the answer to this question is typically positive. In fact, it has been found that women have about the same chance of becoming pregnant through in vitro fertilization as they would through becoming pregnant naturally.

Although these statistics may vary depending on the woman’s age, studies have shown that success rates are fairly high. For example, women who are under the age of 40 see a 65% to 86% success rate and women who are older than 40 see a 23% 42% success rate.

1. Studies

During this specific study over 6000 women were followed through a Massachusetts fertility clinic where they underwent six cycles of in vitro fertilization. It is noted that not all of the women became pregnant after completing the full six cycles and not all women completed all six cycles. This helps account for the large variety of live birth rates that was reported with this study.

It-is-noted-that-not-all-of-the-women-became-pregnant-after-completing-the-full-six-cycles-of-IVF-treatmentFor the women who ended the study early, researchers performed what is known as an optimistic analysis and assumed that they would have had the same success rates as those who did not end their treatments prematurely. They also used a conservative analysis that assumed that there would have been no success rate among women who ended the treatment early. In order to formulate their final results they chose analysis that fit in the middle of this range.

2. Other Limitations

Another item that was taken into consideration was the fact that all the patients at this facility were partially reimbursed by their insurance providers. This means that these numbers may not necessarily represent the general public because the women who participate in this study were not deterred due to the costs of the procedure.

all-the-patients-at-this-facility-were-partially-reimbursed-by-their-insurance-providersWomen who live in states where reimbursement is not a possibility have limited access to IVF, so it is suggested that success rates would be much higher in the states that did not offer insurance reimbursements because there are fewer women that turn to this procedure.

3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Another interesting thing to note is that the CDC also collects national statistics related to reproductive technology. This technology research analysis is broken down into individual cycles of in vitro fertilization and do not fully answer the question as to how successful IVF treatments are.

study-included-information-regarding-IVF-treatments-that-use-frozen-embryos-rather-than-the-fresh-embryosThe study that was conducted on the Massachusetts center considered data from all patients regardless of their age or their potential pregnancy complications. Also, this study included information regarding IVF treatments that use frozen embryos rather than the fresh embryos that are typically studied.

Some researchers believed that the inclusion of frozen embryo analysis was particularly notable. However, some believed that it would have been better if the study gone a little bit further and studied how long the specific embryos were frozen before they were used. This information could have been useful for women who are considering freezing their embryos for use in the future.

4. Benefits of the Study

It is the hope of those conducting this research that they will be able to use this data for doctors who are beginning a counseling session for patients who are considering IVF treatments. This data may be able to provide couples the information that they need in order to decide if in vitro fertilization is right for them.

the-study-may-be-able-to-provide-couples-the-information-that-they-need-in-order-to-decide-if-in-vitro-fertilization-is-right-for-themWith specific success rates in front of them, doctors will be able to give couples a better idea as to how successful IVF treatments will be so that the couples will be able to decide for themselves if it is something that they would want to pursue.

5. Conclusion

IVF is an expensive procedure and it is important to consider your options carefully before taking on the unique challenges that are presented with treatment. Many couples may be hesitant to spend money for IVF treatments if they are uncertain as to what the success rate will be for them. However, with studies such as these, doctors will be able to counsel their patients so that they will fully understand what to expect when they are considering IVF treatments.

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Dr. Karen Leham, MD

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.