In the United States, 6.7 million women ages 15-44 years have problems with fertility. Approximately 6% of married women in this age group are infertile. According to human studies published between 1950 and 2013, 15-30% of infertility couples have unexplained infertility, where doctors cannot identify a cause. But there is good news for couples who are struggling to become pregnant. Assisted reproductive technology can help!
According to an analysis of 20,000 Danish couples who used some form of assisted reproductive technology, 65% will have a baby within 3 years, and within 5 years, 71% will become pregnant. Researchers have analyzed many long-term studies and found that assisted reproductive technology works! However, the odds are heavily influenced by the woman’s age. For women under the age of 35 years, there is strong evidence that 1 in 3 cycles of IVF will be successful.
Copenhagen University Hospital researchers used registry records in Denmark to evaluate 19,884 women from the start of fertility treatment until the time treatment ended. They presented their results at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. More than half of these women had given birth within 2 years, and almost 3/4th of the women delivered a healthy baby within 5 years.
Factors that Affect Success
There are some factors that affect pregnancy outcomes with use of assisted reproductive technology. These are:
- Age – According to current research reports, age matters when considering use of assisted reproductive technology. For women under the age of 35 years, 80% will become pregnant within 5 years. However, the numbers drop as the woman ages. For women between ages 35-40 years, only 61% have success with assisted reproductive technology. For women age 41 years and older, only 25% will become pregnant.
- Body weight – Many causes of infertility can be corrected, such as body weight. Women who have a body mass index (BMI) under 30 have a better chance of becoming pregnant. In addition, men who are overweight tend to have lower sperm counts.
- Smoking – Women who do not smoke have better outcomes with assisted reproductive technology than women who do smoke.
Common Causes of Infertility
There are some situations and factors that contribute to infertility. These include:
- For women – Damage to fallopian tubes, age, smoking, being overweight, ovulatory problems, endometriosis, diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
- For men – Being overweight, low sperm count, anatomy problems affecting sperm transportation, erectile dysfunction, problems ejaculating, and diabetes.
In Vitro Fertilization with Fresh Eggs and Embryos
According to researchers, chances of pregnancy with in vitro fertilization (IVF) is related to the use of fresh eggs. When eggs are not frozen, they are combined with sperm in a petri dish, and embryos form. The embryos are then placed inside the female partner’s uterus. According to 2010 research data pregnancy success outcomes include:
- Women under 35 years of age – 32%
- Women between ages 35-37 years – 28%
- Women between ages 38-39 years – 21%
- Women between ages 40-42 years – 13.6%
- Women between ages 43-44 – 5%
- Women age 45 years and older – 2%
Using Donor Eggs
For older women, use of donor eggs increases chance of pregnancy with IVF. In addition, women age 34 years and younger who have low quality eggs have better IVF success rates when donor eggs are used. Currently, around 10% of all assisted reproductive technology cycles use donor eggs. Using donor eggs with IVF will increase live birth rate by 55%, especially when donor eggs are fresh. When frozen embryos are used, the live birth rate drops to only 36%.
The top fertility clinics in Los Angeles metro are Pacific Reproductive Center. There are four locations in Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine. Call us today!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Infertility. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm
Gelbaya TA, Potdar N, Jeve YB, & Nardo LG (2015). Definition and epidemiology of unexplained infertility. Obstet Gyne Surv, 69(2), 109-115.
Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (2016). IVF chance of success. Retrieved from: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/ivf-success-rate.html