IVF is the most effective form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks. During IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in your uterus. The procedure can be done using your own eggs and your partner’s sperm, donor eggs, donor sperm or donor embryos. In some cases, a gestational carrier – a woman who has an embryo implanted in her uterus – might be used.
IVF can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive. If more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus, IVF can result in a multiple pregnancy. The chances of giving birth to a healthy baby after using IVF depend on various factors, including: Maternal age. The younger you are, the more likely you are to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby using your own eggs during IVF. According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), the approximate chance of giving birth to a live baby after IVF is as follows: 41-43% for women under age 35 33-36% for women age 35 – 37 23-27% for women ages 38 – 40 13-18% for women over age 41 Embryo status. The live birth rate is lower when frozen embryos are used instead of fresh embryos. The use of fresh or frozen sperm, however, hasn’t been shown to affect success rates. Reproductive history. Women who’ve previously given birth are more likely to be able to get pregnant using IVF. Success rates are lower for women who’ve previously used IVF multiple times, but didn’t get pregnant. Cause of infertility. Having a normal supply of eggs increases your chances of being able to get pregnant. Women who have endometriosis are less likely to be able to get pregnant using IVF. Lifestyle factors. Smoking can lower a woman’s chance of success using IVF by 50 percent. Use of alcohol, recreational drugs, excessive caffeine and certain medications also can be harmful.