How To Measure IVF Success

Armen Hareyan's picture

Many couples are undergoing IVF treatment, but they don't know how to measure the chance of getting pregnant. This new research suggests four basic characteristics to define how successful IVF treatment will be.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment for women who are having difficulties with getting pregnant. Doctor surgically takes eggs out of woman's ovaries, takes the eggs to the laboratory and combines them with sperm. When eggs and sperm grow into an embryo, doctor picks the healthiest embryos and inserts them into woman's womb.

Currently there are only from 18 to 45% embryos successfully leading to pregnancy. When an embryo fails, the female patient must undergo one more cycle to try one more IVF. Since the procedure is expensive ($10000 each cycle) and emotionally stressing, it is very important for couples to know the chances of getting pregnant before undergoing the treatment.


A team of researchers from Stanford University in California tried to find ways of estimating pregnancy chances, to make it easier for couples to make a decision about IVF treatment. There are from 60 million to 80 million couples unable to get pregnant and this study can help them identify whether IVF will be useful for them or no.

Researchers examined 665 IVF cycles which took place in Stanford during 2005. They looked as about 30 factors which could possibly affect IVF success, such as 'patient characteristics, diagnoses, treatment methods, and embryo characteristics'.

Researchers concluded that there are four common characteristics affecting IVF success: follicle-stimulating hormone level, which shows how active woman's ovaries are, entire number of embryos created in the lab, number of eight-cell embryos, and number of unsuccessful embryos which will definitely die.

Currently, IVF specialists are looking only at the healthy embryos, which are later planned to be inserted into woman's womb, but this research suggests that it is very important to look at all of the embryos created to have the entire picture of woman's chances of getting pregnant.



The more knowledge that parents having going into this process the better. This are a lot of issues that need to be made with IVF and the better you know the odds the easier the choice.