IVF by the Numbers

pregnant woman talking to a doctor

Struggling with infertility is a massive challenge. It can be a difficult experience, emotionally and physically, and you may not know where to turn for accurate information about your options.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART), including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), involves procedures in which both eggs and sperm are handled, and may be recommended when other techniques have not been successful. In IVF, an egg is combined with sperm outside the body in vitro -- "in glass.”

During IVF, a woman’s ovulatory process is monitored and stimulated before eggs are extracted from her ovaries and sperm are allowed to fertilize them in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs undergo embryo culture for two to six days and one or more is transferred into the woman's uterus, hopefully leading to a successful pregnancy.

IVF is the most common fertility treatment used when the fallopian tubes are severely damaged or absent, or there is unexplained or male-factor infertility. Due to its high success rate, IVF has been used more frequently in recent years as a first line of therapy for all causes of infertility.

The Penn Fertility Care team provides compassionate care for individuals and couples looking to start a family, including patient-centered plans tailored to individual needs.

Considering IVF to grow your family? Here’s a look at IVF by the numbers:

IVF Fast Facts

1 million: Number of babies born in the United States between 1987 and 2015 through the use of IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies, according to a report released in 2017 by the by the U.S. Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). Assisted reproductive technologies include IVF or the use of an egg donor, sperm donor or adopted embryo.

21.3 percent: The chance of having a full term, normal birth weight and singleton live birth per ART cycle using fresh embryos from nondonor eggs is 21.3 percent for women younger than 35, according to SART’s 2015 report. To learn more about success rates at Penn, please review Penn Fertility Care's most recent ART statistics.

35: IVF success varies with many factors, but the age of the woman is the most important if she is using her own eggs. This is in part because women have a lower chance of getting pregnant from IVF after age 35, and in part because there is a higher risk of miscarriage as women age, especially for those older than 40. While the likelihood of having a full term, normal birth weight and singleton live birth per cycle is greater than 20 percent for women younger than 35, women 35 to 37 years old have a 17 percent chance, and the rate drops off with age. Those 38 to 40 years old have a 11.1 percent chance of the same outcome, while women 41 to 42 have a 5.7 percent chance, those 43-44 have 2.3 percent chance and women older than 44 have a 0.6 percent chance, according to SART.

$10,000: The average cost of a single IVF cycle in the U.S. is between $10,000 and $15,000, and is dependent upon insurance coverage, patient characteristics and the treatment center. Penn Fertility Care accepts most insurance plans and assists patients in obtaining the proper authorization and referrals for treatment. However, not all insurance plans cover fertility care. Penn offers special pricing and payment options for those not covered by insurance who need to pay for their fertility care out-of-pocket.

61,740: The latest SART report shows that 61,740 babies were born in the U.S. as a result of IVF in 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 4 million births per year in the U.S., meaning 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. births annually are via IVF.

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