Q and A

What is the success rate for intrauterine insemination (or IVF, GIFT, etc.)?

Success rates from ART are influenced by a number of factors, including the cause of infertility, the patient’s age and response to ovarian stimulation, the number of embryos transferred, the transfer itself, the use of cryopreserved embryos, and sperm quality. Several procedural factors may also prevent pregnancy. They include:

  • Unpredictable or misjudged time of ovulation
  • Abnormal egg or unsuccessful withdrawal of the egg
  • No viable sperm
  • No fertilization or no cell division of the fertilized egg
  • Abnormal embryo development
  • No implantation of the egg

It’s especially important to discuss all of your concerns with us. You are in control of your treatment and can decide how many ART cycles you are willing to undergo before considering, or accepting, other options like adoption or remaining childless.

Is it possible that we are not getting pregnant because we are too stressed about the whole process?

Significant stress can cause ovulation abnormalities, but if ovulatory function is normal, there is no firm evidence that worrying about becoming pregnant is a cause of infertility.

I am in my early 40s. Is it too late for me to have a child?

Because egg quality declines with advancing age, it takes longer for women to conceive as they get older, and the risk of miscarriage is higher. However, that does not preclude the possibility of having a successful pregnancy. The medical risk of pregnancy does increase with age, including the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

I have been told that I cannot conceive because of poor egg quality. Where does one find an egg donor?

Egg donors may be either anonymous or designated. Most IVF programs have a list of young, fertile women who are willing to donate eggs anonymously. An egg donor is chosen by the couple based on physical characteristics, age, and other nonidentifying characteristics. Some couples choose to use a relative or friend as an egg donor.

How does endometriosis cause infertility?

If severe, endometriosis can distort pelvic anatomy so that the pickup of eggs by the fallopian tube is difficult. The connection between milder endometriosis and infertility is less clear. Some experts believe that substances produced by endometriosis may be toxic to eggs, sperm, and/or embryos.

Can uterine fibroids cause infertility?

Fibroids located on the outer surface of the uterus or within the muscle wall of the uterus are unlikely to be the sole cause of a couple’s infertility. Fibroids within the internal cavity of the uterus are much more likely to make it difficult to become pregnant and may also increase the risk of miscarriage.

I had a miscarriage recently. Does this increase my risk of miscarriage when I become pregnant again?

Women who have had one miscarriage have no increased risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies. If a second miscarriage occurs, there does appear to be an increased risk of pregnancy loss, and this risk substantially increases after three miscarriages.