Success rates for IVF vary considerably, with many factors needing to be taken into consideration.

These factors include the age of the female partner, the criteria used when reporting success, types of IVF treatment and the health of both the female and male partner.

At the IVF Network, we understand how important it is to be able to find accurate information, so that you can make informed choices about your IVF treatment. In our blogs, on our website and through our channel, we provide information and advice, to support you throughout your fertility journey.


Female age and IVF success rates

The HFEA provisional figures for 2019 show the following birth rates with IVF, using the female partner’s own eggs:

Under 35 years – 32%

35 – 37 years – 26%

38 – 39 years – 19%

40 – 42 years – 14%

43 – 44 years – 5%

The HFEA also states that, based on provisional figures, the IVF birth rates in 2019 were 3 times higher than in 1991.

Reporting criteria as a factor for IVF success rates

The 3 common ways of reporting IVF success rates are:

  • Births per embryo transferred
  • Births per egg collection
  • Births per cycle of treatment

If you are comparing clinics based on success rates, it’s important to know which method of reporting they each use, in order to make a fair comparison. Some clinics will report on pregnancy rates, whereas others will quote figures based on the number of live births, for example. The size of a clinic can also have an impact when predicting future success rates based on their previous figures.

Types of IVF treatment and their success rates

ICSI has higher rates of success than the standard IVF treatment. There are also different laws around the use of certain methods and treatments, depending which country you are in, so this may affect the success rates too, as well as the safety aspects. It’s very important to be aware of this when you are deciding where to undergo IVF treatment.

How can our physical health affect our chances of IVF success? 

Lifestyle choices can play a big part in IVF success rates. Generally, the guidelines for couples trying to conceive are very similar to those who want to lead a healthier life.

In the UK, IVF is free on the NHS to people who qualify. The NHS have strict guidelines around age, but also, some of the local clinical commissioning groups that govern the treatment, insist that patients are a healthy weight and don’t smoke, before allowing them IVF treatment through the NHS.

In order to increase a couple’s chances of conceiving and giving birth, it’s recommended that before and during the period of infertility treatment, both partners should maintain a healthy BMI, avoid smoking, take regular and mild to moderate exercise and eat a healthy diet. Alcohol should also be avoided, as should strong, harmful chemicals and any drugs or medication that may interfere with fertility or cause harm to the foetus. There are also some recommended foods that are high in antioxidants and contain certain vitamins and minerals that have been proven to increase chances of conception, of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. In particular, whole foods and fruit and vegetables are among the recommendations.

Further information about fertility diets for women trying to conceive and for their male partners, can be found in some of our other blog posts and on our dedicated channel.

Choosing where to go for IVF treatment can be daunting and factors other than the clinic’s success rates should also be taken into account, such as nearness to home, affordability, cleanliness, patient care, type of treatments available and more. It’s definitely wise to fully research your options before embarking on IVF treatment, to give yourself the best chance of having the optimum outcome.