Pregnancy, and fertility in general, is a large component of women’s health, and in her twenties, women are highly fertile, and the rates drop off in later years. Sometimes, women may have difficulty conceiving, so they and their partners may choose other medical routes to pregnancy, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF success rates may be impacted by a number of factors, many of them based on the woman’s health.

The Statistics of Pregnancy

Some women may have trouble conceiving a child naturally, and many fertility centers and fertility clinics offer solutions. It is believed that 7.4 million women, or about 11.9% of all women, have, at some point in their lives, received infertility services, and similarly, about 12% of married women have difficulty getting pregnant or sustaining a current pregnancy. Of all infertility cases, about 85-90% of them are treated with drug therapy, or else surgical procedures. Also, the cause of infertility are not limited to the woman; it is believed that one third of all causes should be attributed to the female partner, another third to the male partner, and the last third can be attributed to problems with both partners or else is unexplained.

IVF Treatment, and IVF Success Rates

Couples who opt for fertility treatment may visit fertility experts in their local area, and often, searching for “fertility clinic” into a smart phone or PC can yield convenient locations nearby, as well as the location’s hours and the doctors present. There, the man and woman have options for how to handle their infertility.

What is IVF, exactly? According to the Mayo Clinic, IVF is any number of complex procedures designed to treat genetic problems or fertility issues, and assist with the conception of a child. During the IVF procedure, the woman’s mature egg cells are retrieved from the ovaries and, in a lab, are fertilized with sperm. Then, the embryo, the fertilized egg, is is implanted into the woman’s uterus. One IVF cycle is about two weeks long. And in some cases, sperm or egg cells from anonymous donors may be used.

IVF success rates may be influenced by several factors. The maternal age, or the woman’s age, may affect IVF success rates considerably. The younger the woman is, the better her odds of pregnancy through IVF, and women aged 41 or over are sometimes recommended to try donor eggs instead. The woman’s lifestyle can also negatively impact IVF success rates through activities such as smoking tobacco, excessive drinking, drug use, and excessive caffeine consumption. Also, the woman’s reproductive history is relevant; a woman who has given birth before has better odds of pregnancy through IVF, while a woman who has never had a pregnancy, or who has failed numerous IVF injections, has lower odds. Finally, women with a severe case of endometriosis have lowered odds of pregnancy than those whose infertility has unexplained causes.

What can lead couples to choosing IVF? One cause is the impaired production of sperm in the male partner, where the sperm are malformed and cannot function correctly, or if there is a problem with the semen itself. The male partner may have to consult a specialist for this. Another cause for choosing IVF is ovulation disorders, when ovulation happens too rarely or fails to happen at all. And if the woman’s fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, this can prevent fertilized egg cells from traveling to the uterus, or can prevent sperm from reaching the egg cell to begin with.