Skip to Content

Health Library

Infertility: Factors That Affect Treatment Success

Topic Overview

Infertility treatment success is defined as the birth of a healthy infant.

Major things that affect your chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy pregnancy with or without treatment include maternal age, how long you have been trying to conceive, and the cause of infertility. For more information, see the What Happens section of the topic Fertility Problems.

Infertility clinic success rates vary depending on:

  • The doctors' skill and experience.
  • How many couples with severe infertility problems a clinic chooses to treat.
  • The average number of treatment cycles per couple performed at the clinic.
  • The cause of infertility and a woman's age.
    • Ovulation problems (not including those related to advanced age) are the most successfully treated cause of infertility.
    • Sperm problems are difficult to treat and often require the use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection or donor sperm.
    • The age of the woman's egg supply greatly impacts her chances of conceiving, carrying, and delivering a healthy infant. From her mid-30s into her 40s, a woman's chances of pregnancy with her own eggs decrease while her risk of miscarriage increases.
    • The success of treating other causes of infertility depends heavily upon the type and severity of the problem.

Some couples complete many cycles of infertility treatment before they conceive or before they and their doctor decide that the treatment has failed. Before you start any treatment for infertility, discuss it with your doctor and set reasonable time limits for yourselves.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised November 14, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.