Odds of IVF Success

In Vitro Fertilization is an incredible science that offers hope to those unable to have children through traditional methods. As recently as 2012, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology reported that as many as 1.5% of all live births can be attributed to IVF procedures.

But even with these impressive statistics, the art of IVF is not perfect. While many women will become pregnant on their first transfer, the process can fail. In rare cases, IVF can fail to produce a viable pregnancy after many attempts. This reality, paired with the high costs of each attempt, leaves many couples desperate for exact success rates before starting their surrogacy journeys.  

The single largest variable in IVF success seems to be linked to age. According to an April 2015 article published by NPR, 40% of IVF cycles performed in women under the age of 35 were successful, whereas a meager 4.5% success rate was observed in women aged 42 and above. In the case of surrogacy, the age component will apply more directly to the age of the woman contributing the egg, be it an intended mother or an egg donor, than of the woman undergoing the IVF treatment. This is one reason we require that our egg donors be 32 years of age or younger.

New online success predictors are being developed as we continue to learn more about IVF and the factors that can influence the probability of a favorable outcome. Many of these predictors use information including the age of the woman contributing the egg, the amount of time the carrier has spent trying to conceive, previous pregnancy/infertility histories, and what drugs will be used in the medical protocol.

Currently there are two success rate predictors available to use online. The Templeton predictor and competitor IVFPredict are two great options. The newer IVFPredict incorporates newer technology including embryos created with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). However, even with the improved reliability of IVFPredict, online predictors have been found to be accurate only 52% of the time.

The single answer is that IVF remains an unpredictable science. However, in surrogacy, all components are fine-tuned and optimized in order to give intended parents the best shot at parenthood possible.


Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.