For many people who want to start a family, the dream of having a child is not easily realized; about 12% of women of childbearing age in the United States have used an infertility service. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has been used in the United States since 1981 to help women become pregnant, most commonly through the transfer of fertilized human eggs into a woman’s uterus. However, for many people, deciding whether to undergo this expensive and time‑consuming treatment can be difficult.
The goal of this report is to help potential ART users make informed decisions about ART by providing some of the information needed to answer the following questions:
- What are my chances of having a child by using ART?
- Where can I go to get this treatment?
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), an organization of ART providers affiliated with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), has been collecting data and publishing annual reports of pregnancy success rates for fertility clinics in the United States and Canada since 1989. In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act. This law requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish pregnancy success rates for ART in fertility clinics in the United States. Since 1995, CDC has worked in consultation with SART and ASRM to report ART success rates.
The 2009 report of pregnancy success rates is the fifteenth to be issued under the law. This report is based on the latest available data on the type, number, and outcome of ART cycles performed in U.S. clinics.
The 2009 ART Report has four major sections:
- Commonly asked questions about the U.S. ART clinic reporting system. This section provides background information on infertility and ART and an explanation of the data collection, analysis, and publication processes.
- A national report. The national report section presents overall success rates and shows how they are affected by certain patient and treatment characteristics. Because the national report summarizes findings from all 441 fertility clinics that reported data, it can give people considering ART a good idea of the average chance of having a child by using ART.
- Fertility clinic tables. Success also is related to the expertise of a particular clinic’s staff, the quality of its laboratory, and the characteristics of the patient population. The fertility clinic table section displays ART results and success rates for individual U.S. fertility clinics in 2009.
Appendix A contains technical notes on the interpretation of 95% confidence intervals and findings from the data validation visits to selected fertility clinics.
Appendix B (Glossary) provides definitions for technical and medical terms used throughout the report.
Appendix C includes the current names and addresses of all reporting clinics along with a list of clinics known to be in operation in 2009 that did not report their success rates data to CDC as required by law.
Appendix D includes the names and addresses of national consumer organizations that offer support to people experiencing infertility.
Success rates can be reported in a variety of ways, and the statistical aspects of these rates can be difficult to interpret. As a result, presenting information about ART success rates is a complex task. This report is intended for the general public, and the emphasis is on presenting the information in an easily understandable form. CDC hopes that this report is informative and helpful to people considering an ART procedure. We welcome any suggestions for improving the report and making it easier to use. Go to contact CDC-INFO or write to CDC, ATTN: ARTE Unit; 4770 Buford Highway, N.E.; Mail Stop K-34; Atlanta, GA 30341-3717.