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Introduction to the 2011 National Report

Data provided by United States clinics that use assisted reproductive technology (ART) to treat infertility are a rich source of information about the factors that contribute to a successful ART treatment—the delivery of a healthy live-born infant. Pooling the data from all reporting clinics provides an overall national picture that could not be obtained by examining data from an individual clinic.

A woman’s chances of having a pregnancy and a live birth when using ART are influenced by many factors, some of which are patient-related and outside a clinic’s control (e.g., the woman’s age, the cause of infertility). Because the national data set includes information on many of these factors, it can give potential ART users an idea of the average chances of success. Average chances, however, do not necessarily apply to a particular individual or couple. People considering ART should consult their physician to discuss all the factors that apply in their particular case.

The data for this national report come from the 451 fertility clinics in operation in 2011 that provided and verified data on the outcomes of all ART cycles started in their clinics. The 151,923 ART cycles performed at these reporting clinics in 2011 resulted in 47,818 live births (deliveries of one or more living infants) and 61,610 infants. The 2011 National Summary table combines data from all clinics included in the 2011 Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report (hereafter called the 2011 Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report). Read the explanation of how to read this table, of the 2011 Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report.

The national report consists of graphs and charts that use 2011 data to answer specific questions related to ART success rates. These figures are organized according to the type of ART procedure used. Some ART procedures use a woman’s own eggs, and others use donated eggs or embryos. (Although sperm used to create an embryo also may be either from a woman’s partner or from a sperm donor, information in this report is presented according to the source of the egg.) In some procedures, the embryos that develop are transferred back to the woman (fresh embryo transfer); in others, the embryos are frozen (cryopreserved) for transfer at a later date. This report includes data on embryos that might have been frozen in previous years, but were thawed and transferred in 2011.

The national report has five sections:

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