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 2011 report of pregnancy success rates is the seventeenth 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 2011 ART Report has three 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.
- Fertility Clinic Tables. Many factors contribute to the success of ART, including the training and experience of the ART clinic and laboratory professionals, the quality of services, and the characteristics of the patient population. The Fertility Clinic Tables section displays ART results and success rates for individual U.S. fertility clinics in 2011. The section also includes the 2011 National Summary table, which combines data from all clinics.
Appendix A provides information about 2011 data validation activities.
Appendix B 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 2011 that did not report their 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. 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 [Subject: ART].)
In addition to the 2011 Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report, CDC also publishes the 2011 Assisted Reproductive Technology National Summary Report (available in December 2013), which provides an overall national picture that uses 2011 data to answer specific questions related to ART success rates.