How to Access and Interpret Fertility Clinic Success Rates
Fertility clinic success rates and clinic profiles are available on CDC’s ART Fertility Clinic Success Rates website. The information in this section is intended to help consumers navigate and understand the information presented on the ART website. It can also help them interpret fertility clinic success rates based on the latest data from the National ART Surveillance System (NASS).
National Summary Data
To view pooled data from all US reporting clinics, select the link above or below the US map on the main ART web page. This link will take you to a summary of patient and cycle characteristics and ART success rates from all reporting clinics in the United States combined.
Finding a Fertility Clinic in Your Area
You can use the information on the ART website to find a fertility clinic in your area in several ways. You can find all fertility clinics known to be in operation during the reporting year in any of the 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico by selecting a location on the national map or from the drop-down menu below the map.
You can also find operating fertility clinics by entering your zip code and a mile radius below the map. A list of all operating clinics that satisfy your search criteria will be shown. Selecting a fertility clinic from the list will take you to the individual clinic page, which has five navigation tabs: (1) Clinic Services and Profile, (2) Patient and Cycle Characteristics, (3) Success Rates: Patients Using Own Eggs, (4) Success Rates: Patients Using Donor Eggs, and (5) Clinic Data Summary. The information presented under each tab, as well as information about how to interpret the success rates, is described below.
The Clinic Services and Profile navigation tab provides an overview of clinic services, the clinic’s contact information, a map showing the clinic’s location, the name of the clinic’s medical director, and summary statistics.
The Patient and Cycle Characteristics navigation tab summarizes the types of ART services performed and the kinds of patients who received ART procedures in a specific clinic. You can use the drop-down menu to select a patient or cycle characteristic of interest. You can select the Show National Data box to view national data for the selected characteristic.
Because ART success depends on whether patients are using their own eggs or donor eggs, the navigation tab for Success Rates presents information separately for these two groups. You can use the drop-down menu to select a success rate of interest. You can also view success rates for patients with a specific diagnosis by using the filter function on the left. You can select the Show National Data box to view national data for the selected success rate of interest.
An ART cycle starts when a woman begins taking fertility drugs or having her ovaries monitored for follicle production with the intent to retrieve eggs (intended retrieval). If eggs are produced, the cycle progresses to egg retrieval, in which at least one egg is retrieved (actual retrieval). Retrieved eggs are either combined with sperm to create embryos or frozen for future use (egg cryopreservation).
If fertilization is successful, at least one embryo may be selected for transfer. The embryos may be transferred to the patient or to a gestational carrier (embryo transfer). Other embryos can be frozen for future use (embryo cryopreservation). If embryo transfer results in implantation, the cycle may progress to clinical pregnancy and, possibly, a live-birth delivery.
Many people considering ART will want to use the information presented on the ART Fertility Clinic Success Rates website to find the “best” clinic. However, comparisons between clinics must be made with caution. Many factors contribute to the success of an ART procedure. Some factors are related to the training and experience of the fertility clinic and laboratory professionals and the quality of services they provide. Other factors are related to the patients themselves, such as their age, the quality of their eggs and sperm, the cause of their infertility, and genetic factors. Some clinics may be more willing than others to accept patients with low chances of success or may specialize in ART treatments that attract particular types of patients.
We encourage consumers considering ART to contact clinics to discuss their specific medical situations and their potential for success using ART. Because clinics did not have the opportunity to provide narratives to explain their data, such conversations could provide additional information to help consumers decide whether to use ART.
Although ART offers important options for the treatment of infertility, the decision to use ART involves many factors in addition to success rates. Therefore, consumers should carefully examine all related financial, psychological, and medical issues before beginning treatment. They may also want to consider the location of the clinic, the counseling and support services available, and the rapport that staff members have with their patients.
Other important factors to consider when using success rates to assess a clinic include the following:
ART statistics are from cycles performed more than 1 year ago.
Before success rates can be calculated, the following must occur: (1) ART treatments need to be completed; (2) completed cycles need to be followed up to determine whether a birth occurred; (3) data need to be collected, reported, cleaned, and analyzed; and (4) the ART reports need to be prepared for publication.
Noncumulative yearly success rates for patients using donor eggs or embryos are calculated using only information on transfers performed in 2020. Cumulative success rates for patients using their own eggs are calculated using egg retrievals performed in 2019 and all transfers of embryos that occurred within 1 year after an egg retrieval. Thus, the calculation of cumulative success rates includes ART cycles performed in 2019 and 2020.
Many factors that contribute to a clinic’s success rates can change after the cycles included in the data presented here were performed. Personnel may be different, and equipment and training may or may not have been updated. As a result, the success rates may not necessarily represent current practice.
Success rates may vary.
A clinic’s success rates may vary from year to year, even if all determining factors remain the same. The more cycles that a clinic carries out, the less the rate is likely to vary. Clinics that perform fewer cycles are likely to have more variability in success rates from year to year. As an extreme example, if a clinic reports only one ART cycle in a given category, as is sometimes the case in the data presented here, the clinic’s success rate in that category would be either 0% or 100%.
Some clinics treat more than the average number of patients with difficult infertility problems.
Some clinics offer ART to most potential patients, even those who have a low probability of success. Others discourage such patients or encourage them to use donor eggs, a practice that results in higher success rates among older patients. Clinics that accept a higher percentage of patients who previously have had multiple unsuccessful ART cycles will generally have lower success rates. In contrast, clinics that offer ART procedures to patients who might have become pregnant with less technologically advanced treatment will generally have higher success rates. CDC does not collect information on clinic-specific patient selection practices.
The number of embryos transferred varies from clinic to clinic.
ASRM and SART discourage the transfer of a large number of embryos because of the increased likelihood of multiple-fetus pregnancies. Multiple-fetus pregnancies, in turn, increase the probability of premature births and related health problems.
The Success Rates: Patients Using Own Eggs navigation tab provides data on success rates for patients who used their own eggs. Because ART success depends on whether patients are using ART for the first time or had prior ART cycles, a drop-down menu allows users to examine success rates for all “Patients using their own eggs” or for “Patients with no prior ART using their own eggs.” “Patients using their own eggs” includes both patients with prior ART and those with no prior ART.
Success rates for patients using their own eggs are shown per intended retrieval, per actual retrieval, and per transfer. The average number of transfers per intended retrieval and the average number of intended retrievals per live-birth delivery are also shown. The success rates presented on this page are cumulative success rates and include embryo transfers that occur within 1 year after an egg retrieval. Calculation of cumulative success rates requires data from two reporting years for patients using their own eggs. This page excludes cycles that were considered research—that is, cycles performed to evaluate new procedures. Success rates can be filtered by diagnosis and by age of patient.
The Success Rates: Patients Using Donor Eggs navigation tab provides data on success rates for ART cycles that involve the transfer of embryos created from donor eggs or embryos. Intended female parents who have premature ovarian failure (early menopause), whose ovaries have been removed, who have a genetic concern about using their own eggs, or who are of older ages may consider using eggs donated by a woman without these conditions. Embryos may also be donated by patients who previously used ART. Embryos may be transferred to the intended parent or to a gestational carrier.
Success rates presented on this page are noncumulative. They are based on donor cycles started in 2020 that had embryo transfers, regardless of when the donor eggs were retrieved. This page also includes cycles in which intended parents transferred donated embryos in 2020. It excludes cycles that were considered research—that is, cycles performed to evaluate new procedures.
Success rates on this page are also presented by types of embryos and eggs used in the transfer. They are not presented by age group because previous data show that an intended parent’s age does not substantially affect success when using donor eggs or embryos.
The Clinic Data Summary navigation tab provides a full snapshot of each clinic’s services and profile, patient characteristics, and ART success rates However, comparison of success rates across clinics may not be meaningful because of differences in patient populations and ART treatment methods. Patient medical characteristics—such as age, diagnosis, and ovarian reserve—affect the success of ART treatment.
The success rates on this page do not reflect any one patient’s chance of success. Patients should consult with a doctor to understand their chance of success based on their own characteristics.