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Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 7, 2005
Contact: CDC National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention
and Health Promotion
Press Office: 770-488-5131

Latest CDC Report Offers More Evidence that a Woman’s Age is a Major Factor in Determining Success of Assisted Reproductive Technology

The younger a woman is when assisted reproductive technology is used, the more likely she is to have a live birth using her own eggs, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Women in their 20s and early 30s who used ART had the most success with pregnancies, and single live births. However, success rates declined steadily once a woman reached her mid-30s,” said Victoria Wright, a public health analyst and one of the authors of the CDC report. “This is a reminder that age remains a primary factor with respect to pregnancy success and younger women have greater success than older women, even with technology.”

The report, 2002 Assisted Reproductive Technology Success Rates, found that 37 percent of fresh non-donor procedures started in 2002 among women younger than 35 resulted in live births. This percentage of live births decreased to 31 percent among women aged 35-37 years, 21 percent among women aged 38-40, 11 percent among women aged 41-42 and 4 percent among women older than 42.

The report also found that more than 45,000 babies were born in the United States with the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures carried out in 2002. This compares to 40,687 babies born as a result of ART in 2001. There were also more ART procedures reported in 2002 compared to 2001 – 115, 392 in 2002 compared to 107,587 in 2001.

ART includes infertility treatment procedures in which both egg and sperm are handled in a laboratory. The majority of ART procedures involve in vitro fertilization.

This latest report is CDC’s eighth annual ART clinic success rate report. It is not a scientific report and does not analyze data and draw conclusions. Rather it is information provided to CDC by 391 reporting fertility clinics throughout the United States and is meant to help consumers make informed decisions about having a baby through ART treatment.

“For many people, the goal of having a baby is difficult to attain,” Wright said. “Our report can help those considering ART to make informed decisions by providing them with detailed information about fertility clinics in their own state.”

However, Wright encouraged caution in comparing success rates of various clinics because a clinic’s skill is only one factor that influences a success rate – equally important are the cause of a women’s infertility and her age.

The report found that 28.3 percent of ART procedures resulted in the birth of a baby for women who used their own freshly fertilized eggs. This is a slight increase in the success rate compared to the previous year (27.0 percent).

Approximately 35 percent of ART deliveries among women who used their own freshly fertilized eggs were multiple births (twins or more), compared with 3 percent in the general U.S. population during the same time period. This is because multiple embryos are often transferred to increase the likelihood of a live birth. Multiple births are associated with greater risks for both mothers and babies, such as cesarean section, low birth weight, premature birth, and infant disability or death.

Reporting of clinic fertility success is required by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992. The 2002 report was prepared by the CDC in consultation with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The full report is available online at

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This page last updated January 7, 2005

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