OVU Surrogacy & Fertility Network
Posted on 08/01/2022 in Fertility Treatment Options

IVF procedure: the risks and your chance of success

IVF procedure: the risks and your chance of success

Ivf (in vitro fertilization) is a versatile technique of fertilizing the oocytes with sperm by placing them in a Petri Dish without using the micromanipulations such as ICSI, IMSI, or PICSI. This assisted reproduction technique is performed only in the Ivf lab. And if fertilization is successful, after several days of cultivation, one or more embryos is/are transferred into the woman’s uterus. 



Ivf is used in singles and couples with various mild to moderate infertility factors, infertility of unknown origin, and repeated failure of the other fertility treatments such as timed intercourse, ovulation induction, and/or IUI treatment. It can be also used for Singles and Couples who need the Donor for completing the treatment cycle. 



What kinds of Ivf are there? 

Singles and couples undergoing Ivf may use their gametes and the Donor’s Sperm or/and the Donor’s Eggs. There is also a smart back–up option of doing an Ivf with Double Donation also called Double Donation Ivf (Egg Donation + Sperm Donation) used in cases of severe infertility when it is impossible to get the desired result. Moreover, there is also an option of adopting the embryo (FET or frozen embryo transfer cycle) without undergoing Ivf. 



Ivf for heterosexual couples:

❤Ivf using the couple’s own gametes 

❤Ivf using own oocytes and the donor’s sperm 

❤Ivf using donated oocytes and the partner’s/husband’s sperm 

❤Tandem Ivf cycle (Donor Egg back–up) using both expectant mother’s eggs and donor eggs and the partner’s sperm 

❤Tandem Ivf cycle (Donor Sperm back–up) using both expectant father’s sperm and donor sperm and expectant mother’s eggs



Ivf for lesbian couples:

❤Ivf with the Donor’s Sperm

❤R.O.P.A (Reception of oocytes from a partner + Sperm Donation) + Ivf



Ivf for Single Mom by choice:

❤Ivf with the Donor’s Sperm

❤Tandem Ivf cycle (using both expectant mother’s eggs + donor’s eggs) + Sperm Donation + Ivf



When to try Ivf? 

Being a cutting–edge technique run on sophisticated protocols that are flexible for many ‘edits’, Ivf treatment has some indications, such as an advanced age, failure of previous treatment cycles (timed intercourse, ovulation induction, IUI), embryo implantation failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, male factor infertility, and so on. Explore the top 14 cases when an Ivf is a good option for you. 


❤Advanced maternal age

❤Low ovarian reserve

❤Ovulation failure (anovulation, irregular ovulation)


❤Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

❤Failure of previous fertility treatment

❤Implantation failure and recurrent miscarriages

❤Tubal factor infertility (blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, fallopian tube obstruction, both fallopian tubes are lost, one fallopian tube is lost and the other is not functioning, and other tubal–related factors)

❤Poor ovarian response to stimulation in previous treatments, including previous Ivf cycles: empty follicle syndrome (no eggs are retrieved or egg retrieval has been cancelled) or oocyte maturation failure (immature oocytes are retrieved)

❤Severe male factor infertility (low sperm count, low sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology, vasectomy)

❤Unexplained infertility

❤Genetic/Chromosomal factors

❤Single motherhood by choice

❤Lesbian, bisexual or transgender motherhood



Ivf process summary

Ivf treatment has many protocols making the cycle tailored to the patient’s specific case. Standard Ivf cycle involves health assessment, ovarian stimulation protocol for making the ovaries produce an optimal number of oocytes, follicular aspiration (egg retrieval), conventional fertilization, embryo cultivation, and embryo transfer. 


In cycles with preimplantation genetic testing (prenatal genetic screening tests, screening for fetal chromosomal abnormalities, gender selection), after embryo cultivation, genetic testing is performed, and after genetic testing embryos may undergo vitrification while waiting for testing results, and after that FET cycle can be started. 



What are the risks and your chance of success?

Ivf is a versatile technique for fertilizing the oocytes with sperm performed in the Ivf lab. It resolves often complex cases when it is not possible to get the desired result through timed intercourse, ovulation induction, or IUI helping singles and couples to achieve a pregnancy. As any treatment, Ivf has pros and cons, benefits, and complications. It has higher success rates compared to the other ART but also has some risks to know.


14 complications associated with Ivf

❤Poor ovarian response to stimulation & low number of oocytes produced during the cycle

❤Empty follicle syndrome or oocyte maturation arrest

❤Ovarian hyperstimulation

❤Possible complications during & after egg retrieval 

❤Fertilization failure 

❤Embryonic arrest 

❤Reduced number of top–quality embryos

❤Cancelled embryo transfer

❤Delayed embryo transfer 

❤Not all Ivf embryos left after the transfer can be vitrified

❤Implantation failure & miscarriage

❤Negative pregnancy test

❤No heartbeat detected on high–resolution ultrasound after positive pregnancy test 

❤Multiple pregnancies 



Ivf success rates statistics 

Ivf success rates depend on the case as sometimes it is not possible to get the desired result after the 1st Ivf cycle and 2nd cycle should be performed. In some cases, after an immediate (fresh) embryo transfer in case of implantation failure, frozen embryo transfer is done. Also, it should be noted that Ivf protocols are tailored for each specific case including the number and kind of embryo transfers. 


Patient age & Success rate

Patients under 25 years old

Positive pregnancy test in patients 20 to <25 years old is approximately 70–88%


Patients under 30 years old

Positive pregnancy test in patients 25 to <30 years old is approximately 70–80%


Patients under 35 years old

Positive pregnancy test in patients 30 to <35 years old is approximately 60–72%


Patients under 40 years old

Positive pregnancy test in patients 35 to <40 years old is approximately 40–55%


Patients after 40 years old

Positive pregnancy test in patients 40 to <45 years old is approximately 25–28%



Higher results are possible if an Ivf program has a smart back–up like FET (frozen embryo transfer, tandem Ivf or Ivf with the Donor’s gametes). In cycles with 1 fresh embryo transfer followed by 2 frozen embryo transfers, the positive pregnancy rates increased by 30% in a single cycle. That means, that cumulative positive pregnancy test (1 fresh embryo transfer plus 2 cryotransfers) in patients <35 years of age = 88%.

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