Who are the best candidates for IVF?


Couples facing issues with fertility usually choose between three major treatments: the cost-effective, non-invasive IUI; the meticulous, expensive ICSI and the most "traditional" of the three – in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Advancements in IVF technology have made the procedure highly successful. Since 1985, the success rate of achieving a live birth from IVF has increased from 5% to 30% (SART). When choosing IVF as a treatment, you should understand who the most successful IVF candidates are to consider if this treatment is the right one for you. 

Let’s start with the basics of IVF. 

What is In vitro fertilization (IVF)?

IVF involves retrieving and fertilizing the sperm and egg outside of the body, fertilizing these into an embryo, and transferring the embryo into the uterus for a successful implantation. Depending on your needs, your fertility doctor can use your or your donor’s eggs. 

Best candidates for IVF 

To make a more informed decision about your chances of a successful IVF treatment, let’s review examples of candidates that are ideal for this form of assisted reproductive technology: 

  • Women with blocked fallopian tubes – The IVF procedure completely bypasses the fallopian tubes. If you are producing healthy eggs that are being blocked from fertilization (or if you have had your fallopian tubes removed), then you may be a right candidate for IVF. 
  • Women with an infertility disorder – Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of infertility in women. If this is the reason for your problems, then IVF may be the right solution for you. IVF may well serve women with other conditions such as endometriosis.
  • Women with irregular ovulation cycles – IVF treatment produces more healthy eggs by inducing ovulation, countering an irregular menstrual cycle. 
  • Men with factor infertility – If your partner has a low sperm count, irregularly shaped sperm, or another male factor infertility challenge, IVF paired with ICSI can deliver a successful fertilization and conception. 

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and IVF 

If the main challenge you face while getting pregnant comes from male factor infertility,  ICSI can further improve your chances of a successful IVF cycle. The major difference between IVF and ICSI is how the sperm fertilizes the egg – IVF leaves the sperm to fertilize the egg independently, while ICSI directly injects a single sperm into the egg. However, you can combine IVF with ICSI to achieve higher fertilization rates and a lower chance of failed cycles. 

Every situation is different, and self-diagnosis doesn’t typically yield effective results. To determine what assisted reproductive treatment is your best option, you should seek a trusted fertility specialist’s advice.  

In the U.S., a full 1% of women currently use IVF to have a baby. You may be a particular case that requires unique treatment, which is something you may not know until you fully understand your current medical condition and personal biology. 

Who does not benefit from IVF?

Because IVF is such a widely-used treatment, it may be easier to determine who does not benefit from the procedure. Below are some examples:

  • Women over 37 years of age – Studies show that women over age 37 experience  significantly more trouble getting pregnant through IVF. Being over this age doesn’t disqualify all women from a successful cycle, but medical research has found 37 is the average age of the drop-off in IVF effectiveness. 
  • Women with trouble producing healthy eggs – IVF treatment centers around removing healthy eggs from your uterus for fertilization. If your eggs are not healthy, the rest of the procedure becomes a moot point. For women experiencing this challenge, consult with your fertility specialist to learn about how you can improve your egg production or use a third-party donor. 
  • Women with no interest in getting an outside donor – If your eggs are not healthy, you can still receive them from a highly qualified, screened egg donor. You may have no interest in this option, which means that IVF is not the procedure for you. 

Although health conditions like ovarian dysfunction, fibroid tumors, uterine abnormalities, or abnormal hormone levels do not entirely negate the use, they lower the chances of success enough to consider other treatments as a primary option. 

Find out if you’re the right candidate for IVF

You’ll be in the best of hands. PFCLA has performed more than 20,000 IVF procedures and is responsible for the birth of over 13,500 babies worldwide, including bringing hundreds into LGBTQ+ households. To learn more about our IVF process, visit our IVF services page. Alternatively, contact us to speak to a fertility expert to determine if you’re the right candidate for IVF.

Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided is for general educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Speak to your doctor directly with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information contained herein does not replace any care plan as determined by a physician. 

You May Also Like

These Stories on In-Vitro Fertilization

Subscribe by Email