How to evaluate fertility clinics & their IVF success rates

In vitro fertilization is the most effective infertility treatment and is considered an assisted reproductive technology (ART). And while it is not the treatment most patients require, IVF success rates are an important metric that reflects a fertility clinic’s expertise. Patients often use a clinic’s IVF success data in making a decision about what clinic to choose for treatment.

When reviewing IVF success rates, we advise that patients consider:

  • Carolina Conceptions’ IVF success rates are higher than the national average.
  • The Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology states, “It is important to note that patient characteristics vary among programs; therefore, success rates should not be used to compare treatment centers.

 The bigger picture of IVF success

We are very proud of our IVF success rates, but such numbers aren’t the only thing patients should look for in a fertility clinic. For one thing, only about 3% of infertility patients use IVF or similar treatments, so fertility clinics serve the much greater number of fertility patients with other infertility treatments.

A lot of variables go into IVF success like the effectiveness of ovulation induction and the age and individual medical situation of the specific patient. Such factors as egg quality, body weight, hormone levels, genetics and others can affect IVF success or failure.

Below are our most recent IVF data and factors we encourage all infertility patients to keep in mind when considering a fertility clinic’s IVF success rates.

Check the fertility clinic’s IVF success rates

Go to the Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) to see IVF success rates for any IVF program in the United States. Go to “IVF Success,” then click on “Find a Clinic.” Search the state or zip code you are interested in, and all the programs are listed.

Notice pregnancy rates for your age group (<35, 35-37 etc.). You can also look at your clinic of interest and see how it compares to the national live birth rates. A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entry criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.

While you will see many different reports on the website, the “Percentage of transfers resulting in live births” is one of the most important categories. It tells you how many women delivered a baby after an embryo transfer at that program. The number of cycles that have been performed will be a reflection of the clinic’s experience. You can also go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to see success rates for all clinics in the country.

IVF success rate glossary

  • Live birth rate is the percentage of those undergoing IVF who delivered a baby.
  • Pregnancy rate is the percentage of those with a positive pregnancy test two weeks following transfer of the embryo to the womb.
  • Ongoing pregnancy rate is the same as pregnancy rate but for 12 weeks after transferring the embryo.
  • Cycle refers to the beginning of drug administration with the intention of having an IVF procedure.

According to SART, a comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches, and entry criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.

Preliminary live birth per new patient using own eggs

2021 SART Data

SART IVF Statistics Clinical Summary Report | Carolina Conceptions | Raleigh, NC

SART 2018-2020 new patient live birth rates

New Patient Live Birth Rates 2018-20 | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC

SART 2018-2020 live births per intended egg retrieval

SART Live Births Per Intended Egg Retrieval Rates | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC

2022 fresh & frozen embryo transfer pregnancy rates (internal)

2022 Fresh Embryo Transfer Pregnancy Rates | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC
2022 Frozen Embryo Transfer Pregnancy Rates | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC

2014-2022 fresh & frozen embryo transfer pregnancy rates (internal)

2014-22 Fresh Embryo Transfer Pregnancy Rates | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC
2014-22 Frozen Embryo Transfer Pregnancy Rates | Carolina Conceptions, Raleigh, NC

Beyond the numbers: other fertility clinic considerations

Be sure to check the credentials of your reproductive endocrinologist

Are the doctors fellowship trained and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI)? Most Ob-Gyn doctors are board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, but the most highly trained infertility doctors are also board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Four physicians at Carolina Conceptions are subspecialty certified. This means they have completed an additional two-three years of fellowship training after four years of residency in Ob-Gyn, and have passed the written and oral exams for both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Are your fertility doctors there accessible throughout your infertility treatment?

At Carolina Conceptions, we pride ourselves on patient care and customer service. Excellent patient care is our top priority. At CC, we unite the expertise of our entire medical team in one common goal: making your family a reality. For this reason, you’ll likely see all of us at different points in your treatment. As a result, our patients often find success sooner than they would seeing a single physician.

All physicians, nurses, embryologists and staff members are accessible by email and phone. We feel it is very important that you have confidence and trust in your accessible IVF team.

Are the fertility clinic’s IVF costs transparent?

IVF is an effective but expensive therapy. We make every effort to offer transparent and competitive IVF costs, along with financial counseling and financing as needed.

There are less expensive IVF programs than ours, but their live birth rates may not be as high as our program’s.

Does the lab meet the highest standards like CAP & CLIA certification?

If you feel comfortable with the overall success rates of a fertility clinic and the training of its physicians, it’s time to ask a few questions about the clinic’s IVF lab.

Carolina Conceptions has been awarded CAP accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists since opening. CAP accreditation indicates that our laboratory is one of an exclusive group of reproductive laboratories around the country that have met the highest standards of excellence.

CC is also certified by CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, which regulate lab testing), indicating we are certified not only by the State of North Carolina but also by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This means we are allowed to accept human samples (eggs, sperm, embryos) for diagnostic testing.

Does the lab have the most cutting-edge technology?

With the exception of a few screening labs, all IVF procedures are conducted in our on-site, state-of-the-art laboratory.

  • Advanced IVF treatments such as egg freezing, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching and trophectoderm biopsy for preimplantation genetic testing all take place in our facility.
  • Low oxygen tension/nitrogen incubators are used at CC, instead of the standard carbon dioxide incubators, to better simulate the woman’s fallopian tube environment. Atmospheric conditions are held to a strict standard, and culture conditions are tailored to match patient needs.
  • Multiroom, bench top incubators for embryo culture have independent chambers preventing cross contamination without causing any disturbance to the neighboring chambers even when the lids are opened/closed. The pH and temperature are precisely regulated, and there is no fluctuation for nearby chambers.
  • We utilize a high-pressure air flow system to force air from the lab into the rest of the clinic to maintain excellence in air quality. By maintaining a positive pressure, contaminants are less likely to enter the lab whenever the doors are opened.