What are my chances of getting pregnant with IVF ?

The commonest question you will ask before starting an IVF cycle is - what are my chances of getting pregnant?

This is a simple question, but the answer is complex, because it depends on nine variables summarised in the table below.

This is why we cannot possibly provide an accurate answer. We therefore try to give a guesstimate based on our experience with other women who match the infertile couple.

However, I think the question needs to be reframed for it to be valuable to patients. A better question would be – what are the factors I can change in order to improve my chances of success.

Let me explain. The of success in an IVF cycle depend on two things – controllable factors ; and uncontrollable factors . The uncontrollable factors are the things which we can't do anything about - for example , the husband’s sperm count or the wife's age . These are fixed and we have to work with what’s available.

However, there are lots of controllable factors as well which impact IVF success rates , we need to focus our energies on these, in order to improve their chances of getting pregnant.

These include things such as the selection of the superovulation protocol; and the expertise of the IVF lab. the IVF pregnancy rate . Rather than worry about all the millions of uncontrollable factors , we need to concentrate on the factors which we can control .

Unfortunately , a lot of women worry about the things they cannot control when that have a failed IVF cycle. They start obsessing over all the things they can do to improve the chances of implantation in the next cycle.

Unfortunately , because this is a complex biological process which we cannot control , there are a long list of factors which influence implantation about which we can do little or nothing. These include stuff like immunological and genetic variables.

The moment we talk about trying to control these, we end up in a non-woman’s land, because we still understand very little about what’s important and what’s not. This just adds to our confusion – and that of our patients as well.

Rather than waste time, money and energy trying to fix speculative immune problems which we do not understand, patients would be much better served concentrating on the tangible stuff they can control.

How well equipped is the IVF clinic ? Do they provide embryo photographs as proof of the quality of care they provide ?

This way, patients can improve their chances of success, rather than fretting and fuming about uncontrollable factors which we don't understand much about , and therefore can do little to fix.

While you cannot do much about your age, you can improve your chances of success by choosing a world class IVF clinic , such as Malpani Infertility Clinic !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.