Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lancet. 1996 Nov 23;348(9039):1402-6.

Factors that affect outcome of in-vitro fertilisation treatment.

Author information

  • 1Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, London, UK.



The effectiveness of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment depends both on the overall success rate in the treating clinic and on the characteristics of the couple seeking treatment. Since 1991, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has been collecting information on all IVF cycles carried out in the UK. This database has been analysed to identify the factors that affect the outcome of treatment.


All IVF treatment cycles and outcomes registered between August, 1991, and April, 1994, were identified (52507). Cycles that involved gamete or embryo donation, frozen embryo transfer, or micromanipulation and unstimulated cycles were excluded. Thus, 36961 cycles (70% of those registered) were included in the analysis. The main outcome measure was liverbirth rate per cycle started. The relation between age and outcome was investigated by fitting of different fractional polynomials of age with logistic regression models. All other factors were analysed by logistic regression with age included in the model.


The overall livebirth rate per cycle of treatment was 13.9%. The highest livebirth rates were in the age-group 25-30 years; younger women had lower rates and there was a sharp decline in older women. At all ages over 30, use of donor eggs was associated with a significantly higher livebirth rate than use of the woman's own eggs, but there was also a downward trend in success rate with age (p = 0.04). After adjustment for age, there was a significant decrease in livebirth rate with increasing duration of infertility from 1 to 12 years (p < 0.001). The medical indication for treatment had no significant effect on the outcome. Previous pregnancy and livebirth significantly increased treatment success. The possibility of success decreased with each IVF treatment cycle.


We were able to identify by logistic regression the factors that significantly affect the outcome of IVF treatment, and to measure the magnitude of that effect. These factors should be taken into account in assessment of IVF results. After allowance for background clinic success rates, these factors can be used to predict outcome in individual cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk