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7 must know facts about egg donation success rates – the truth clinics don’t tell you

If you are looking for a clinic to have IVF treatment with donor eggs and you are wondering what IVF donor egg success rates are, read our article.

While analysing the Internet forums, it can be easily seen that most patients searching for a clinic ask two important questions:

What are IVF donor egg success rates and what is the cost of the treatment?

Let’s focus on the first one. If you ask the first question on an Internet forum, you will get one of two answers, either, “very good – success!” and “not good – failure!” Unfortunately, such information will not make choosing the fertility clinic any easier. Internet forums can be a good source of content-related knowledge, but unfortunately understanding of the underlying meanings of IVF donor egg success rates, the ability to read the statistics published by the clinics, and, indeed knowing what to pay attention to – all require something more than a simple “success” or “failure.”

Do you know that if you are reading this article and you are planning to have IVF treatment with donor eggs, you have an average (watch video and see below):

  • 80% chance
    that after the egg fertilisation you will receive properly developing embryos
  • another 75-85% chance
    that the embryos transferred to your uterus will implant correctly
  • another 70-80% chance
    that you will be diagnosed with biochemical pregnancy (1 week after the embryo transfer)
  • another 55-65% chance
    that you will be diagnosed with clinical pregnancy – 12 week ultrasound scan
  • and finally – about an 45-55% chance
    of having a live birth.

This means that on average 1 in 2 women having IVF treatment with donor eggs will have a baby. This can be linked to many factors. However, bear in mind that when you have a second round of treatment, your chances grow . Are you curious why this is so? Let’s start from the beginning.

IVF with donor eggs success rates - Pregnancy Funnel

Types of donor egg programs and IVF donor egg success rates:

  1. Program with fresh donor eggs – fresh eggs transfer. The whole program is carried out in a synchronized cycle of the donor and the recipient.
    Success rate of IVF with donor eggs: optimal
  2. Program with fresh donor eggs – frozen eggs transfer – the embryos are frozen using vitrification and transferred to the recipient during the next treatment cycle.
    Success rate of IVF with donor eggs: optimal
  3. Program with frozen donor eggs – the donor eggs are frozen and placed in egg bank. After thawing, fertilisation is carried out and fresh embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus.*
    Success rate of IVF with donor eggs: good – to be confirmed, see below

*In the case of frozen egg donor programs, there are statistics indicating that the success rate of IVF with donor eggs is just a touch worse than in a fresh treatment cycle. The role played here by IVF laboratory and the specialists’ experience in egg cryopreservation is crucial, as eggs are very delicate. The freezing and thawing process is much more difficult than with embryos. The average survival rate of frozen eggs from women under 32 is more than 90%. However, these statistics come from clinics specializing in this type of procedure and have relevant experience. Bear in mind that these are not the statistics of egg donor success rate but only the survival rate of the eggs.

7 things you need to know about the statistics of egg donor programs

  1. Statistically, in IVF donor egg program, success rates are not dependent on the recipient’s age.
    This means that regardless of your age, if you are able to become pregnant and carry to term, your chances for bearing a baby will be, on average, the same as in women of different age. That is why looking for a fertility clinic which shows the statistics by patient’s age can be misleading.
  2. On average about 20-30% of miscarriages occur before the 12th week after IVF treatment.
  3. There is no standardized method for presenting egg donor statistics.
    IVF clinics apply various methodologies in calculating their success rates and do not always give information on how the statistics have been derived.
  4. Most often, in vitro clinics present data related to the success rate based on a percentage of clinical pregnancies (at 6 weeks) per embryo transfer.
    This data does not include miscarriages occurring between 6th and 12th week of pregnancy.
  5. Most rarely fertility clinic presents data related to success rate of IVF with donor eggs based on percentage of births of  healthy babies.
    This type of statistics will always be lower. Some  in vitro clinics are not able to monitor the patient over a longer period of time, so they simply do not have such data.
  6. Statistics of healthy baby births in egg donor program is on average 10-20%
    lower than the percentage of clinical pregnancies (at 6 weeks) achieved per embryo transfer. These are real statistics from which you can learn what your chances are for having a baby.
  7. Clinics do not reveal in their statistics from which donors the recipients have received eggs.
    Age is not a factor here. More relevant is, for example, if the donor has previously had a healthy baby.

IVF clinics’ methods of presenting the statistics for IVF donor egg success rates – using marketing in statistics

  1. Pregnancy per patient’s cycle
    This type of statistics is very rarely presented by fertility centers. Statistically, the results of such presentation will be the lowest. This stems from a fact that an egg recipient’s cycle may not be completed due to, for example, poor quality of embryos or no fertilisation.
  2. Biochemical pregnancy per embryo transfer
    Biochemical pregnancy is diagnosed based on lab examination, usually 1 week after embryo transfer. This type of statistics is very often used by in vitro clinics precisely because it shows very good results. It does not include cases with failed embryo transfer, and only includes successful embryo transfers. Also, pregnancy is diagnosed 1 week after transfer so later miscarriages are not taken into account.
  3. Clinical pregnancy per embryo transfer at 6 or 12 weeks of pregnancy
    Clinical pregnancy is diagnosed based on lab blood tests and ultrasound at 6 or 12 weeks. The most often presented results refer to pregnancies diagnosed at 6 weeks. The ultrasound shows a visible gestational sac in the uterus. Here, the statistics are better than those for 12 weeks. Again, they do not include any miscarriages occurring at 6-12 weeks.
  4. Live birth – take home baby
    The statistics of giving birth to a healthy baby after IVF treatment with donor eggs are very rarely presented. These are the lowest of all the statistics. Often fertility centers do not know if pregnancy ended in live birth and take home baby, because they are not able to monitor a patient over such a long period of time.

UPDATE: 09.2018

Cumulative pregnancy rates or cumulative live birth rates…

Nowadays more and more clinics publish cumulative success rate for the ivf treatments performed at their facilities. For this reason, we prepared separate article regarding the topic.If you are patient who seeks clinic for the IVF treatment, then “success rate” is one of the factors taken into consideration in your research.

“Cumulative success rate” indicates the percentage of patients who have successful treatment (got pregnant) after few cycles performed at clinic (it is usually 3 attempts). It’s important to know how to read data provided by the clinic regarding “success rate”.

Why some of the clinics decide to provide success rate this way? What are the methods of calculation? Is there a marketing catch or there is medical justification for such publication?

Cumulative pregnancy rates or cumulative live birth rates – what do they mean?

You will find in the article the answers to questions and many more interesting facts.

What exactly impacts the success rate of IVF with donor eggs?

  1. The quality of donor’s eggs
    The quality of donor eggs  greatly influences IVF success rates. Donors are usually aged 18-32, with the qualifying age differing in various countries. In some countries, you can qualify if you are aged 19-20 but below 30. The best eggs the clinics receive are those coming from donors who have had at least one baby before. It is thought that such eggs have a greater potential. However, donors like this are scarce. Other qualification factors are also important: age, AMH level, infection tests or genetic tests, e.g. karyotype analysis. Acquiring a qualified egg donor is extremely expensive, often constituting half of the cost of the whole program. That is why skipping some qualification factors, can be tempting for some in vitro clinics if they want to save money. All this can result in lower egg quality.
  2. Experience and quality of IVF laboratory
    The experience of the team of embryologists and the quality of the lab are crucial factors which influence the donor egg ivf  success rate. This is true not only in cases of egg donation but also IVF programs with own eggs.
  3. Your and your partner’s medical condition
    Bear in mind that donor’s eggs take the place of your eggs which may be scarce, or of insufficient quality . However, there is an additional factor that can influence the egg donor IVF success rate – it is your partner’s genetic material and the quality of his sperm. Make sure your partner has had all medical tests: sperm analysis, sperm DNA fragmentation test and, most of all, genetic tests, e.g. karyotype analysis. It can happen that, in addition to donor eggs, you may have to consider using donor sperm as well. Statistically about 30-40% IVF programs are carried out because of the “male factor” –  that is problems on the partner’s side.
  4. …and most importantly – your attitude
    We keep meeting patients who say they are looking for a clinic which they will visit only once, maximum for 2-3 days, to have the embryos transferred. They claim they do not have time to travel that much and some of them mention the financial limitations.A positive, realistic attitude to treatment puts you on the road to success.
    Fast, cheap treatment does not necessarily lead to successful treatment, and are more often mutually exclusive. If your clinic claims otherwise, think if this is really what you expect. Some elements of the process, like getting to know the patient, direct patient-doctor contact cannot be replaced by an e-mail or a Skype call. The correct, minimal medical process should involve an initial qualifying visit, during which the doctor will examine you, confirm there are no contraindications for pregnancy, regardless of the fertilisation method. The doctor needs to look at both your and your partner’s medical histories to check that nothing has been overlooked. The next appointment should take place at least a few days before the embryo transfer, in order to prepare the uterine mucous membrane for the transfer. While embryo transfer is not a complicated procedure, you should stay somewhere near the IVF clinic, at least for a few days. If you really have to go home, fly the next day after the transfer. Only by relaxing and taking some rest  can help yourself get pregnant. Strenuous or stressful activities will not help you in any way.

The statistics of success rates of IVF with donor eggs – the USA, the UK and Spain

Below you will find the statistics published by SART (the USA) – 2014, SEF (Spain) – 2014 and, HFEA (the UK) – 2013. The data includes over 90% of  in vitro clinics from each country. Unfortunately, some data is not available in certain countries. The statistics refer only to IVF cycle with fresh donor eggs.

Clinical pregnancies (6th week)66.8%55.6%no data
Live births56.8%48.3%32%

It is worth mentioning that in case of Spanish statistics, the data may not be complete. This is because of the fact that in Spain, just like in many other European countries, there are many egg donation programs run for foreign patients. Unfortunately in most cases monitoring the results of such programs can be difficult.

Below you will find detailed statistics published by SART – USA for 2014 with data specifying fresh eggs and frozen eggs IVF cycles

 IVF with fresh donor eggsIVF with frozen donor eggs
No. of IVF cycles850711974
No. of transfers725611155
Avg. no. of embryos transferred1.71.6
Clinical pregnancies (6th week)66.8%51.7%
Live births56.8%41.5%

The statistics offered by the best IVF clinics in Europe are as good as those in the USA. Many fertility centers have higher success rate than the average rate in the USA.

If you are looking for a clinic matching your expectations, you can use the Clinic Matching Test. Our consultants will be able to present you with the details of IVF clinics which precisely matching your expectations. All in vitro clinics in our database have excellent egg donation success rates. They are trusted clinics, highly experienced in providing IVF with donor eggs for foreign patients. Find the best clinic for your IVF with donor eggs program. We have broad database of trusted egg donation clinics in Europe, including: Spain, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Poland and more… Some of clinics do offer special Discount Vouchers for IVF with donor eggs program.

EggDonationFriends recommendations

Other resources regarding IVF & Success rates:

The success rate of IVF with donor eggs which is presented by fertility clinics should never be your most important choice criterion.
Take ivf with donor eggs success rates with a pinch of salt. Always ask questions about the clinic’s methodologies for deriving statistics.
Renowned, experienced fertility clinics have similar success rates of egg donation. The success rates are higher than in IVF clinics with little experience.
Experienced clinic – is a clinic which runs at least a few hundred IVF treatments with donor eggs a year. The best-case scenario is when the clinic does at least 10 programs a month per each doctor.
The success rate mostly depends on donor egg quality and donor qualification methods.
Good communication, patient care, customised treatment will give you more than good statistics which you can find on the clinic’s website.
Be wary of success rates of egg donation on Internet forums. This information is always black & white, either success or failure. Ask about the treatment quality, doctors’ experience, post-op care or emergency contact options.
Your attitude towards treatment is the key to success – bear in mind: you cannot treat an infected tooth over the phone. The same way you cannot treat infertility during one visit or over the phone.


  1. I’m 41. I thought age of egg donor and success rate are somehow linked. For me it’s important the donor is young and healthy.

  2. even I would like to know the difference between frozen eggs and fresh eggs. Does that affect fertility? which one is better??

    • Dear Maria, a fresh donor egg cycle is when the patients is working with a selected donor of their choice. In this case, you get all the eggs from her cycle. If the doctors retrieve 25 eggs from the donor, you can use all those eggs now or later on. If in the cycle they get only 8-10 eggs, this is what you get to work with.
      A frozen egg treatment cycle is when you or the clinic get a lot of eggs from an egg bank. The eggs are then fertilised. You usually get a batch of 6 eggs no matter how many were retrieved. If there were 26 oocytes collected, these eggs will be distributed to different recipients. Out of these 6 eggs you get only 4 might get fertilised, as you can see the numbers are low. This is just an example but can show you how it works.
      The decision is entirely up to you. You should take all factors into consideration.

  3. It’s great article – an maybe not all clinics would find it useful (and would be happy….on that) as it shows some markteting techniques used to hide inconvenient information…. for patients…
    Anyway as far as ivf success rates are concerned there should be cumulative rates subject covered as it seems to be more often used by clinics. Well it’s understable – the higher is better… As I saw 93% ivf egg donation success rate on one of the websites….. it turned out it was cumulative ivf success rate – counting patients who undertook 3 ivf cycles in a row – so that’s cumulative rate…..

    • Definitely good point about cumulative ivf egg donation success rates. The subject is weird adn difficult to understand as some clinics show the cumulative rates only….

    • Why use cumulative ivf success rates? Does it matter for ivf with donor eggs as egg donation treatment is independent of woman’s age…?

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