In vitro fertilization—the process of combining an egg with sperm outside the body to create a viable embryo—is an increasingly popular option for couples having difficulty conceiving a child on their own, same-sex couples and single parents.

IVF success is determined by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors, along with choosing the right fertility clinic. Success also depends on the fertility of both parents, including ovulatory function in women and sperm function in men.

The likelihood of becoming pregnant is between 25 and 30 percent per menstrual cycle for healthy couples in their 20s and early 30s. In both men and women, the chances decrease as each decade passes. By the time women reach age 40, they have a 10 percent average conception rate per cycle.

Factors that impact fertility

Aside from age, underlying health conditions can also