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Infertility is often defined as not being able to get pregnant after trying for one year. Of the approximately 62 million women of reproductive age in 2002, about 1.2 million, or 2%, had an infertility-related medical appointment within the previous year, and 8% had an infertility-related medical visit at some point in the past. (Infertility services include medical tests to diagnose infertility, medical advice and treatments to help a woman become pregnant, and services other than routine prenatal care to prevent miscarriage.) Additionally, 7% of married couples in which the woman was of reproductive age (2.1 million couples) reported that they had not used contraception for 12 months and the woman had not become pregnant (2002 National Survey of Family Growth).

Thus, for many people who want to start a family, the dream of having a child is not easily realized. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has been used in the United States since 1981 to help women become pregnant, most commonly through the transfer of fertilized human eggs into a woman’s uterus (in vitro fertilization). However, deciding whether to undergo this expensive and time-consuming treatment can be difficult.

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Although various definitions have been used for ART, the definition used by CDC is based on the 1992 Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act that requires CDC to publish the annual ART success rates report. According to this definition, ART includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman. They do NOT include treatments in which only sperm are handled (i.e., intrauterine—or artificial—insemination) or procedures in which a woman takes medicine only to stimulate egg production without the intention of having eggs retrieved.

The goal of this report is to help potential ART users make informed decisions about ART by providing some of the information needed to answer the following questions:

What are my chances of having a child by using ART?
Where can I go to get this treatment?

Selected Resources

2006 Assisted Reproductive Technology Success Rates
National Summary and Fertility Clinic Reports
The data for this national report comes from the 483 fertility clinics in operation in 2006 that provided and verified data on the outcomes of all ART cycles started at their clinics. The 138,198 ART cycles performed at these reporting clinics in 2006 resulted in 41,343 live births (deliveries of one or more living infants) and 54,656 infants. Data provided by U.S. fertility clinics that use ART to treat infertility is a rich source of information about the factors that contribute to a successful ART treatment—the delivery of a live-born infant. Order report.

Previous ART Reports

2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000–1995 (PDF format only)

Excel logo Excel Spreadsheets of the ART clinic data

2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995

Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance—United States, 2005
These surveillance summaries include detailed statistics from the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Surveillance System by state/territory of residence. The report expands information on geography and determinants of ART success and the risks associated with ART procedures (e.g., multiple births, low birthweight, and preterm delivery) beyond what appears in the 2005 Assisted Reproductive Technology Success Rates: National Summary and Fertility Clinic Report. Source: MMWR 2008;57 (No. SS-5) 1–23.

Errata: Vol. 57, No. SS-5 Source: MMWR 2008 / 57(40);1105.

Previous ART Surveillance Summary
2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

National Birth Defects Prevention Study Shows Assisted Reproductive Technology is Associated with an Increased Risk of Certain Birth Defects
Infants conceived with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) are two to four times more likely to have certain types of birth defects than children conceived naturally, according to a study by the CDC released in the journal Human Reproduction.

Increasing infant mortality among very low birthweight infants — Delaware, 1994–2000,
Source: MMWR 2003;52:862–866.

Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology—United States, 1996 and 1998
Since 1983, when the first infant was conceived from in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the United States, the use of IVF and related procedures (assisted reproductive technology) has increased substantially. Source: MMWR 2002;51(05):97–101.

Contribution of Assisted Reproductive Technology and Ovulation-Inducing Drugs to Triplet and Higher-Order Multiple Births— United States, 1980–1997
Pregnancies associated with assisted reproductive technology (ART) and drugs that induce ovulation are more likely to result in multiple births than spontaneously conceived pregnancies in the United States. Source: MMWR 2000;49(24):535–538.

Related Resources

Division of Reproductive Health's ART Surveillance System
In the U.S. and worldwide, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are increasingly used to overcome all types of infertility disorders.

Infertility FAQ's (National Women's Health Information Center)

How Do I Know If I Have an Infertility Problem?* (Resolve: The National Infertility Association)

Infertility (March of Dimes)*

American Fertility Association*
The American Fertility Association (AFA) is a national consumer organization that offers support for men and women dealing with infertility. Their purpose is to educate the public about reproductive disease, and support families during struggles with infertility and adoption.

Fertile Hope*
Fertile Hope is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.

American Society for Reproductive Medicine*
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is a multidisciplinary organization for the advancement of information, education, advocacy and standards in the field of reproductive medicine.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association*
RESOLVE is a national consumer organization that offers support for men and women dealing with infertility. Their purpose is to provide timely, compassionate support and information to people who are experiencing infertility and to increase awareness of infertility issues through public education and advocacy.

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology*
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) promotes and advances the standards for the practice of assisted reproductive technology to the benefit of patients, members and society at large.

Tissue Action Plan (FDA)
The purpose of the Tissue Action Plan is to develop the policies, regulations and guidance documents for regulation of cellular and tissue-based products ...more

Human Cell, Tissues and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (FDA)
Listing of ART clinics registered with FDA.

Implementation of the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992: A Model Program for the Certification of Embryo Laboratories
This notice sets forth the model certification program requirements, including definitions, administrative requirements, and embryo laboratory standards. The model program incorporates comments received by CDC on the proposed model certification program that was published in the Federal

Assisted Reproductive Technology: Embryo Laboratory  Adobe PDF logo PDF 435KB
This site links to the (1) January 1999 report entitled Survey of Assisted Reproductive Technology: Embryo Laboratory Procedures and Practices (119 pages); and (2) Proposed Model Certification Program for Embryo Laboratories as required by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992.

Search PubMed for articles on Assisted Reproductive Technology
This search is being conducted on PubMed an NLM/NIH service.

Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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Page last reviewed: 1/7/09
Page last modified: 1/7/09
Content source: Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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