News Release: Emory Healthcare, School of Medicine

Apr. 16,  2009

Emory Reproductive Center Exceeds National Average in IVF Pregnancy Success Rates

Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, the Emory Reproductive Center, located at Emory University Hospital Midtown, has exceeded the national average in IVF (in-vitro fertilization) pregnancy success rates of single live births in women less than 35 years old.

Emory Reproductive Center is all-inclusive to patients, meaning that all patients are seen and treated regardless of their age or prognosis of pregnancy.

"IVF success rates demonstrate how effectively our experts treat and care for patients to consistently achieve exceptional results," says Donna Session, MD, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine and medical director of the Emory Reproductive Center. "The high quality of our program is built upon skilled reproductive endocrinologists, top-notch embryology and andrology laboratories, and the specialists which run them."

In-vitro fertilization involves fertilizing an egg with sperm, outside of the mother's body. Once fertilized, it is placed inside the mother's uterus for development and ultimately, a normal birth.

IVF is associated with a higher success rate if the patient has a healthy uterus and ovulates naturally, responds well to fertility medications or uses eggs from a healthy donor. As a woman ages, successful pregnancy rates can diminish.

When interpreting pregnancy rates from IVF treatments, the rates for women under 35 tend to reflect the skills and decisions of IVF experts and the younger age of women. Rates for women over 35 often illustrate the difficulties of establishing and maintaining pregnancy later in life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes an annual report listing the success rates of IVF programs. Since CDC calculates live birth rates, success rates take two years to become available. In 2006 (the most recent success rates), the Emory Reproductive Center achieved an approximate pregnancy rate per cycle of 45.5 percent for patients under 35 years old, compared to the 38.7 percent national average. In 2005, the approximate pregnancy rate per cycle was 46.9 percent in that same age group, compared to a national average of 37.3 percent. In 2004, the center achieved a 43.9 percent success rate among the same group of women, compared to the 36.9 percent national average.

"Our team's goal is to provide the highest quality of patient care, with a variety of treatment options tailored to each patient's needs," says Session. "We are pleased that we are able to assist so many women and their partners achieve their dreams of parenthood."

Last year, the Emory Reproductive Center was accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for its high standards and excellence in laboratory quality assurance. It received zero deficiencies in its inspection. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is an internationally recognized program designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance. The program provides a solid foundation for quality practices and helps laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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