Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

Font Size

Infertility Tests Every Aspect of a Couple's Life

Infertility Tests for Every Aspect of a Couple's Life

Beyond the Cookie Cutter continued...

Although diagnostic tests can sometimes be dragged out for as long as 18 months, Daniel Kenigsberg, co-director of Long Island IVF in Port Jefferson, N.Y., advises finding a specialist who will get the testing done in about six weeks and who includes successive options if one course of action fails. He also advises that couples truly understand their chances of conception every month.

"Even if you were to restore a couple's fertility to normal, they'd still only be getting pregnant at a rate of about 20% per month. If people don't understand that basic premise, infertility can become especially stressful because somebody will get a fertility drug or insemination for one month and think it's gotta work."

Couples may be limited to certain programs or treatments by their insurers, and in states with mandated coverage patients are often referred more quickly to in vitro fertilization than they are elsewhere. But experts encourage arguing with insurers if need be. "I think that insurers for the most part want the patients pregnant in less tries, too, but sometimes they're not looking at the success rates as closely as the patients are," says Dr. Michael Zinaman, director of reproductive endocrinology at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.

The Numbers Game

Success rates for in vitro fertilization, which average about 23% per attempt by most recent statistics issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and cost an average of $10,000, are important to compare, of course. That's true now more than ever since some clinics have jumped significantly ahead of others, with some success rates as high as 50% for women 35 and under due to improvements in the procedures and lab conditions, says Dr. Zinaman.

But Dr. Silber suggests that couples also consider a program's cancellation rates, which can make its success rates appear higher than they otherwise might. Programs in high-population areas with long waiting lists often cancel in vitro procedures for women with smaller egg harvests because the pregnancy rate will be lower. "Their overall business plan may be to cancel 20% of their cycles -- that way their overall pregnancy rate will appear 20% higher." He recommends that cancellation rates be no higher than 5%.

Today on WebMD

Four pregnant women standing in a row
How much do you know about conception?
Couple with surrogate mother
Which one is right for you?
couple lying in grass holding hands
Why Dad's health matters.
couple viewing positive pregnancy test
6 ways to improve your chances.
Which Treatment Is Right For You
Conception Myths
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Charting Your Fertility Cycle
Fertility Specialist
Understanding Fertility Symptoms
invitro fertilization

WebMD Special Sections