About the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to help themselves.
Since it was founded in 1946 to help control malaria, CDC has remained at the forefront of public health efforts to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities, and environmental health threats. Today, CDC is globally recognized for conducting research and investigations and for its action oriented approach. CDC applies research and findings to improve peoples daily lives.
The CDC has published extensively about the subject of infertility and invitro fertilization. For many people who want to start a family, the dream of having a child is not easily realized; about 15% of women of childbearing age in the United States have received an infertility service. 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. However, for many people, deciding whether to undergo this expensive and time-consuming treatment can be difficult.
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?
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)*, an organization of ART providers affiliated with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)*, has been collecting data and publishing annual reports of pregnancy success rates for fertility clinics in the United States and Canada since 1989. In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act. This law requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish pregnancy success rates for ART in fertility clinics in the United States. Since 1995, CDC has worked in consultation with SART and ASRM to report ART success rates.
The 2002 report of pregnancy success rates is the eighth to be issued under the law. This report is based on the latest available data on the type, number, and outcome of ART cycles performed in U.S. clinics.
The 2002 ART report has four major sections:
- Commonly asked questions about the U.S. ART clinic reporting system. This section provides background information on infertility and ART and an explanation of the data collection, analysis, and publication processes.
- A national report. The national report section presents overall success rates and shows how they are affected by certain patient and treatment characteristics. Because the national report summarizes data from all 391 fertility clinics that reported, it can give people considering ART a good idea of the average chance of having a child by using ART.
- Fertility clinic tables. Success also is related to the expertise of a particular clinic’s staff and the quality of its laboratory. The fertility clinic table section displays ART results and success rates for individual U.S. fertility clinics in 2002.
Appendix A contains technical notes on the interpretation of 95% confidence intervals and findings from the data validation visits to selected fertility clinics.
Appendix B (Glossary) provides definitions for technical and medical terms used throughout the report.
Appendix C includes the names and addresses of all reporting clinics along with a list of clinics known to be in operation in 2002 that did not report their success rate data to CDC as required by law.
Appendix D includes the names and addresses of national consumer organizations that offer support to people experiencing infertility.
Success rates can be reported in a variety of ways, and the statistical aspects of these rates can be difficult to interpret. As a result, presenting information about ART success rates is a complex task. This report is intended for the general public, and the emphasis is on presenting the information in an easily understandable form. CDC hopes that this report is informative and helpful to people considering an ART procedure. We welcome any suggestions for improving the report and making it easier to use.