Success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in France

7 in 10 couples treated by IVF achieve parenthood, but not always through medical treatment

In a study conducted in eight French IVF centers, we estimated the probability of achieving parenthood for couples using IVF. We used a life course approach, meaning that instead of estimating probability of success for a single attempt to achieve parenthood through IVF (a single IVF cycle), we took into account couples’ long-term outcomes, i.e., both in the medical center and after leaving it. 

Eight years after starting IVF treatment, 71% of the couples had had a child: 

  • 48% achieved parenthood through IVF or another medical treatment;
  • 11% had adopted one or more children;
  • 12% had achieved parenthood through natural conception after several years of infertility. 


  • 100 couples starting in vitro fertilization treatment :
  • 41 couples became parents during treatment at the center
  • 59 couples left the IVF center childless

7 of them had a child later through treatment
12 of them had a child through spontaneous conception 
11 of them adopted one or more children

48 couples [41+7] became parents through medical treatment.
71 couples [48+12+11] became parents of either a biologically related or adopted child.

To learn more, see

Pénélope Troude, Gaëlle Santin, Juliette Guibert, Jean Bouyer and Elise de La Rochebrochard for the DAIFI Group, 2016, “Seven out of 10 couples treated by IVF achieve parenthood following either treatment, natural conception or adoption” , Reproductive Biomedicine Online 33(5):560-7.

Pénélope Troude, Estelle Bailly, Juliette Guibert, Jean Bouyer, and Elise de La Rochebrochard for the DAIFI Group, 2012, “Spontaneous pregnancies among couples previously treated by in vitro fertilization”, Fertility and Sterility 98(1): 63-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.03.058

Achieving parenthood through IVF remains difficult: 1 in 4 couples discontinue treatment after their first attempt (cycle)

Despite the fact that the French health insurance system reimburses costs for up to 4 IVF cycles, many couples discontinue treatment early, describing the process as a “real obstacle course.” Twenty-seven percent (27%) of couples whose first IVF attempt was unsuccessful discontinue treatment at the center without trying a second time. 

The figure following a second unsuccessful attempt is higher at 34%; and 42% discontinue IVF treatment after their third attempt. 

To learn more, see

Elise de La Rochebrochard, Pénélope Troude, Estelle Bailly, Juliette Guibert, Jean Bouyer for the DAIFI Group, 2011, “Rentrer à la maison avec un bébé après avoir initié un traitement par FIV”, Actualité et Dossier en Santé Publique (ADSP), vol. 75: 20-3. 

Pénélope Troude, Juliette Guibert, Jean Bouyer, Elise de La Rochebrochard for the DAIFI Group, 2014, “Medical Factors Associated with Early In Vitro Fertilization Discontinuation". Reproductive Biomedecine Online, 28(3): 321-29. DOI:10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.10.018.

Elise (de)La Rochebrochard, Noémie Soullier, Rusudan Peikrishvili, Juliette Guibert and Jean Bouyer, 2008, “High in vitro fertilization discontinuation rate in France”, International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 103(1): 74-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.05.009.

Source: Virginie Rozée, Elise de La Rochebrochard, 2019, Évolution de la loi de bioéthique française : éléments de discussion à partir des recherches menées sur l’AMP à l’Ined, Document de travail, Ined éditions.

Contacts: Virginie Rozée,  Elise de La Rochebrochard

Online: October 2021