Understanding IVF success rates

Understanding Success Rates

We know that success rates are often very important when choosing the clinic that’s right for you. It is therefore crucial to remember that there are a lot of factors to be considered when interpreting the figures. Although it may be tempting to directly compare success rates across clinics, this does not always give the clearest picture of what is the best option for you as an individual.

When looking at IVF success rates take care to look at exactly what is being measured; is the clinic recording pregnancies or live births, are they measuring success per cycle, per patient or per embryo transfer? Factors such as these can have a huge impact on the ultimate meaning of the figures. Another thing to consider is which treatment type is being examined. Every patient is different and requires an individualised treatment. Our uniquely natural perspective at CREATE means that we take a totally different approach to treatment, with minimal use of stimulating drugs. It may therefore not be meaningful to compare this type of IVF to conventional IVF treatment at other clinics.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that the figures for each year or clinic will depend heavily on the cohort of patients treated. Success rates differ greatly relative to the age and ovarian reserve of the patients. While other clinics may turn patients away to improve success rates, here at CREATE we take pride in not turning patients away because of low AMH or high FSH results; if IVF is possible for you, then we will endeavour to make this happen. We believe that it is important to put patients first, treating each patient as an individual and taking their opinions into account to give tailor-made treatment with the best possible chance of success. For this reason, the proportion of patients with a low ovarian reserve at our fertility clinics is relatively high. Notwithstanding our cohort, we have a strong set of results, with a history of success with poor prognosis patients. Ultimately, your own prognosis is unlikely to rigidly fall into any ‘catch all’ category, and is hugely dependent on personal and medical factors. One of our doctors will be able to go through these with you to give your personalised success rate, which is far more valuable and insightful for you.

While success rates are undoubtedly important, there are other considerations to be made when deciding between clinics. The health of mother and baby is critical when undergoing IVF and this is not accounted for in headline success rates. These are things we take very seriously and it is part of the rationale behind using a mild approach. The side effects of conventional IVF can range from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and the risk of these is minimised by using fewer drugs. As far as the health of babies is concerned, studies have shown that babies resulting from natural and mild IVF have a higher average birthweight and a reduced rate of prematurity compared to babies resulting from conventional IVF where higher number of eggs (more than 15) eggs are collected. When considering success rates, it is important to ask your doctor or clinic about the short and long term side effects and complications of any fertility treatment.

With all this in mind we hope that you will be able to take this into account and make an informed choice on the type of treatment and clinic that is right for you.

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From one of our fertility experts