IVF Success Rates
My goal, my reason for practicing infertility and reproductive endocrinology, is to help couples achieve their goal of having children. To ensure I achieve that goal, I work with a highly dedicated team, embryology and nursing, and we all work meticulously to maintain the highest standards in quality reproductive science.
The CDC and SART state that a comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches, and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic. This is very much true.
There are many factors that influence the success of an IVF program. Some factors are from the clinic itself such as the skill and quality of the embryology staff and lab environment, and the experience and skill of the reproductive endocrinologist.
Other factors influencing pregnancy rates are determined by the patients that the IVF program selects to treat or not to treat. These patient characteristics can include the reason for infertility, length of time the couple or female partner have been trying to conceive, age of the female partner, amount and quality of eggs retrieved, quality of the male semen and sperm, previous IVF experience, and lifestyle of the couple or female partner. Lifestyle factors include weight (underweight and obesity), alcohol intake, smoking, excessive exercise, and nutrition.
I treat the individual, not the statistic. My IVF success rates reflect that approach to medicine. Some years are high and some have been low for a particular age group due to the nature of the women treated. But if you look at the entire report for all ages, you will see good implantation rates in most categories for any given year and a record of lower multiple pregnancies. When looking at pregnancy success rates, I recommend looking at the CDC or SART websites, ignore what you find on the fertility center website, and look not only at the most recent year but at all the past years. This still won’t tell you everything, but it helps.
And here’s the hidden truth: most women will do equally well at most IVF centers, so you also need to be comfortable and confident with your doctor and their staff.