(Sunday, May 18, 2014)

This is the commonest question patients ask an IVF doctor. The truth is that the quality of an answer depends upon the quality of the question, and this is often a pointless question. While clinics are good at telling you what their success rates are with a selected group of women , this information does not necessarily apply to you as an individual – and you really only want to know what your personal chances of success are !

A far better question would be – How many IVF cycles will it take for me to get pregnant ? This is far more relevant for the individual patients.

A success rate of 40% to 50% is meaningless for the individual patient . For you, the outcome of an IVF cycle is either 0% success or 100% success ( and 200% if you get twins !)

However , once you know what the clinic’s cumulative conception rate , you then have a much better sense of judging how many treatment cycles you are likely to have to do in order to get pregnant.

Often, the doctor can give you a far more accurate answer at the end of the first IVF cycle. He can analyse the results of this cycle , and this will give him a much better sense of how you respond to superovulation and how good your embryo quality is .

While the doctor will not be able to give you an exactly precise number as to what your chances of success are , he can much predict how many cycles you are likely to need in order to take home a baby much more accurately. This will help you estimate how much time, money and energy you will need to invest in your quest for a baby.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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