Success rates : Going beyond the numbers.
One of the first questions IVF patients ask an IVF clinic is - What are your success rates ?

The issue of IVF success rates is one of the most complex subjects in IVF . It's just a percentage, which means it's only a simple number. However, because it is very easy to manipulate, it can be very misleading . While success rates are an important indicator of the performance level of a particular clinic, the numbers themselves can never be looked at in isolation !

Firstly, you need to ask yourself - are these numbers reliable ? or have they been "cooked up" ? While the SART and the HFEA help to keep IVF clinics in the USA and UK honest, the truth is that it can be hard to trust all clinics in IVF countries where the government does not maintain a central registry in which IVF clinics need to report their success figures. Also, even SART figures can be distorted, by smart patient selection. Thus, some clinics will refuse to treat poor prognosis patients, in order to maintain a high statistical batting average. Others will treat everyone who comes to them, but this will result in their figures looking much worse . When comparing fugures, you need to make sure you compare apples with apples !

Also, remember that success is entirely individual , and relates to you and your partner. Either your success rare is 100%, or 0% - you can't be partly pregnant ! We take pride in the fact that our patients are just not numbers on a statistics graph, but unique human beings with individual issues that need to be addressed.

A successful outcome of IVF treatment boils down to two groups of factors - those which you can control , and those which you cannot. Thus, your chances of success will depend upon your age, cause of your infertility, and your ovarian reserve - your ability to produce viable eggs.

The most important controllable factor is selecting the right IVF clinic, to get the best possible treatment, optimised to your particular problem.

You need consider all the important factors - both tangible and intangible , when choosing who to trust with your infertility care.

Important variables are

The experience and expertise of the clinic
The experiences of other patients
The overall reputation of the program itself
How responsive they are

Finally, you should always respect your own gut feelings about the IVF team when making such an important choice !

Need help in selecting the right IVF clinic fo your treatment ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better !


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

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