Success Rates in IVF
Many factors can affect pregnancy rates. Among them are the woman’s age, factors involving sperm function (azoospermia, varicocele, etc.), significant illnesses in the patient’s medical history, and prior pregnancies.
We receive phone calls and email messages asking about our success rates. We have to define the term “success rate.” If it is achieving pregnancy, the method to confirm pregnancy is essential. A positive pregnancy test, a gestational sac, and a fetal heart rate seen on ultrasound or live birth can be standards for success rate. The number of embryos we can transfer in each cycle is legally restricted. Patients over 35 or with two IVF attempts can get two embryos. The number of good-quality embryos is directly proportional to a successful pregnancy rate. Therefore, the number of embryos we can transfer also defines the pregnancy rates. The regulations consider only age and limit the number of embryos to transfer.
When discussing the success rates of an IVF clinic, we may ask about the pregnancy rate per egg collection, embryo transfer cycle, or per transferred embryo. These are essential parameters. On the other hand, people mostly oversee the pregnancy chance per couple who started and continued treatment in the same clinic. It involves the approach to the treatment, controlling the cost of IVF by eliminating unnecessary expenses and making reasonable and practical plans for the patients. The patients can afford to have several cycles financially and psychologically until they reach a successful pregnancy.
In summary, when our patients look at different IVF clinics for treatment, they can inquire about the experience of the clinicians and how long they have been working in this field. They can also ask about how long the clinic has been running. Asking a clinic that has actively treating patients for 20 years about their success rate could be more useful.
Asking an IVF center about their success rates regarding factors specific to the couple is relevant. It will provide helpful information for couples starting treatment for a particular infertility disorder. For example, in a situation where a woman who is 41 years old has had four unsuccessful IVF attempts, has a low ovarian reserve with 3-5 eggs per retrieval, substandard semen parameters, is told they have a 50% chance of pregnancy, they should avoid that clinic. The clinics should inform their patients about the pregnancy chances based on the information on their specific infertility disorder before going through unnecessary expenses.