IVF Success Rates: What Do They Mean?

When a patient in Michigan knows that they need IVF one of the first things that they think about is finding a Michigan fertility clinic that has the best IVF success rates in Michigan. Of course you want to go to the best of the best, right? When looking at IVF success rates there are a few tips that can help you understand and decipher this information. Because let’s be honest, the information is not necessarily easily understood by everyone.

One of the first things to look for is that the clinic you are interested in has their IVF success rates published on either the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) or the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) websites. These organizations oversee that fertility clinics are reporting birth outcomes and meeting the standards for quality, safety and patient care. If a clinic is not listed on either website that is a big red flag and you should definitely ask why their success rates are not listed.

Once you have found the fertility clinics success rates that you are interested in, you may be wondering, where are this year’s IVF success rates? The most recent IVF success rates will always be published two years later. For example, 2016 success rates that were published were from 2014. Since these numbers are based on live births you have to allow time for fertility clinics to obtain the birth stats, compile the data, submit it to SART or the CDC and have them reviewed and approved.

One of the first things to look at is how many IVF cycles the clinic performed? There may not be a total number of cycles listed on the report but you will see the number of cycles done under each age category. Why is seeing how many cycles the clinic performed important? For some patients they want to go to a clinic where they perform a lot of IVF cycles. To them it may show the experience of a fertility clinic or how popular that particular clinic or their physicians are. The number of cycles a fertility clinic does can also affect their success rates. For example, take a fertility clinic that does 10 IVF cycles in women younger than 35. If seven of them get pregnant and have a live birth that gives them a success rate of 70%, which is well above the national average. Now take a clinic that does 150 cycles in the same age category and their success rate is 50%, which is also above the national average but much lower than the clinic that did 10 cycles. Does that mean that the clinic performing 150 cycles is worse than the clinic that performed 10? It depends how you look at it. Obviously, a clinic that does well over a hundred more IVF cycles are going to have to get a lot more women pregnant than the clinic that does 10 to increase their success rate.

Most people who want to have a baby want just that…one baby. What are your chances of having twins or even triplets when going through IVF? Luckily, you are privy to that information and will find it on the clinic’s success rates report. For each age category, it will tell you how many live births resulting in a singleton, twins, triplets or more occurred. Obviously, if you are not looking to have multiples you will want to pay attention to those rates. Also, something that can affect multiple rates is how many embryos on average the fertility clinic is putting back. If the average number of embryos is higher than another clinic, that may increase the chances of multiples. So you will definitely want to pay attention to that number as well.

The reporting of IVF success rates is not necessarily the easiest to interpret so if you don’t understand something and have questions bring those up to your physician. He or she should easily be able to explain their rates to you.

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