IVF Success Rates Explained
We are proud of our statistics and are required to report them to the CDC National Registry. Patients and potential patients need to understand the complexities involved and these numbers and what they mean can be hard to navigate. While statistics should only be a part of the decision-making process involved in selecting a clinic, we currently have the highest success rate in the state of Washington for patients under 35 using their own eggs.
Implantation Rates are one of the most important things to look at when comparing IVF clinics as it factors in both the number of embryos the clinic transferred and the rate that the embryo(s) implanted in the uterine wall, which is a necessary step in pregnancy. Our PGT-A implantation rate per embryo for 2018 for patients under 35 yr old is 86.4%.
These amazing rates are the result of both our highly trained staff and our never-ceasing push to incorporate new technologies and techniques such as freeze-all cycles and genetic testing (PGT-A) to give our patients their best chance at success.
Please note that a comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches, and entry criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.
How does ORH compare with other clinics?
Below is a comparison of our 2016 implantation rates verses the national average. Note that the CDC stopped including implantation rates in 2017 so we’re showing the most recent apples to apples published data. In addition to live birth rates, a good metric is to look at implantation rates per embryo. This rate illustrates what percentage of the embryos the clinic transferred resulted in pregnancy.
Putting it all into perspective
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
-Autobiography of Mark Twain
- All statistical methods assess data from populations.
- But a patient is not a population.
- Each patient has a unique set of circumstances that defines their own specific likelihood of achieving a pregnancy.
- IVF statistics will look good if population data is controlled.
Our success rates are real and not ‘inflated’ or ‘gamed’
There are many ways to mislead with statistics, if a clinic is not honest. Here are some of the ways we DON’T make our stats look better.
Directing you to use donor eggs too early – we don’t have a cutoff age beyond which we will not let you try IVF with your own eggs such as 43 and above. Some patients never want to use an egg donor. Some couples want to try with their own eggs first before considering donor eggs. We treat the individual patient or couple not our success rates page.
Many clinics ‘cherry-pick’ the best patients to undergo IVF and recommend donor eggs for ‘poor responders’ or patients with a lower chance of success.
Some clinics also convert poor IVF egg retrieval cycles into IUI cycles – to make their stats look better. These cycles should be counted as IVF cycles if IVF was the intention at the start of the treatment.
At Overlake Reproductive Health we are quite proud of our IVF success rates. We strive to treat those patients whom we can help. And we’ll be honest with you about your chances before we start. We don’t pre-select our patient population in order to benefit our statistics. Our IVF success rates are ‘real’ with upward trends attributed to an unremitting introduction of cutting-edge ideas and technology.
Let’s look at two different types of Physicians Practice Statistics, Dr. Lookgood and Dr. Helpall:
|Dr. Lookgood||Dr. Helpall|
|Screen (phone, records)||100||100|
|Accepted to program||58(77%)||94(98%)|
|Intended Retrieval Cycles||40(69%)||88(94%)|
|Embryo Transfers Started
Because Dr. Lookgood pre-screens his patient population, most patients that begin retrieval cycles are likely to have viable embryos for transfer on their first cycle. Dr. Helpall allows patients with a poorer prognosis to attempt retrievals, and do multiple retrievals, even though not all will have viable embryos.
|Transfers, 2 or more embryos
Dr. Lookgood transfers more than one embryo per transfer to increase the number of pregnancies per retrieval, whereas Dr Helpall almost never transfers more than one embryo, and uses less dangerous methodologies like PGT-A to increase the odds of pregnancy per transfer.
Dr. Helpall treats patients according to a philosophy typical of medicine in most fields, and the philosophy that we believe is the correct one:
Take patients in the order that they come to you, help those who have a chance of being helped, do your best for each individual patient, and let population statistics fall where they may.
As you can see, Dr. Lookgood has a different vision. Take a second look at the same data as reported following the guidelines of the National Registry.
“Pregnancy rate” statistics look like this:
|Dr. Lookgood||Dr. Helpall|
|Pregnancies per retrieval||45%||32%|
|Pregnancies per transfer||51%||80%|
|Live Births per intended retrieval||40%||27%|
|Live Births per transfer||46%||69%|
At Overlake Reproductive Health we are quite proud of our IVF success rates. We strive to treat those patients whom we can help. We don’t try to pre-select our patient population in order to benefit our statistics. Our IVF success rates are “real” with upward trends attributable to an unremitting introduction of cutting-edge ideas and technology.