Understanding Success Rates
At Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey, we take pride in our success rates and believe that understanding what they mean is of utmost importance when choosing the fertility clinic that’s best for you.
The Society for Assisted and Reproductive Technology (SART) advises patients not to use success rate information to compare clinics because patient’s characteristics vary from facility to facility.
Statistics can be interpreted and presented in many ways, making it difficult to understand the effect they have on your ability to conceive.
Every patient desiring to conceive should be treated individually.
Some clinics may not tell every patient all options from least conservative to most invasive. Clinics may increase their success rates by selecting only patients with the best chance to conceive, turning down others who have lower probabilities of success. This results in selection bias. Additionally, clinics can choose what they report, as this is not uniform. As an educated consumer, we encourage you to read the fine print.
What are success rates?
There is no uniform way to report success rates associated with fertility treatments for all clinics. Pregnancy following less invasive treatment options, such as ovulation induction is not a reportable “success”. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) gathers and reports in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rate data for patients to measure fertility clinics’ expertise and the best treatment options. However, this information does not take into account that most fertility experts do not solely offer IVF.
For patients who undergo IVF, achieving pregnancy can be affected by many factors, including medical history, infertility diagnosis and age. All of these factors can impact success rates both positively and negatively.
Common misconceptions about success rates
All clinics treat patients equally. Some clinics recommend aggressive treatment to all patients. This often leads to more expensive treatment, which is not always most cost-effective. Patients aren’t treated on an individual basis. They are led to believe IVF is the only option to conceive, when treatment specific for their diagnosis could be successful without resorting to the most costly option.
All clinics report the same information. Pregnancy rate calculations vary from clinic to clinic. Some clinics may turn away difficult cases to increase the practice’s pregnancy rates. While most clinics provide information on the majority of their IVF cycles, others may calculate their success rates based on 60% of their cycles. This is transparent, but difficult to interpret in the SART registry. It is possible to verify this by comparing the number of total cycles reported to the addition of all number of cycles used in the calculation of each pregnancy rate in the SART registry. Rates vary widely depending on the population the clinic serves. The New York Times provides more insight into the problem of reporting success rates.
How we’re different
Our clinic will never select patients to increase our number of successful cycles. We welcome all patients, even when they are not the ideal candidates for success.
Our top priority is, and will always be to treat every patient individually, helping them build a family in the best way specific to their needs and desires.
We will always go to any length to find the right treatment choice for your specific needs, from most simple to the highest cutting edge treatment modalities.
And most importantly, we will always honestly report our success rates and answer any questions prior to choosing a path for treatment.
We know how important success rates are to you. We have summarized our most recent data for you. Feel free to look over these helpful graphs and FAQs to answer your questions. If you have further questions, please contact us and we would be happy to assist you.
***The Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) states that comparison of success rates between clinics may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics and treatment approaches may vary from clinic to clinic.
Success Rates FAQ
Q1: What is your IVF success rate?
This is the most commonly asked question among infertility patients trying to select a program. It seems like a simple question but, it has a complex answer. IVF statistics are dependent on how patients are selected for IVF treatment. Some programs will not let certain patients into their program if they feel these patients will lower their success rates. Our program is dedicated to educating the patient/couple and discusses the success rates, this allows a well informed decision to be made.
Q2: What are the most important factors in IVF statistics?
When trying to interpret IVF statistics you need to know how the results are reported, by clinical pregnancy rate (pregnancy sac at ultrasound), ongoing pregnancy rate (fetal heart beat seen by ultra sound) or by delivery rate? The denominator in these calculations could be number of couples entering treatment, those who underwent retrieval, or those who had an embryo transfer.
Q3: What is the best way to select a program?
Every case is unique and is affected by duration of infertility, type of infertility, maternal/paternal age and a variety of other factors. Below are some parameters to help with your decision process:
- Assess experience; Board Certification in OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology.
- Generate your own opinion during your visit. Assess integrity, intelligence, responsiveness and compassion.
- Call the hospitals the practice is associated with to assess their reputation in the medical community. Talk to the chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- An affiliation with a residency program gives certain credibility.
- Talk to your friends with infertility problems.
- Be weary of programs with very high pregnancy rates over the national average.
- Avoid programs with 100% guarantees.
- Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable and trust your doctor. You need to be able to ask questions and get answers you can understand.