If you’re like most infertility patients, you probably will check some well-known statistics from either the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) on in vitro fertilization success rates of specific fertility clinics before choosing a clinic or deciding whether to undergo the treatment yourself. That makes perfect sense. Smart patients should consult these statistics, and while you do that, it’s also useful to “know what’s behind the numbers,” according to a recent blog in Fertility Authority, called “Understanding the CDC Report on Success Rates.”
Fertility Authority blogger Kim Griffiths reminds patients that many variables can affect the success rates that individual clinics report. Because of that, it may be hard to compare clinics based on the statistics they report to the CDC or to SART. For instance, if a clinic has a patient population that has more challenging conditions, its success rates may appear lower, even though the clinic is doing an excellent job.
Also important to remember, writes Kim, is that success rates are reported per cycle, not per patient. So a patient who has undergone several unsuccessful cycles before having a successful one will lower a clinic’s success rate, because her cycles amount to multiple failures but only a single success.
As the Fertility Authority blog takes readers through a number of other factors that might affect individual clinics’ success rates, the lesson is this: While reporting of age-based success rates by SART and CDC is vital to maintaining quality care, those reports don’t necessarily predict your specific chances of success to build a family. For example, the national IVF success rates of women in different age ranges, calculated from statistics reported to them from individual clinics around the country, show that a 38 year old has a nearly 22% chance of having a baby with IVF based on 2011 SART data. But your chances may differ from the average, because of your partner’s age and sperm count, or your own ovarian health, body mass index, responsiveness to fertility drugs, and other factors.
Now, technology exists to obtain a prediction that is more personalized to your specific medical profile and that of your male partner. IVF success is affected by many factors in addition to age, such as your height, weight, (body mass index), ovarian reserve, reproductive history (e.g. the number of pregnancies, miscarriages, etc.), and your male partner’s age and sperm count. A validated prediction test, taking into account all these factors, can gauge more accurately your personalized probability of having a baby through IVF based on inputs from your medical records. If you’ve already had one or more unsuccessful IVF attempts, additional information gathered about you from those cycles, such as embryo quality, amount of hormonal drugs used, endometrial thickness and infertility diagnosis, can feed also into the prediction test to pinpoint better your chances in the next IVF cycle, helping you decide whether to undergo another round.
Univfy IVF Predicition Tests are validated based on research originally conducted at Stanford University and research collaborations with leading clinics research collaborations. Univfy’s research team has consistently shown that more than half of the women had higher chances of having a baby with IVF than estimated by age.
SART and CDC data are valuable resources to explore. In addition, if you’re contemplating IVF, whether for the first time or for an additional cycle, you should know that personalized prediction testing based on advanced statistics can give you valuable information when making your plans. Having the right numbers can support your conversation with your doctor, whether you are seeing your Ob/Gyn and thinking about finding a fertility specialist, or if you are already seeing an IVF doctor. After all, the right numbers can be useful to give you an accurate starting point with which to ask more informed and directed questions and to gain confidence in your treatment decisions.