Understanding success rates from fertility treatment

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At Westmead Fertility Centre we strongly believe that anyone considering undergoing fertility treatment (eg IVF) has the right to accurate and transparent information on the clinic’s success rates.  While there may be a perception that success rates are similar no matter what clinic you choose, this is just not the case.  The reality is, the chance of taking home a baby varies greatly across clinics.  So, we encourage all patients to be well informed and here we list 7 key questions to ensure you get the information you require. 

  1. RTAC compliant?  You should ask the clinic if their publicly available success rates are compliant with the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC) guidelines.
  2. Clearly defined data? Success rates can be presented as live birth rate or positive clinical pregnancy (where there is a positive fetal heart showing on an ultrasound scan) per treatment cycle commenced, per egg collected, per implantation rate or per embryo transfer. It’s important you are aware of how the rates are presented – especially if you are comparing between clinics.  And really, you want a clinic that communicates live birth rates – as that is your chance of taking home a baby.
  3. Age specific? You should ask the clinic the chance of success for your age group.  Age has a strong impact on female fertility and you don’t want an overall rate that may include patients that are much younger than you.
  4. Transparent data? You should ask the clinic what data is included in their results.  For example, including results for patients using donated oocytes (or eggs) or more detailed genetic screening, such as pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can influence the results.
  5. Done your research? You want to do a little research – national average data is published annually through the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) of the University of New South Wales and freely available under the Surveillance Reports menu at www.npesu.unsw.edu.au.  At this time, there are no clinic-to-clinic comparisons or ‘league tables’ for patients to see where a particular clinic’s performance sits – so its important you are familiar with the averages to make your comparisons meaningful.
  6. Proven track record? You want a clinic with a proven track record – ask the clinic how many years they have been offering RTAC licensed fertility treatment.  You don’t want the new kid on the block – you want an experienced clinic with a proven track record.
  7. Underpinned by research? You want a clinic whose assisted reproductive technologies are underpinned by research – as this way the treatment is proven and reliable.  

At Westmead Fertility Centre, your baby is our goal.  Science is how we achieve it. As the only Australian clinic fully owned by a University we have a very strong focus on science and the research behind it.  Contact us if you would like more information on our success rates.  

All content should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have. 

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