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How to Interpret IVF Success Rates

IVF Success Rates

One of the nice things about in vitro fertilization compared to other types of medicine is that there are very definable outcomes. But analyzing and interpreting IVF success rates can be little tricky. Luckily Dr. Timothy Hickman with Houston IVF has a few pointers for you.

Where to Look

Patients can find verifiable, audited data from SART, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and the CDC, Center for Disease Control.

What to Look For

  • Location: National, Regional, or Local.
  • Clinic profile
  • Diagnosis
  • Age/ Sex
  • IVF cycles / Treatments
  • Birth rates

    “What [CDC and SART] can do is take in all of this data from the entire nation; this is about 140 to 150 thousand cycles per year and see how the data plays out in each age group. And it's reported in uniform fashions so that it makes kind of a lot of sense for patients,” explains Dr. Hickman.

    “For example, let's say there's a 37-year-old that has endometriosis,” he adds. “A patient could log onto the SART site and place in that information that she's 37, that she has endometriosis, and then she'd find out the success rates for all of the patients between 35 and 37 that have that particular diagnosis in the United States.”
    Not only is there national data, but there are individual clinic data sheets that are generated. A patient could look in a particular state and view that state’s success rates, as well as view the success rates of particular clinics in that state.

    What to Avoid

    You shouldn't compare clinic-to-clinic because patient populations could vary.

    “For example, if Clinic A decides, well, we're only going to take in the most easy patients; patients that have never gone through IVF, that have all these different parameters; they're very favorable. And another clinic decides that, well, we're going to treat everyone. We're going to treat all those that have failed at other places, we're going to treat those that have very difficult cases. It wouldn't really be fair to compare Clinic A to Clinic B in that case,” Dr. Hickman says. “But you can compare your data to the national average.”

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