If you are planning to have IVF, you’ll want to know that the clinic you choose has a good success rate for this treatment. Here’s how you can assess how successful a clinic is.
What are success rates?
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) records success rates for all the clinics it regulates. The success rates show the number of treatments offered at each clinic and the number of pregnancies and live births that resulted.
These are broken down into success rates for individual treatments, including IVF, and for different age groups. You can also see how a clinic’s success rates compare with the national average.
What do the success rates mean?
Looking at a clinic’s IVF success rate for women of your age is helpful because you can instantly see it is above or below the national average. Some clinics may be prepared to take on more difficult cases, for example, which will pull their success rates down. The figures used to calculate the success rates are also about two years old, so may not reflect the current figures.
Be cautious about figures published by individual clinics. These tend to emphasise their top success rates and these may not be relevant to the treatment you are having or your age group.
What are the average success rates?
The latest published figures show that the UK average live birth rate for women under 35 who undergo IVF is around 29 per cent. However, this drops to about five per cent for women aged 43-44. You need to have realistic expectations.
How else can I tell if a clinic is right for me?
Fertility clinics are regularly inspected by the HFEA so there should be an inspection report available. You need to think about how easily you can get to the clinic. The IVF process is long and demanding. Do you really want to travel long distances as well? It’s important to visit the clinic. What is the atmosphere like and how do the staff treat you?
How can I find out a clinic’s IVF success rates?
You’ll find success rates for every clinic broken down by the type of treatment and patients’ ages at www.hfea.gov.uk.