Anyone considering fertility treatment and IVF wants to get a feel for their chance of success.
Below is an explanation of how to interpret IVF success rates, TasIVF’s 2014 success rates, and our recommendation if you are trying to understand your own personal likelihood of having a baby from IVF.
Understanding IVF statistics
To understand IVF success rates and statistics, it helps to first know the steps of an IVF cycle and how ‘success’ is typically measured.
What is an IVF cycle?
A typical IVF treatment cycle involves the following steps:
- Medication stimulates a woman's ovaries (ovarian hyperstimulation);
- Eggs (oocytes) are then collected from the woman under anaesthetic (oocyte pick-up or OPU)
- In a specialist laboratory, the eggs are then placed with sperm to become fertilised and develop into embryos. This may include other processes such as ICSI
- One or more embryos may then be transferred to the woman's womb (a "fresh embryo transfer")
- Any additional embryos may be frozen and transferred later (a "frozen embryo transfer" or FET)
An IVF treatment cycle is considered complete once all fresh and frozen embryos from the initial stimulation have been used – that is, steps 1 to 5 above.
What is IVF Success?
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently an industry standard for reporting "IVF success".
IVF success rates are sometimes quoted per complete IVF treatment cycle (steps 1 to 5 above). A full egg collection and IVF treatment cycle can involve multiple transfers of embryos collected from a single egg collection. Success rates reported this way will be higher than success rates reported per embryo transfer.
At TasIVF, we typically measure IVF success rates as clinical pregnancies (a pregnancy confirmed by a blood test and ultrasound scan, usually at around 6-8 weeks) per embryo transfer. However, sadly, not every pregnancy will carry to a live birth, so we report live births per embryo transfer as well as clinical pregnancies per transfer. We publish our success rates per embryo transfer as we want to give you the most realistic understanding of your chance of success following each individual embryo transfer.
However it is important to understand that not every IVF treatment cycle will result in an embryo transfer. For some women, no eggs may be collected at all, or there may be no embryo transfer because embryos have not developed.
It is therefore important to understand what part of the IVF treatment cycle a particular statistic is measuring. Once you check this, there are also other factors that need to be understood before you attempt to compare IVF success rates. For example:
- The most important factor determining IVF success rates is a woman's age: When comparing IVF success rates, check you are comparing rates for women of the same age.
- Australia leads the way in single embryo transfer: For the safety of the mother and the child, TasIVF rarely transfers multiple embryos as the same time, however international clinics may be more inclined to do so (which is a key reason why their IVF success rates often appear higher per transfer.)
- What else is included? Check whether the data includes advanced processes such as ICSI or genetic screening, or includes frozen embryo transfers or only fresh embryo transfers.
TasIVF Success rates
At TasIVF we are proud of the success rates we are achieving for our patients. Together with our partner clinics in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, we’re responsible for more births through IVF treatment than any other fertility group in Australia.
The following graph shows the proportion of TasIVF patients who had a fresh embryo transfer using their own eggs that resulted in a clinical pregnancy and a live birth in 2014. The success rates range from 41.8% per embryo transfer leading to a live birth for patients under 30 years, to 10.5% per embryo transfer leading to a live birth for patients over 40 years. It does not include any additional frozen embryo transfers that may have eventuated from that IVF treatment cycle.
TasIVF helps create over 200 babies each year.
Your Likelihood of Pregnancy from IVF
Understanding IVF success rates can be complex. Individual factors affect every patient's likelihood of pregnancy. The only way for you to truly understand your chance of success is to arrange a personal consultation and assessment with one of our fertility specialists . Our role is to assess you and your partner’s fertility and give you a thorough understanding of your own personal likelihood of conception. At TasIVF we are committed to helping you achieve your family goals.