Choosing an IVF clinic can be difficult. Given the emotional and financial cost, you’ll naturally want to choose the clinic that gives you the greatest chance of success.
Here are the five questions you need to ask when choosing an IVF clinic.
5 questions to ask when choosing an IVF clinic
1 How is the clinic’s success rates reported?
How does the clinic report their success rates? Does it report it as Pregnancy Rate, Clinical Pregnancy Rate or Live Birth Rate (LBR)?
The figure you want to know is the LBR because success is a baby in your arms.
You also need to understand the denominator (out of how many and what type of procedure is the success rate calculated). This is absolutely essential. It will greatly influence the quoted success rate.
If the success rate is quoted as per IVF cycle completed, be it a fresh embryo transfer in a stimulated cycle or a frozen embryo in a thaw cycle, it will always be higher than if it is per IVF cycle started. This is because in the case of a stimulated cycle, it may be cancelled because of poor response to ovarian stimulation, no eggs being collected, eggs fertilised or embryos stopping growing. While in the case of a thaw cycle, frozen embryos may not survive thawing.
What you want to know is if I start an IVF cycle, be it a stimulated or a thaw cycle, what are my changes of taking a baby home?
2 What is the take home baby rate in my case?
What is the take home baby rate for someone of my age and my reason for needing IVF treatment at your clinic (not the national average) after one stimulated cycle? What about for two stimulated cycles or three Stimulated cycles?
3 Are all embryo transfers performed under ultrasound control?
There is good quality evidence to indicate that embryo transfers performed under ultrasound control result in higher take home baby rates.
4 Is your treatment individualised and personalised?
Is your stimulation protocol (drug combinations and dosages) formulated specifically for you by your fertility specialist? Is your fertility specialist the person who performs your egg collection and embryo transfer? Continuity of care can make a difference to your IVF journey, especially if there are problems along the way.
5 Is Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) offered?
While PGS may not offer a higher Live Birth Rate per stimulated cycle, it does shorten the time to achieving an ongoing chromosomally normal pregnancy.
There is no Medicare rebate for PGS, so you need to understand the cost structure of this.
The question you need to ask is PGS charged per embryo, per X number of embryos or per stimulated cycle?