With figures like these, why would you go to any other private IVF clinic in Cheshire or Manchester? But whilst this headline is attention grabbing, is it actually giving you a true picture of your chances of IVF success?
With more clinics in the North West than any other region in the UK outside of London and the South East, as a patient you face a huge decision in deciding which clinic is for you. Success rates are an influential part of this.
But rather than being open with potential patients about their genuine chances of success, some clinics are deliberately publicising only very selected figures from their own data so it looks like they are far more successful than others to attract you as a patient.
Incredibly high success rates of 50% or higher should alert you to be cautious about taking these numbers as any indication of success.
The above figure in our headline is actually for our biochemical pregnancy rates, for our IVF patients under 35. In other words, solely our IVF patients who have had positive pregnancy tests. Not women who have clinical pregnancies which are viable pregnancies confirmed by fetal heartbeat via ultrasound scan at around six weeks. Our latest clinical pregnancy rate is actually 44%, which doesn't include any statistics from our EmbryoScope.
Positive pregnancy test rates, or biochemical pregnancy rates if you ever see the term used in a clinic’s success rates, don’t mean your treatment is a success. Sadly some women going through IVF and infertility treatment have a positive pregnancy test, only then to miscarry weeks later.
It’s why at Manchester Fertility we’ve never used our biochemical figures in our success rates – they are skewed and will always be higher than our actual clinical pregnancy rate, and we feel they are simply too misleading if you’re examining success rates.
We also don’t use data without being clear about the number of treatments included, the age of the patient and date. Some clinics will give you very limited information, and you may find upon closer inspection these high success rates may only relate to only one or two patients, or a very select group of patients. It is no indication of how treatment will work for you.
So the question is: Would you trust a clinic to take care of you during one of the most important times in your life – when you are placing your hope of a baby in the hands of another – when they are purposefully misleading with their own statistics?
Read our handy guide with tips on choosing an IVF clinic. We would always advise that you don’t rely on statistics alone when choosing your clinic.
- Always cross-check a clinic’s own numbers with those published on HFEA.
- Educate yourself – know the difference between a biochemical pregnancy (positive pregnancy test only) and a clinical pregnancy rate. HFEA recommends that clinics publish clinical pregnancy rates, which are a clinic’s viable pregnancies confirmed by fetal heartbeat and ultrasound scan.
- If the numbers you’ve been given are claimed to relate to treatment not yet reported to HFEA, get a full breakdown of clinical pregnancy rate vs. biochemical pregnancy rate, the number of patients these figures relate to and the age group.
- If the success rates are far higher than other clinics, be cautious. Because the clinic can tell you any number they like, and they may not always be as honest as you’re led to believe.
Call us on 0161 300 2737 if you have any questions at all about success rates. We'd be happy to help you.
Last updated: 3rd April 2014