IVF Success Rates Abroad – To Publish or Not To Publish

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IVF Success rates abroadFor many people requiring IVF treatment, the priority when choosing an IVF clinic, is finding somewhere with good success rates.  This is even more so when choosing an IVF clinic abroad because it provides reassurance that the clinic is competent and professional when physical distance prevents a preliminary visit. Clinics abroad appreciate this but will rarely present all their results on their website. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) publish very detailed results for clinics in the UK.  In some countries in Europe there is not the same requirement for results to be published.

Why don’t clinics publish IVF success rates on their website? There are many reasons. Some clinics may treat more women in their 40’s and, therefore, their results may look less successful compared to clinics where the average age of the women being treated is mid 30’s. Certainly I know of some IVF clinics in Prague which specialise in treating older women. In these clinics, sometimes a greater number of egg donation cycles are undertaken compared to IVF/ICSI cycles. In these cases, the success rate for IVF/ICSI using a patient’s own eggs may be lower because they are, on the whole, treating older women. Further, because the overall number of IVF/ICSI cycles undertaken is small, any variation in individual cycles is more noticeable. If just the bare figures were published without explanation it might put some people off.

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