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How IVF Success Rates Are Calculated

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In 1992, the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act (FCSRCA) was passed. This requires that all clinics performing assisted reproductive technologies (or ART) submit data of all their procedures to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC). This means that you now have available all of the information you need to study which clinic will be best for your particular IVF case. The cases are individually evaluated on the merit of the end goal -- the birth of a live infant.

But What Do IVF Success Rates Mean To Me?

It's important that you read about IVF studies pertaining to your personal situation. Look at the cases of IVF success (and failure) in regards to women of your age, and similar health. Do not write off a clinic simply because it has lower success rates, for it might be because they are willing to take on the more challenging cases, and therefore suffer a higher number of failures.

Embryologist doing an intra cytoplasmic sperm injection

If you are one of those challenging cases struggling to find the right IVF doctor for you, that's good news, not bad. Also be aware that the data is usually around 2 years old, so keep in mind that there may have been medical advances in this area in the meantime. You should also be wary of 'IVF success rates' published by the clinics themselves, as they are likely to inflate their happy endings, and gloss over their sad ones. Lots of those happy endings may be for women in a completely different boat from you, and involve much different (and perhaps far easier) treatments. The bottom line is, it pays to do your homework and learn all you can about IVF.

Picking The Right One For You

Make a list of what your priorities are, and choose the clinic that best fits them. By checking the data published by the CDC, establish what the national average is, and look at all those that meet or exceed it. Research how long the doctor has been there, and what their guidelines are. Then, once you have a shortlist, visit the clinics and speak with the doctors and staff -- it's imperative that you feel at ease, and reassured. You're looking for a practice that will do everything within its powers to help you in your quest for a baby, but that will not stray from the boundaries of established ethics.

 
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