In-vitro fertilization clinics' success rates seems too confusing, public awareness needed
In-vitro clinics are here to give people the chance to conceive. However, IVF clinics seems to confuse the public in terms of success rates.
According to the website The Conversation, in a recent review of IVF clinics in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) identified some of its misleading ways that present people's chances of having a baby on their websites.
The recent conference of the Fertility Society of Australia also reviewed the success rates published on the websites of IVF clinics in Australia and New Zealand. And the results show that published success rates in the web are too confusing because there is no agreed format on how the information should be presented.
Per Mayo Clinic, in-vitro fertilization is a series of complex procedures used to assist with the conception of child and to treat infertility and genetic problems. Mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized by the sperm in the laboratory. Then, the fertilized egg or eggs are implanted to the uterus with one cycle about two weeks.
IVF procedure can be done using both sperms and eggs from the couple or by an anonymous donor. Also, it can be done, in some cases, in gestational carriers where the embryo in implanted to the carrier's uterus.
Chances of success with IVF procedure depends on several factors such as age and the cause of infertility. It is time-consuming, expensive and invasive. Miscarriage may also happen even if fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus or clinical pregnancy is established.
It is important to identify the way the clinic define its measures of success.
In the recent audit conducted by The Conversation, most clinics quoted per embryo transfer rates. It does not account for women who do not get eggs or embryos, or the 20% of women who get pregnant but miscarry.
IVF consumers must also be aware that the age of the woman is the most important factor in IVF success.
Women in their early 30's do have 25% chance of having a baby per started treatment cycle but drops to 6% after age 40. But audit results show that one out of five clinics does not mention a woman's age does affects the chance of success.
Factors that affects the chance of having a baby in IVF procedure are parental obesity, smoking and other poor health behaviors.
IVF needs several cycles to enhance the chances of having a baby therefore, before getting on with the immediate success, consumers must also need to be open to the reality that most IVF cycles fail.. Through this, expectations may be more realistic and people are more likely to try again if the treatment will fail.
And lastly, clinics usually uses cute babies to link success rates in their IVF treatments thus, can make people susceptible to overestimating the potential of having a baby from the treatment.
People who need IVF are particularly vulnerable physically, emotionally and to financially demanding treatment. IVF clinic's goal should ensure realistic information of what is possible in the treatment.