Dealing with infertility is a huge obstacle in anyone’s life. If you are reading this, you know that there are options out there for couples or individuals who cannot conceive. The information may be overwhelming at first, and there’s a lot to consider. One of the questions at the forefront of potential recipient’s minds, is what the success rate of egg donation is?
The first thing you should know when looking at success rates is that it’s difficult to compare rates from clinic to clinic. Each clinic has their own set of standards and protocol, donors’ medical traits will differ substantially, and data can be manipulated through things like the patient selection. In the case of data manipulation, to maintain a high success rate, clinics can choose not to provide service to higher risk patients, e.g. women past the age of forty. These issues can affect the reported success rates. These reasons, and likely more, are why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) in the United States caution against using statistics as a deciding factor when choosing a clinic.
That being said, reported statistics are difficult to overlook and are obviously something you’ll consider as you decide where to have treatments. So, let’s talk about those statistics and how to approach them.
Clinics report success rates to several agencies, and those numbers are usually available to the general public. Clinics in the United States report IVF success rates yearly to the CDC and SART. In the UK, clinics report to the Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority (HFEA). All of these organizations have statistics on their websites, and it’s likely most countries offering IVF treatment have organizations they report to that have similar data online.
When considering success rates, look first at how that success rate is determined. Is it uniform from clinic to clinic, in particular between those clinics on your short list? If you don’t know how a specific success rate is determined, find out. Success rates are only relative when put in the proper context: What patients receive treatment at the clinic? Who does the clinic turn away from their program? And which outcomes go unreported?
If your diagnosis is simple, and you have a high probability of becoming pregnant, comparing statistics after finding out how they’re calculated may be one way to help you choose a clinic. However, if your case is complicated, and your chances of conceiving are lower, the statistics may not mean much at all unless individual clinics are willing to provide information specifically regarding patients in a similar situation as yourself.