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Evaluating an IVF Clinic's Pregnancy Rates

Patients in my practice often inquire about their chances conceiving through reproductive medicine. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors such as the patient's age and diagnosis. Thankfully, most fertility clinics nowadays post their pregnancy rates on their website. This is a valuable tool for those dealing with infertility as they can evaluate their chances of conceiving. As one can imagine, patients often rely on these pregnancy rates in order to determine which clinic to pursue care. However, I always urge patients to proceed carefully when evaluating the pregnancy rates posted on a fertility clinic's website.

Below is a list of a couple important items that people should keep in mind when they evaluate an IVF clinic's pregnancy rates:

Patient diagnosis - If a fertility clinic treats a large number of patients with a difficult-to-treat diagnosis such as decreased ovarian reserve, their pregnancy rates will not be as high. These lower pregnancy rates aren't necessarily a negative reflection on the IVF clinic. Conversely, if a clinic routinely turns away patients with decreased ovarian reserve, their pregnancy rates will, in turn, be higher.

Physician and Laboratory Credentials - It is always valuable to evaluate the credentials of the IVF laboratory as well as that of the physician. For instance, ideally the physician should be a member of reputable organizations such as the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). It is also preferable that the fertility physicians be Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialists. This is the highest level of certification in the fertility field. Lastly, it is important that the IVF laboratory be certified by reputable bodies such as the College of American Pathologists - American Society for Reproductive Medicine (CAP-ASRM).

Above are just a couple of the important considerations but there are many other factors that come into play with regard to evaluating an IVF clinic's pregnancy rates. I'm sure some of you have questions about your individual diagnosis, how to evaluate pregnancy rates, and more. If so, I'd love to hear from you!
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About the Author

Dr. Herbert is a fertility expert and an innovator in the field.