30+ years experience – excellent success rates

29 June 2015

30+ years experience, excellent success rates and a treatment continuum that starts with the least invasive (not necessarily the most profitable) treatment first makes Prof Norman’s opinion on this topic worth a read…. CAN YOU TELL A CLINIC BY ITS PUBLISHED PREGNANCY RATES? Recently, Norman Swan, the ABC Health Report presenter discussed discrepancy in pregnancy reporting by IVF clinics.  He pointed out that there were huge differences between clinics’ pregnancy rates in the national report (ANZARD).  He interviewed two doctors, one of whom suggested patients were not being given the correct information they needed and that they were wasting their money and time by going to clinics with much lower pregnancy rates without being aware of the poor results.  The other doctor defended the current system and believed that presenting “league tables” led to gaming of the field in pushing out difficult patients and taking on very easy patients too early for IVF. It is abundantly clear that there are big differences in pregnancy rates between clinics across the country.  While there always has to be clinics in the lowest 25th percentile for results, the gap between the upper 25th and the lower 25th should be much closer than they are.  The top clinics may be much better because • They may be genuinely good at what they do • They may push people to IVF much too early when pregnancy was going to occur anyway • They may refuse to treat the difficult patients whose pregnancy rates will be lower • They may choose to report their results differently from others It is important to note that the results you see on the website are not representative of the results that are reported to the ANZARD Data Base.  Websites are usually maintained by marketing people who usually choose the best results to present and many of these are not reliable and are indeed, misleading.  There is no standard way of reporting pregnancy results for IVF websites and, as such, many claims are made that are not valid. What you should look for in an IVF clinic that will maximise the chance of healthy baby: 1. Live birth rates should be presented and not positive pregnancy tests or foetal heart rate.  While it takes 9 months for a baby to born, what your patients are looking for is a healthy live baby and not a positive pregnancy test. Ask for the real results.
2. There should be adequate counselling, advice and appropriate low intervention, as well as the latest high technology, treatment available to your patient.  The clinic should not be selling only the most expensive treatment.
3. The clinic should be staffed by experienced, reputable, RANZCOG certified gynaecologists and fertility sub-specialists (CREI).  The clinic should be able to offer a complete range of treatments including fertility related surgeries
4. There should be very high quality laboratory services with excellent freezing programs, the most up to date genetic testing where appropriate and the ability to grow embryos through to blastocyst in almost every patient.
5. There should be evidence-based scientific treatment based on the latest research and literature.  The service should be personalised to the patient (i.e. not mass-production IVF).
Fertility SA has always been in the top 25% of pregnancy results for IVF for the country (and sometimes at the very top).  This is in spite of the fact that many patients become pregnant naturally through good advice, appropriate diagnosis and use of non-IVF procedures, as well as attracting patients who have failed at other centres.
If you wish to get more information about the true pregnancy rates and Fertility SA’s standing in the Australian IVF community, please email the Medical Director at info@fertilitysa.com.au marked Pregnancy Rate Information. Professor Rob Norman AO BSc(Hons) MBCuB(Hons) MD FRANZCOG FRCPA FRCOG CREI

Back to Our Blog