From “Joyful new mum Sonia Kruger” to the “back-to-front love story” of sperm donor romance, IVF patients across the country are being told their fairy tale ending is just an embryo transfer away. But for every artificially conceived bundle of joy to make the headlines, there are many everyday Australians who have not been so lucky.
Many patients’ lack of success may have more to do with their IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) provider than with their pathology. With the gap between success rates at the highest- and lowest-performing clinics widening each year, it’s time for all fertility clinics to disclose their results to patients.
In Australia, assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinics are required to report success rates to the Australian & New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD). The National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit and the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) then jointly collaborate to produce a yearly ANZARD report.
Clinics are told where they rank in an IVF “league table”, however, this is not released publicly and clinics only know their own result. (Post continues after gallery.)
The most recent ANZARD report from 2012 (published in 2014) revealed IVF success rates varied dramatically between clinics. From 35 clinics across Australia and New Zealand the live birth success rate ranged from 4.0% at one clinic to 30.9 per cent at another. No-one knows which clinic is which, and no-one knows why success rates varied so considerably between providers.