Deciding where to go for IVF treatment is already something hopeful couples undoubtedly agonise over. But a lack of clarity around pricing and success rates can make the decision even harder.
For many people success rates are the key driving factor behind the decision.
They want to know that the clinic they go to will give them the best chances of having a baby.
But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is concerned that there’s not a lot of clarity about what success rates are being used, and how they compare to each other.
They are investigating the claims made by IVF clinics about their successes.
The problem is, clinics don’t have to measure their success rates using the same data.
There are so many variables involved in the IVF process. The age and health of the woman, the number of embryos, the amount of times embryos are implanted before a pregnancy, the number of pregnancies that make it to full term.
Bianca Dye talks bucket lists and her IVF treatment. (Post continues after video.)
Which of these elements IVF clinics decide to focus on can change their success rates. So can what cases they choose to take on.
Official success rates, published anonymously and using a consistent set of data across 35 Australian and New Zealand clinics, range from as low as 4.4 percent, increasing to a high of 31 per cent for live births per fresh egg cycle.
Those rates are not the same ones clinics use.
“When clinics put their information up they are only going to put up what makes them look good,” David Knight, a fertility expert who has himself had a child through IVF, told Mamamia.
Knight is a doctor based at Demeter Fertility in Sydney.
He says around the world, for women under 35, the standard chance of a baby from an egg collection is 30-35 per cent.
But a clinic that advertises a 90 per cent success rate might just be counting the rate of births and not taking into account how many failed attempts before one worked.