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Fertility, IVF and Egg Donation

Archive for September, 2013

CDC Releases 2011 IVF Success Rates Report

by on Sep.28, 2013, under CDC Report on Fertility Clinic IVF Success Rates, IVF Clinic Success Rates

CDC-IVF-2011-report-cover-pageThe CDC recently released the new IVF success rate report that shows individual IVF clinic’s IVF success rates as well as national averages. This report covers IVF treatments performed in 2011. It is available to the public on the CDC website as a PDF or as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.

Learn how to interpret CDC IVF clinic success rates results

Video shows how to use SART website to check IVF clinic success rates

The CDC IVF success rate report shows success rates for individual IVF centers in the United States. This allows couples struggling with infertility to evaluate live birth success rates for any fertility program.

The report also includes a page showing national average success rates for all categories of patients. I suggest that before having in vitro fertilization performed anywhere, couples should look up the clinic in the CDC report and compare its success rates to national averages. They should also compare the numbers to other clinics in their area.

The CDC report also shows the number of cases done in various diagnostic categories and age groups. So, for example, if someone needs IVF with donor eggs they should look at how much experience the program has with egg donation as well as the success rates using donor eggs.

For example, some IVF programs will do a significant volume of IVF using women’s own eggs but do very few cases with donor eggs. This should be an important consideration for patients needing IVF with donor eggs.

The CDC report is organized by state and within the states are listed alphabetically by city where the clinic is located. All IVF programs are required by federal law to report their IVF outcome data to the government for reporting to the public. Some clinics choose to violate federal law and not report their data.

Unfortunately, when the government passed the law they did not make a specific punishment for clinics that violate this law. Therefore, at this time the punishment for not reporting is only to be listed as a “non-reporting clinic”. Some clinics prefer to be listed as a non-reporting clinic rather than to have the public see their IVF statistics.

This obviously suggests that these programs have something to hide. Most likely they have low IVF success rates and do not want the public to see the numbers. I recommend couples stay away from any program that is breaking federal law by not reporting its IVF statistics.

The CDC report also shows the diagnosis categories of patients that are treated with IVF. It shows the percentage of cases that had male factor problems, the percent with tubal factor, the percent with diminished ovarian reserve, with endometriosis, unexplained infertility, etc.

The success results are broken down by age group. Less than 35 is the youngest age group, the other age groups are 35 to 37, 38 to 40, 41 to 42 and 43 to 44. For donor eggs all recipient ages are lumped together. This is because there is almost no difference in outcome statistics based on the age of the recipient female when using (young) donor eggs.

Results are shown on a per cycle basis and on a per transfer basis in the 2011 CDC report. A “cycle” is defined as all cases that started stimulation medications with the intention of having IVF performed. Not all patients to start cycles make it to the egg retrieval procedure because some will be canceled for a very poor response to the ovarian stimulating drugs.

Cancellation criteria will very between fertility clinics but most clinics in the US want to see a minimum of three or four mature size follicles before proceeding to the egg retrieval procedure. With less mature follicles than that the success rates are extremely low.

In the past the CDC report showed statistics on a per egg retrieval basis as well. It has always been traditional to report outcomes on a per cycle, per egg retrieval, and per embryo transfer basis. However, for some reason the CDC dropped the per egg retrieval reporting from the 2011 results page.

I think this is unfortunate because the live birth rate per egg retrieval shows how good the clinic is at getting couples pregnant if they make it to an egg retrieval procedure. There are number of reasons aside from cycle cancellation for low response to stimulation that a patient might not have an embryo transfer procedure.

For example, they could have all embryos frozen (for various reasons), or they could have poor embryo development resulting in no viable embryos for transfer.Fortunately, the other IVF success reporting system (SART IVF success rate report) still shows the live birth rate per egg retrieval statistic.

The CDC IVF report is released in 3 parts.

  1. A spreadsheet with all reporting clinics success rates is released in early summer
  2. A PDF document with statistics for all reporting clinics is released in late summer
  3. The complete report with clinic success statistics and other compiled statistics based on the aggregate national data is released in late winter (early 2014 for the 2011 report)

Overall, the CDC has put out an excellent report that allows consumers of IVF services to examine success rates at clinics they are considering.

  • IVF success rates vary significantly between programs
  • Couples should make an informed choice about where to have IVF after studying clinic success rates in the CDC report.
Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago Blog

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist.

Dr. Sherbahn founded the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in 1997.

He will post regularly about fertility issues.

Dr. Richard Sherbahn
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