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Fertility, IVF and Egg Donation

SART Releases 2014 IVF Success Rate Report

by on Sep.30, 2016, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, IVF success rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) has released the 2014 IVF success rate report in 2016.  The SART in vitro fertilization outcome reports have been coming out annually for over 15 years. We are proud of our  consistently high success rates. We encourage people to examine both our IVF success rates and our egg donation success rates and compare them to the national averages as well as to those of other clinics they might consider.

This year’s report represents a significant change in the way the data is reported as compared to the past.  SART is trying to make the report more representative of IVF outcomes as they relate to the current styles of practice in IVF centers in the US.

In the past the SART report showed the IVF outcome data on a per started cycle, per egg retrieval, and per embryo transfer basis.  However, this has basically been done away with in the 2014 report.  The new SART report organizes IVF outcome metrics differently.

I will review some of the main highlights of the new report using screen shots from our own clinic’s 2014 SART report that can be found online at:

https://www.sartcorsonline.com/rptCSR_PublicMultYear.aspx?ClinicPKID=2410


The first section in the outcome tables shows what start calls the Preliminary Cumulative Outcome per Intended Egg Retrieval.  The intention is to show the cumulative chance for having a baby from both the primary embryo transfer procedure and any also any subsequent embryo transfers using frozen eggs or embryos that were not transferred initially.

I think it is unfortunate that SART put this table at the top of the report.  It makes it seem that this is the most important outcome metric.  However, there are problems with this metric including the fact that any embryo transfers with subsequent live births that do not fall within that calendar year will not be included in the cumulative outcome.

SART is extremely focused on singleton pregnancy outcomes.  Many couples with infertility are much less focused on avoiding twins.  The SART report highlights the singleton line in green.  I have highlighted the live birth line in red.  This line shows the cumulative live birth rate per intended egg retrieval.  In my opinion the live birth rate is also important for couples struggling with infertility.

cumulative-live-birth-rates


The next table is referred to by SART as the Preliminary Primary Outcome per Intended Retrieval.  The preliminary primary outcome is the outcome of the first embryo transfer following the egg retrieval.

  • Therefore, if there is a fresh embryo transfer that is done several days after the egg retrieval that outcome would be the preliminary primary outcome.
  • However, if all of the embryos from that egg retrieval were frozen and none were transferred fresh – then the first frozen embryo transfer cycle would give the preliminary primary outcome.
  • If all embryos were frozen from the fresh egg retrieval and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) was performed and all PGS results were abnormal resulting in no frozen embryo transfer – then the outcome is a failed cycle at that point.

This change in outcome metrics was put into place by SART because in recent years some clinics have moved more to performing frozen embryo transfers and are doing more “freeze all” cycles.  In a freeze all cycle, all embryos are frozen several days after the egg retrieval and then thawed and transferred in a subsequent cycle.  I think that SART should have put this table at the top of the page.

Again, I have highlighted the live birth row which I believe is important in red in contrast to what SART is highlighting in green.

preliminary-primary-per-retrieval


The next table is for what SART refers to as Preliminary Subsequent Outcomes (frozen cycles).  SART defines this as cycles using any frozen thawed eggs or embryos after there has already been a primary outcome.  So for the most part this table represents the frozen embryo transfer success rates for the clinic.  However, it excludes frozen embryo transfers that would have been the primary embryo transfer (from freeze all cycles).

frozen-embryo-live-births


The next table SART calls the Preliminary Live Birth per Patient.  This table is reporting outcomes only for those patients who are new to that specific clinic and starting their first cycle for egg retrieval during that year.  I have no idea why SART thinks that this is an important metric and deserving of its own table.

preliminary-live-birth-patient


The last 4 tables on the page of the new SART report are for donor eggs and donor embryos.  There is a table for live birth outcomes using fresh donor eggs, another table for frozen donor eggs, then frozen thawed embryos from donor eggs, and finally a table for transfers using donated embryos.  These tables are easier to understand because they do not follow the “preliminary” and “subsequent” outcome methodology that SART now uses for the cycles performed using a woman’s own eggs.

fresh-donor-egg-live-birth


There are some interesting and potentially useful features built into the new report. For example, the report now allows the viewer to apply filters to the data set. For example, you can filter frozen embryo transfer cycles to see only those results that had preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) performed on the embryos. Other filters can be applied as well.

SART is an organization of medical and other professionals. SART members are from academic medical centers and also from private practice fertility clinics. SART members could be fertility doctors, nurses, embryologists, lab directors, mental health professionals, attorneys that specialize in reproductive law, and others.

SART members have different agendas depending on the details of their own organizations and business models. Therefore, SART will be pulled in different directions by members with their own agendas. Such a varied organization will never be able to please all members. The major changes in the 2014 SART report seems to have been done in an effort to satisfy some factions within the organization. However, that has led to some problems with the report.

I have been working as a fertility doctor for over 20 years and during that time have used databases and spreadsheets on a daily basis. Understandably, I am very familiar with IVF outcome measures. However, this report was confusing for me until I studied it carefully. It took some time to figure it out. Therefore, I think that this report will be very difficult (or impossible) for the average infertility patient to understand well.

If the 2014 SART report satisfies some SART members regarding their gripes about past year’s reports then maybe it serves the SART organization’s agenda. Overall, I think it is a work in progress.

Our IVF success rates

Our egg donation success rates

IVF pricing plans

Egg donation pricing plans

Richard Sherbahn

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


2013 SART IVF Success Rate Report Released

by on Mar.18, 2015, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

The 2013 SART report was released in early March 2015 by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. It reports clinic-specific pregnancy outcome results from in vitro fertilization cycles done by SART member clinics in 2013. The SART report is a useful resource for couples considering in vitro fertilization treatment using their own eggs or donor eggs.

Most IVF clinics in the US are SART members and have their data included in this report. A small percentage of clinics choose not to be SART members so their IVF outcome data will not be in it.  However, federal law mandates that all IVF clinics in the US report their data annually to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a federal government agency. The CDC IVF report for a given year is usually released several months after the SART report.

The SART report shows both individual clinic results and national averages for IVF live birth success rates by age of the female partner. It also shows live birth success rates for treatments using donor eggs. Pregnancy and live birth success rates are shown separately for cycles using fresh eggs and embryos and for cycles using frozen embryos.

For the first time, this year’s report also shows pregnancy outcome results for frozen (banked) donor eggs. Egg freezing and egg banking is a new and rapidly evolving technology. Success rates at some clinics using frozen donor eggs are now approaching the success rates for using fresh donor eggs. Not quite as good yet, but getting closer over time.

The report also shows various other statistics for the clinics including a breakdown of diagnosis categories for the patients having IVF and the average number of embryos transferred in the various groups and percentage of singleton, twin and triplet or higher pregnancies. Learn more about the SART and CDC IVF success reports on our website.

Couples needing fertility services can utilize the SART report to compare success rates between clinics that they might consider utilizing. Success rates vary dramatically between programs and it is important for couples to understand the success rates at any fertility clinic they consider.

  • The national average for IVF live birth success per cycle for 2013 was 40%. Our clinic’s IVF results were much better than average at 58%.
2013 IVF success rates our clinic vs. USA average

Our IVF success rates vs. national average 2013


Donor egg live birth success rates 2013 SART

Our donor egg success rates vs. national average 2013

This year SART included a new metric in the report that reports the “percentage of cycles where thaw was attempted that resulted in live birth”. In the past frozen embryo transfer cycles were only reported on a “per embryo transfer” basis. Therefore, in previous SART reports if there was an attempt to thaw and transfer a couple’s embryos but no embryo survived the thaw – the data would not show up at all in the report (it was reported on a “per transfer” basis).

In the current report it shows outcome statistics on a “per thaw cycle” basis and also on a “per embryo transfer” basis. If a clinic has technical problems with embryo freezing and thawing they could have low success rates for both metrics or could have better success rates on a per transfer basis but lower rates per thaw. This would indicate embryos were not surviving well after thawing.

The SART report is a useful and timely tool for couples needing in vitro fertilization or egg donation services. The complete 2013 SART report is available through this link to the SART website. It shows national average pregnancy outcome statistics as well as clinic-specific reports for all SART member clinics.


A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.

Richard Sherbahn

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


IVF Success Rate Report Released – 2012 SART Report

by on Mar.02, 2014, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

The 2012 SART report was recently released by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). This annual report details IVF success rates and egg donation success rates for individual clinics that are members of the SART organization. The large majority of US IVF programs are SART member clinics so their IVF success rates are therefore included in this report.

A separate report on IVF success rates, the US government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report also comes out every year and covers all US clinics (by federal law). However, the CDC report is released much later than the SART report. The CDC report is released in sections with the first part out 4-5 months after the SART report.

The SART report also shows national average statistics. This allows couples with fertility problems that are considering in vitro fertilization to investigate the live birth success rates at any IVF program that they are considering. They can compare the success rates to other programs in their home area, to other programs in the US, and to national averages.

Here is a video showing how to use and interpret the SART report

The data in this report is broken down by age group and also by whether fresh eggs and fresh embryos were transferred to the uterus or whether frozen embryos were thawed and transferred. Cycles using donor eggs are also reported separately both for fresh embryo transfers and frozen embryo transfers.

We are proud of our IVF and egg donation success rates. Our rates have been above national averages for 16 years in a row.

  • For 2012 our live birth success rate for women under age 35 was 55% per egg retrieval compared to the national average of 43%
  • For egg donation our 2012 live birth success rate was 82% per transfer which compares to the national average of 57%

Additional information is included in the SART report including the percentage of pregnancies with twins and triplets, the average number of embryos transferred in the different groups, and information about the diagnosis categories of patients being treated. For example, it gives the percentage of IVF cases that had a male factor infertility diagnosis, and the percentage with diminished ovarian reserve, endometriosis, tubal factor, etc.

The SART report is a valuable asset for couples considering in vitro fertilization or egg donation. They can compare success rates between clinics in order to find the clinic that will best be able to help them build their family.

The 2012 SART report is available through this link to the SART website:

http://www.sart.org/

More about the SART and CDC IVF success rate reports

Richard Sherbahn

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


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+


SART Releases 2011 IVF Success Rate Report with Outcome Results for All IVF Clinics

by on Feb.16, 2013, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

SART has recently released its 2011 IVF success rate report. This report details the in vitro fertilization pregnancy and live birth success rates for all US IVF clinics that are members of the SART organization (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology).

Almost all IVF clinics in the US are members of SART. However, some clinics are not SART members so their IVF success rates are not in the SART report.

Go to the SART site to research any specific clinic’s IVF success rates for 2011

See our IVF success rates

See our donor egg success rates

ivf-success-rate-graphegg-donation-success

IVF clinics were required to submit their data to SART in November 2012 after they collected the live birth information from all IVF cycles performed in 2011. SART then takes a few months to prepare the data for public distribution.

The same data is reported by IVF clinics to the CDC. The CDC is a US government agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Membership and reporting IVF results to SART is voluntary. However, reporting to the US government through the CDC is required under federal law for all IVF centers.

The SART report is a useful tool for couples with infertility that might need to consider in vitro fertilization to get pregnant. Using this report, couples can investigate live birth success rates per IVF treatment cycle in their age group.

Patients needing fertility treatments should investigate IVF success rates at clinics they are considering for treatment.

  • Success rates vary between programs. All IVF clinics to not produce viable pregnancies at the same rate.
  • There are over 200 variables involved with quality controlduring an IVF cycle
  • Two critical variables are the quality of the clinical side of the IVF program and the quality control system in the IVF laboratory

The SART report allows couples to learn about various details about a specific clinic’s success rates and they can compare those numbers to national averages.

Below is a screenshot of a portion of our 2011 SART results page showing live birth rates in 3 age groups (under 35, 35-37 and 38-40) using a woman’s own eggs and fresh embryos.

IVF-gurnee-2011-SART

  • The SART report allows couples to compare success rates of clinics they are considering with national averages and with other clinics in their area.
  • If a clinic you are considering has low success rates compared to the national average, I suggest going somewhere with better success statistics.

There is a video on our website showing how to research IVF success rates using the SART report.

To see the 2011 SART report and check IVF success rates:

  • Go to the SART website
  • Click on the state that you want on the US map
  • Click on any clinic you want to see IVF results for
  • Click “ART Data Report” and the clinic’s IVF statistics for 2011 will come up

Our website has links to the CDC and the SART reports and discusses them in more detail with examples showing how to interpret clinic-specific and national average tables.

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.

Richard Sherbahn

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


2011 IVF Live Birth Success Rates Available

by on Nov.25, 2012, under CDC Report on Fertility Clinic IVF Success Rates, IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

The Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992 mandates that IVF clinics annually give their IVF live birth success rate data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a US government agency.

IVF cycles  from December 2011 would result in babies being born by about mid October. Then fertility clinics can call patients to get birth information by about November 1st and can submit it to SART and/or the government. SART releases its annual IVF success rate report in January to February. Therefore, the 2011 SART report should be released in January-February 2013. The preliminary CDC report is released several months later and the complete CDC report takes about a full year to come out.

In vitro fertilization clinics have 2 options for reporting outcome statistics to the government:

  1. They can report it to SART, who will publish it on their website (www.SART.org) and pass the data on to the CDC
  2. They can bypass SART and report to Westat, a statistical survey research organization that the CDC contracts with to obtain data from fertility clinics

The CDC publishes a thorough report (www.cdc.gov/art/ARTReports.htm), but it comes out several months later than the SART report for the same year.

Both the CDC and the SART reports show national averages as well as clinic-specific data for all reporting clinics. Unfortunately, some IVF clinics refuse to report their data, as required by federal law. They choose to be listed as a “non-reporting clinic” rather than let the public see their IVF statistics.

  • This suggests they have low success rates
  • Stay away from these clinics
  • A section of the CDC’s “National Summary and Fertility Clinic Success Rates” report lists all of the “non-reporting clinics”

We recently submitted our 2011 IVF live birth success rates to SART, as did most other US clinics. Our outcome statistics are shown below.

Our 2011 IVF Pregnancy and Live Birth Success Rates – Fresh Cycles
IVF statistics for January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011
Age
Cycles
Started
Egg
Retrievals
Clinical Pregnancy Rate
Per Egg Retrieval
Live Birth Rate
Per Egg Retrieval
< 35
208
200
66.5%
60.0%
35-37
83
75
52.0%
45.3%
38-40
60
53
50.0%
33.3%
41-42
10
9 11.1% 11.1%

Egg Donation
Donor success rates

75 embryo transfers 81.3%
Per embryo transfer
80.0%
Per embryo transfer

 

Our 2011 Frozen Embryo Transfer Statistics
Frozen Transfer Statistics for January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011
Age
Frozen Transfers
Clinical Pregnancy Rate
Per Transfer
Live Birth Rate
Per Embryo Transfer
< 35
45
73.3% 66.7%
35-37
20 55.0% 55.0%
38-40
11
54.5% 45.5%
41-44
2
50.0% 50.0%
Egg Donation
Donor success rates
30 76.7% 53.3%

Tight quality control is what makes the biggest difference in outcome statistics. We work hard every day to maintain quality control throughout our fertility practice.

  • The choice of the IVF stimulation protocol for the individual couple is important
  • The doctor must manage the stimulation with careful medication adjustments
  • The nursing staff needs to communicate doctor’s instructions effectively to patients
  • A properly performed egg retrieval procedure is important
  • The laboratory culture environment has over 200 variables affecting egg, sperm and embryo quality
  • A smooth and efficient embryo transfer procedure can be difficult and is a critical factor that affects chances for success
  • The challenge for the fertility clinic is to get and keep a grip on all of these areas

Do your research and find a clinic that you can trust to get the job done effectively.

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.
Richard Sherbahn

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


2010 SART IVF Success Rate Report Available Online

by on Feb.22, 2012, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

2010 IVF success rate report released by Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Couples with fertility problems that might consider having in vitro fertilization treatment have a valuable resource in the SART success rate report. This study comes out annually. The report for IVF treatments performed in 2010 was just released.

Clinics collect their outcome data live births and report the outcomes of all IVF cycles to SART by November of the following year. SART then compiles the data and publishes it by about 3 months later. This allows the public to study IVF success rates or egg donation success rates for any specific clinic.

Not every IVF program in the US reports to SART but the large majority do. All clinics are required by law to turn in their outcome statistics to the CDC (US government). The CDC IVF report is then published annually with information on all clinics that follow federal law and give their data to CDC (some refuse to report it).

The CDC report on IVF clinic statistics is an excellent resource – but it comes out about 9 months later for any given year than the corresponding SART report.

Patients needing fertility treatments should investigate IVF success rates at clinics they are considering for treatment. Success rates vary dramatically between programs – do not assume that all centers are equally capable at getting you pregnant.

Although there can be many variables involved in success rates, the overall quality of the IVF program and the IVF laboratory are 2 of the most important factors impacting the chance of success.

The SART report shows clinic specific data on live birth outcomes that are categorized in several ways.

By female age

  • Female age has a significant impact on fertility
  • SART breaks down in vitro fertilization success rates based on female age group for cases with women using their own eggs
  • Our live birth success rate for 2010 for women under age 35 was 60.3% per egg retrieval (fresh embryos)

By own vs. donor eggs

  • Egg donation success rates are higher than for cases using own eggs
  • Our live birth success rate for 2010 using donor eggs was 81.6% per embryo transfer (fresh embryos)

By fresh vs. frozen embryos

  • Statistics for embryo transfers using frozen embryos are shown separately from cycles with fresh embryos
  • Success rates with frozen embryos have improved significantly in recent years
  • Using frozen embryos, our live birth success rate for 2010 for women under age 35 was 52.0% per embryo transfer
  • Using frozen embryos, our live birth success rate for 2010 using donor eggs was 70.0% per embryo transfer

PDF version of  Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s 2010 SART report

Our IVF success rates vs. national average for 2010Our donor egg success rates vs. national average for 2010


To see the 2010 SART report and check IVF live birth success rates:

  • Go to the SART website
  • Click on the state that you want on the US map
  • A list of all SART member clinics in that state will come up
  • Click on the clinic you want to see success rate results for
  • Click “ART Data Report” (at bottom) – that clinic’s IVF results for 2010 will come up
  • If you want to see another year, select it from the pull-down menu

If a clinic that you are considering has low success rates compared to national averages or other clinics in your area – go to a clinic with higher success rates. It probably will give you a better chance to have a baby.

Our website has links to the CDC and the SART reports and discusses them in more detail with examples showing how to interpret clinic-specific and national average tables.

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.

Richard Sherbahn

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

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Frozen donor egg banks – should we use frozen or fresh donor eggs to do egg donation?

by on Jul.31, 2011, under Age and Fertility, Donor Eggs, Egg Banking, Egg Donation, Egg Donation Cost, Egg Freezing, IVF Clinic Success Rates, Oocyte Cryopreservation

Egg donation has been utilized to help infertile couples since the early 1980s. Donor egg IVF utilization has continued increasing as more couples delay childbearing until their late 30s and 40s. In the United States in 2009 there were over 15,000 cycles using fresh donor eggs reported to SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies) from their member clinics. Links to the SART and CDC IVF and donor egg success rate reports

Until the last few years all donor eggs cycles were done with fresh eggs retrieved and fertilized the same day with the male partner’s sperm. Over the years egg donation using fresh eggs has become highly successful at some fertility clinics in the US.

Live birth rates with fresh donor eggs are over 70% per fresh transfer procedure at the best egg donation clinics. Success rates at these same donor egg programs using fresh eggs are over 50% for live birth per transfer using a single embryo for transfer. This approach almost totally eliminates the risk for multiple pregnancy.

Our donor egg live birth success rates

In recent years the techniques for freezing and thawing eggs have advanced significantly. As a result of these advances, success rates at some frozen donor egg banks has increased from about 10% success in the past to approximately 50% – at least this is what they claim.

Accordingly, business models have developed for frozen donor egg banks. Egg banks sell frozen donor eggs on a per batch or per egg basis. This can make the cost of using frozen eggs seem to be less than the cost of egg donation with fresh eggs. However, there are some significant problems with this approach.

  1. Uncertain and relatively low success rates – with low success rates the cost per baby is actually higher
  2. Uncertainty about long-term health issues for the children born from frozen eggs

(continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

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

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2009 SART IVF Clinic Success Rate Report Released

by on Mar.13, 2011, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

  • A few days ago SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies) released its 2009 IVF Success Rate Report
  • This report comes out annually and provides clinic specific in vitro fertilization success rates for all SART member clinics in the US
  • The report includes a national summary which shows national averages for IVF success rates broken down by the age of the female partner
  • It also has live birth rates for IVF with donor eggs

This report is a useful resource for couples pursuing fertility treatment. Success rates are significantly different between programs. When you go through an IVF cycle you are not getting the same treatment at every program.

It’s not like going out and buying a Jeep:

  • If there is a Jeep dealer closer to home, or a little cheaper – then a Jeep is a Jeep, so buy it there
  • However, IVF is not a commodity
  • IVF at one clinic may result in an average success rate of 25% while at another clinic it might be 60% for the same age group
  • In vitro fertilization at “Clinic A” does not equal IVF at “Clinic B” – so do your research

Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago vs. USA average IVF success rates

Our IVF success rates
Our egg donation success rates

The clinics must turn in their data every year (to SART and the CDC)  in November for the IVF cycles performed during the previous calendar year. SART then takes a few months to prepare the report and publish the results on the web.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a US government agency, also publishes annual IVF success rate reports

  • However, release of the CDC report is delayed by about 8 to 10 months after the SART report
  • The CDC’s report is more comprehensive and includes more clinics with additional analysis of data beyond clinic success rates
  • The drawback of the CDC report is the additional delay before publication

To go to the 2009 SART report and check IVF live birth success rates for any SART member clinic, follow these steps:

  • Click this link: www.sart.org
  • Click on the orange button “IVF Success Rate Reports”
  • Click on the state that you want on the US map
  • A list of all SART member clinics in that state will come up
  • Click on the clinic you want to see results for
  • Click next to “ART Data Report” (at the bottom) and that clinic’s IVF success results for 2009 will come up

Study the report in the area relevant to you – own eggs and age 40, or donor eggs, etc. If a clinic is missing from the SART or CDC reports it is probably a bad sign. Find out why they did not report – or go elsewhere. Buyer beware.

If you check the success rate information for a clinic you are considering for treatment and find that they are low compared to national averages or other clinics in your area – go to a clinic with higher success rates. It would likely increase your chance to have a baby with IVF.

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.
Richard Sherbahn

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

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Do IVF Clinics With High Success Rates Cherry Pick Better Cases?

by on Feb.23, 2011, under CDC Report on Fertility Clinic IVF Success Rates, IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

Cherry Picking?

I see a lot of couples that fail IVF at other in vitro fertilization programs and then come to us for their 3rd or 4th or 5th IVF attempt. They seek an IVF clinic that can give them a better outcome. Recently I’ve been hearing a similar story from couples that have failed at certain other IVF clinics in the Chicago area.

What to do if your first IVF cycle fails

These couples asked their fertility doctor why our clinic (Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago) has higher IVF and donor egg success rates than they have. They have been told that “Dr. Sherbahn cherry picks the best patients and does not treat patients with a low chance to get pregnant”. In other words they are accusing me of turning patients away with a low chance for pregnancy in order to cherry pick only the best patients and thereby artificially pump up our success rates.

It is a total crock. Patients that fail IVF again and again are likely to do IVF related research on the internet. They will find the CDC and SART websites where they can see if another clinic in their area has better pregnancy rates than the program where they failed.

How to research IVF success rates at US clinics

  • People are often motivated enough at that point to drive farther to a clinic that might give them a better chance for success.
  • Therefore, people that fail and often have egg quality problems or other issues holding back their success will tend to switch to programs with higher success rates after they have done research.
  • This results in programs like ours with higher than average success rates getting more patients with previous failures – which tend to be the most difficult cases.
  • As a result, we will get relatively fewer “easy” cases

We do not send patients away or tell them we will not do IVF on them unless they are menopausal or otherwise clearly have a very low chance of success. I believe that if the couple has about a 5% or better chance of success and has been educated about their chances – we should allow them to cycle here. Taking patients with a 5% chance of success is certainly not “cherry picking”

  • Some fertility specialists with big egos and poor quality IVF programs either just can’t accept the fact that their IVF programs aren’t very good – or perhaps they’re in denial and really believe that other programs have better success rates because they “cherry pick”
  • Either way it’s pitiful

The clinics with low success rates often say that the reason IVF success rates are different between clinics is because:

Because these things can be different between clinics they claim that comparing success rates is not valid. However, just because comparisons are not perfect does not mean that comparisons should not be made. We cannot expect 100,000 IVF patients coming to 500 clinics across America to all have equal potential for a successful pregnancy. Every case is different, every egg and every sperm is unique and even the uterus can vary to some extent.

  • However no clinic gets all the good cases, and no clinic gets only bad cases
  • A mix of patients will present themselves to every clinic for treatment

If we look at success rates of clinics in the US according to the CDC and SART 2008 data sets (see graph below), we see a range of live birth success rates for cycles using fresh donor eggs from 25% to 81% per transfer. The national average for 2008 was 55% per transfer.

Our donor egg success rates

Graph of success rates for 2008 egg donation cycles in USA

(continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

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


Welcome to the
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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