Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Success rates are important while considering an IVF clinic to ensure you are giving it a best shot. As you get older, your chances of getting pregnant through IVF or otherwise go down and so ideally, you'd want your initial cycles to be successful and a clinic with high success rate can prove beneficial.
That said, many clinics hide the way they calculate the success rates, sometimes in a way as to inflate the statistics leaving out the methodology. In some cases, they might make up statistics that may be far from reality to attract patients.
Also, there are cases where clinics make up numbers to support the value of add-ons that add to the total cost of treatment without any evidence of medical necessity of those add-ons. This is true in cases where patients are desperate to get pregnant, for example, women over the age of 40 where the chances of pregnancy are lower, although possible.
As with anything, an experienced hand is more equipped to handle operative procedures and the more IVF / ICSI cycles performed, better the results although experience doesn't always translate in to results. Vice-versa is true as well - less experience doesn't always mean poor results which brings up the next point to consider while choosing a clinic.
Multiple Birth Rates
Multiple births are the biggest risks faced by moms and babies in using Assisted Reproductive Technology. While the doctor will advise the best way forward but for most women there's no evidence transferring two embryos will be more successful than one, so long as you have second embryo transfer if the first is unsuccessful.
The risks on the other hand magnify when you use multiple embryo transfers due to complications arising from multiple pregnancies leading to situations including termination of one or more. With IVF / ICSI, you are likely to have about seven times more chance of a multiple pregnancy compared to a normal pregnancy.
Customer ratings can be a reliable source of indication of customer experience at a particular clinic. Apart from exceptional cases, most genuine customers post their true experience at the clinic and so a consistent large number of good or bad rating can be a good indicator to choose a clinic. It's important to pay attention to the number of overall ratings as a small number of good or bad can be coincidental and not statistically significant.
In some cases, the clinic may hire a certain number of paid reviewers or the competitors may post bad reviews posing as customers. In such cases, you can see a pattern in such posts which usually tend to be very general in nature without any specific examples asserting their rating, indicating they could be paid/competitor reviews.
Some procedures are not allowed by law in some countries and becomes an important factor in choosing a clinic as the clinic might accept you and perform treatment but there may be complications heath or regulation wise later on.
Path towards parenthood can be hard sometimes and often a long journey requiring patience and ability to handle stress and to an extent deal with lower self-esteem in some cases. Clinics with counselling service can be great for boosting morale and coping with the stresses associated with infertility.
Male infertility is very much an issue and counselling can be great help to talk through the problems and identify methods to reduce stress. The key to successful pregnancy is for both the partners to be stress free to the extent possible.
Researching for the right clinic can be daunting compounded by the treatment costs associated with IVF but with the world getting closer than ever, there are several affordable options available. Good research and proper due-diligence can prove to be fruitful in the long run.