We pointed out a few years ago that some fertility centers are artificially inflating the publicly reported IVF success rates. These centers were excluding a significant portion of their IVF cycles from their reporting, using a loophole in the reporting rules, set up by the CDC and SART. Since our report, SART has updated their reporting rules to prevent this type of number-fudging that misleads the public, but the CDC has been slow to change their rules.
In a recent article “Playing with the Odds” in New Scientist, journalist Jessica Hamzelou draws an interesting contrast between the US and UK situations. Both countries have problems related to how the IVF success rates are reported to the public, but the nature of the problems are different. In the article, CHR’s Dr. Vitaly A. Kushnir explains the US situation that still exists when patients look at CDC-reported success rates: “You might be being misled into thinking that your chances are 40 to 50 per cent, when it’s more like 5 per cent.”
Given that success rates are an important factor for many patients when choosing a fertility center, Hamzelou’s article explores some ways to prevent the various types of outcome manipulations and their potential unintended side effects (for example, patients with low likelihood of success being denied treatment)–this is an interesting read for patients and general public alike. If you’d like to read the full article, please contact us.
Meanwhile, here’s a few videos of Dr. Kushnir giving some tips on choosing an IVF center that’s “right” for each patient: