Demystifying success rates

It’s not always easy to understand what a clinic’s results mean. 

The very best way to really understand your chances of successful treatment with CARE is to talk to one of our consultants. But if you’d like to look through our IVF success rates and other results in advance, we can help you to get to grips with what they mean for you.   

Understanding success rates

Understanding what results really mean can help you decide which clinic is right for you, but it can be daunting. Fortunately, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has guidelines for how results should be reported, and usually publishes the results for each clinic on its website.

The HFEA also reports on whether clinics’ results are lower, consistent with, or above national averages – and while we treat many complex cases and put the needs of our patients as high as our drives for high success rates, we’re proud to perform above the national averages in many areas.

Success rates are usually presented by the stage of treatment a patient has reached, and measured by the stage reached during pregnancy.

Measures of IVF success

The first common measure of success is a pregnancy test, referred to as a positive hCG or a biochemical pregnancy rate. The next is an ultrasound scan, referred to/known as the clinic’s clinical pregnancy rate, and finally clinics will also show their birth rate, which is the delivery, whether it is one baby or twins it is a single delivery, and this is known as the live birth rate.

Success rates and treatment

In our results, we'll measure our success rates against different stages of treatment. For example, we could show our birth rate per embryo transfer, or our clinical pregnancy rate per treatment cycle. 

Over the years clinic and the HFEA have used different stages to measure success rates, and it continues to evolve, such as Live Birth Rate per:

  • Treatment cycles started (that is once the drugs to stimulate the ovary are commenced)
  • Egg collections (this is sometimes referred to as oocyte recovery)
  • Embryo transfers (this is the number of deliveries per embryo transfer event)
  • Embryos transferred (this is the number of babies born per actual number of embryos transferred).

When the positive test came through... it was the best feeling in the world.

CARE patient

What these measures mean

This approach to measuring success gives a good idea of a clinic’s ability to create and choose embryos for transfer. It also means results can’t be distorted by two embryo transfers, which can boost results but can cause a risk of multiple pregnancies and births.

There are a few things to remember about what to expect from clinic results. Some patients don’t reach the next stage of treatment, so it’s normal for success rates to get higher when they’re measured against later stages in the treatment cycle, such as the number of embryo transfer procedures.

It’s also normal for clinics to have higher biochemical pregnancy rates and lower birth rates, as unfortunately not every positive pregnancy result will lead to a baby.

Find out more

To find out more about our success rates and what they mean for you, talk to one of our consultants. You can book a consultation through our contact form, or get more information by speaking to your local clinic.