Patients or rather couples who opt for IVF like being well informed about the treatment process before they get on to it. They want to be sure that what they spend on IVF does not go waste in any manner.
It is a fact that clinics usually hesitate to divulge too much information about their performance, but nevertheless, they do inform the couples about the kind of facilities they provide and also the expert consultations they will get. No doubt, clinics are not forced to divulge required information to survive in the highly competitive market. Couples find it difficult to compare the fertility clinics if necessary information is not available about the clinic.
1. Pregnancy versus live birth rates
Unfortunately, one might say, along with fertility levels, IVF success rates do decline as women get older. Going by all clinics, the highest success rates are for women who are under 30 and have a 26% success chance of taking home a baby after each of the fresh cycles. Women who are over 40 only have rather around a 6% chance. In fact, only 50% of “clinical pregnancies” for women in the over-40 age bracket will result in a “live birth”.
So when one looks at a clinic website and sees the “pregnancy rate” displayed as opposed to the “live birth rate”, one must take note of the fact whether one is over 40. Patients seeking medical help must ask their clinic to disclose both the pregnancy as well as the live birth success rates for their respective age group.
2. Blastocyst cultures
Traditionally, embryos were actually grown for only a few days until the “cleavage” stage. Nowadays, the aim of most treatment is to be able to grow embryos for five days or until they make it into a blastocyst.
3. Human embryonic development:
The best embryos survive and the weaker ones die off. This selection process does indeed make it much easier for embryologists to be able to choose the best embryo for transfer.
Blastocyst culture is usually recommended if one gets a decent number of eggs. Any number of “weaker” embryos do get frozen along with the good ones. When one has to thaw them out, then one does not know when one is going to get. This would imply that one can spend thousands more on thaw cycles than one would otherwise.
3. Sperm injections
Depending on of course the male’s sperm count, the sperm may be injected directly into the egg. The cause of infertility does play a role in IVF success. Some male partners do indeed have a low sperm count and do need intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). An individual sperm is no doubt injected into an egg.
In case it is unclear whether a patient needs ICSI, the doctor will be able to allow half of their eggs to be inseminated via the standard insemination and half to be injected via ICSI. If one gets enough eggs, then it worth enquiring about.
4. Budget clinics
Basically, budget clinics make use of low-dose hormone stimulation protocols so patients spend less on the drugs. But it is usually only suited to younger patients. It also does produce fewer eggs. This does mean fewer resources are rather required in order to perform lab procedures and for this reason, it is cheap.
In budget IVF, doctors try to get about seven to nearly ten eggs per patient. If the patient does respond well, this number is indeed fine. But this is not always the case. If one gets only a couple of eggs, one needs to be aware one may not get an embryo for transfer or anything to be frozen, otherwise, one as to begin all over again.
5. Budget clinics use lower doses of hormones: Image Point
Budget IVF patients do ask their clinic how they intend to plan to monitor their response to the low dose. If one gets a poor response it is hardly worth the trouble.
Some people have also expressed concerns that the lab procedures in the budget clinics being different from the more established ones. Clinics generally claim they are the same but it is important to find out.
6. Lab standards
Embryos are in fact highly sensitive to things such as changes in temperature as well as oxygen levels. These conditions need to be monitored tightly as their effect on success rates can be catastrophic.
In the meantime, patients should ask what steps their respective clinic takes to ensure their embryos are being looked after in the lab.
Many issues have to be taken into consideration before one decides to opt for IVF. One has to have complete knowledge of the IVF procedure.