When women think about infertility treatment, they often depend upon reference to a famous physician. Commonly, they carefully check all the details and ask their friends, relatives and other medical workers about live births. A well-known physician can change everything, and this is almost true. But the not-so-well-known fact is that embryo labs in the fertility centers are significantly different from each other in most cases.
Most fertility centers in Ukraine deal as the commercial entities. In fact, the quality of embryo labs is a key factor in their success rates. However, despite the perceived quality of the fertility centers, their success rates cannot be considered as 100% valid, as they can easily be distorted for attracting of new patients. Also, the overall statistics of the fertility centers in Ukraine are often distorted in order to increase their market value.
For example, success rates of the fertility centers for women aged 40 years are on average 15-20%. Although this figure is accurate, the data will have a completely different impact if you determine them as a “failure rate” (which you will never see) because women then will realize that their IVF cycles have almost 8 out of 10 chances to be failed. Since many women mistakenly believe that IVF cycles are more successful than not, mentioning the “failure rate” may add a bit more clarity to the comparative table.
Another example of data spinning is that some fertility centers encourage certain patients to drop out their IVF cycles earlier. Usually these are the patients who do not become pregnant for a certain time or those who have higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The fertility centers really select the best and therefore the simplest patients for infertility treatment that artificially increases their success rate.
In fact, fertility centers’ data are primarily a professional tool for the industry experts and do not necessarily give patients a better view about their chances of success. The data give patients a better view of fertility centers’ success rate only. That being said, success rate depends on various factors, such as maternal age, the cause of infertility, the rate of embryos, reproductive history, and lifestyle factors.
For instance, younger women are more likely will become pregnant using IVF, and women older than 41 are more likely will become pregnant with donor eggs. Judging of the reproductive history, women who have been previously pregnant, have more chances of success in IVF than those who have never been pregnant.
Evaluating fertility centers in Ukraine is not so easy, but a checklist of criteria may come in handy. Quality fertility centers have several things in common. They invest in state-of-the art embryo labs, do exhaustive patient workups, have multiple stimulation protocols, and conduct egg / sperm retrievals and embryo transfers that are relatively trauma free:
What infertility treatments do the fertility center offer?
What is your experience as a physician?
Is the physician board certified, and if so, by whom?
What are your criteria for new patients, such as age, marital status, etc.?
What tests are required?
What is the timetable of ART procedures I would have?
What are the costs of IVF, storage of eggs, sperm, or embryos?
How many embryos you transfer usually? Do you offer elective single embryo transfer (eSET) or one embryo transfer?
What types of counseling and support services are available in the fertility center?