Judging fertility clinics on the basis of their success rates is the most popular way of choosing an ideal place for IVF treatment – but unfortunately not the wisest one. 

In fact, it would be the best to approach the clinics with limited trust and increased understanding of IVF procedures. Patients should be aware that the success of IVF treatment is the sum of different factors and cicumstances, only few of which depend on the clinic itself. The latter are surely the experience and professionalism of the medical staff as well as offered IVF treatments that allow particular types of patients (with either lower or higher chances of a successful pregnancy).

However, in majority of cases it is a patient’s individual situation, their condition and medical history that influence the result of the treatment. A patient’s age, genetic factors or various reasons for infertility play a crucial role in determining the IVF success.

It is highly advisable to do your own research prior to choosing the best IVF clinic. Analyse all medical and psychological aspects that the IVF treatment process entails and decide whether you’re financially ready to do it.

IVF success rates - primary deciding factor?

Remember that average success rates shouldn’t be the primary deciding factor for your choice of clinic. Each patient is different – they have different infertility diagnoses and medical histories. As such, the prognoses for each patient can vary greatly and usually are different from the presented average success rates of each clinic. If you’re concerned with the success rates, call the clinic before scheduling an appointment – describe your medical history in detail, including your age, weight, height, the infertility diagnosis, the number of failed cycles, performed tests and procedures etc. and ask for your individual success prognosis.

IVF success rate - real data

Below you will find a summary of treatment efficacy in Europe based on the ESHRE report. The data, coming from all the clinics reporting to this organisation, is averaged and presented in a uniformed way  – as a clinical pregnancy per embryo transfer. In the most popular countries, all IVF clinics provide such data. Thanks to this compilation, you can compare the clinics’ advertised success rates with the national average performance in a given country and check how much they differ.

However, although the data comes from a public report, you should still treat it with a grain of salt. Why? Firstly, remember that clinics often use the so-called “creative” ways of measuring their success rates. They often try to show the highest numbers because they know that most patients make decisions based on these values. In this case, the numbers presented by the clinics will differ significantly from the national average – they will be much higher. There is nothing wrong with the fact that an IVF clinic calculates own success rate according to its own algorithm. The only consequence that you should be aware of is a much more expensive treatment than you would expect after the first contact with the clinic. 

Secondly, many clinics have higher success rates simply because the following data is the average of all clinics. In such a compilation, there are both clinics with worse results (which does not mean they’re worse centres!) and the ones that perform better.

Misleading IVF success rates

However, although the data comes from a public report, you should still treat it with a grain of salt. Why? Firstly, remember that clinics often use the so-called “creative” ways of measuring their success rates. They often try to show the highest numbers because they know that most patients make decisions based on these values. In this case, the numbers presented by the clinics will differ significantly from the national average – they will be much higher. There is nothing wrong with the fact that an IVF clinic calculates own success rate according to its own algorithm. The only consequence that you should be aware of is a much more expensive treatment than you would expect after the first contact with the clinic. 

Secondly, many clinics have higher success rates simply because the following data is the average of all clinics. In such a compilation, there are both clinics with worse results (which does not mean they’re worse centres!) and the ones that perform better.

IVF with own eggs - success rates

The effectiveness of IVF treatment with own cells will vary significantly depending on the age of a female patient. Additionally, there are many other parameters that influence the treatment effectiveness. These are, among others, BMI, the quality and the number of eggs collected as well as the quality of male partner’s sperm. That is why it is so important to always ask about your own individual chances and not about the average treatment effectiveness in the IVF clinic. When publishing data on the treatment effectiveness, clinics, in the best case, take different patients’ age groups into account. However, this might not be enough for you when comparing the success rates between clinics.

IVF with own eggs success rates in popular countries in Europe (ESHRE EIM 2014)
Woman age<3435-39≥40
Spain32.9%27.4%14.8%
Czech Republic33.3%25.4%13.2%
North Cyprusno data
Greece43.4%32.6%15.8%
Ukraine38.3%34.4%26.8%
Poland34.6%28.7%14.2%
Russia34.1%25.9%14.5%
Latvia22.3%24.5%3.2%
ESHRE average in Europe29.0%24.2%12.9%

IVF with donor eggs - success rates

In the case of IVF treatment with donor cells, the effectiveness is independent of the patient’s age. However, remember that your own treatment history and its medical parameters may be important for the expected effect. That is why you should always ask the clinic about your own personal chances of success and not about the average effectiveness of treatment.

IVF with donor eggs success rates in popular countries in Europe (ESHRE EIM 2014)
Woman agefor all age groups
Spain55.6%
Czech Republic46.8%
North Cyprusno data
Greece51.5%
Ukraine56.2%
Poland46.2%
Russia48.0%
Latvia50.9%
ESHRE average in Europe50.3%
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