Internationally success rate of IVF is the most important criterion for a couple to choose the doctor and center they will trust to make their own effort to obtain a child.
Unfortunately, there is no single definition of what “success” in IVF means. The following definitions have been used occasionally:
- Positive pregnancy test for embryo transfer (PPT / ET, PPT / ET: positive pregnancy test per embryotransfer), i.e. positive pregnancy test at first measurement 10-12 days after embryo transfer.
- Clinical pregnancy per embryo transfer (CPR / ET: clinical pregnancy rate per embryotransfer), i.e. the presence of a fetus with visible cardiac function on ultrasound, 4-5 weeks after embryo transfer.
- Birth of a live baby per embryo transfer (‘take home baby rate’).
It is obvious that the positive pregnancy test rates will always be higher than the clinical pregnancy rates and even higher than the childbirth rate per embryo transfer. Once conception is achieved through IVF, the course of pregnancy is subject to the same risk factors as natural conception.
For example, an IVF pregnancy has the same chance of miscarriage in the 1st trimester as any other pregnancy.
The rates of success in IVF depend mainly on the following factors:
- The age of the woman. It is probably the most important factor. For this reason, all centers worldwide refer to rates by age of women, e.g. under 38, 38-40 and over 40 years.
- The cause of the couple’s infertility (endometriosis, oligasthenospermia, unexplained infertility, etc.) as well as the quality and number of embryos to be transferred.
- The doctor’s scientific competence and the time he / she will devote to the study, personalization and selection of the appropriate treatment for the particular couple, as well as the preparation of the couple, physically and psychologically, before the trial begins.
- The integrity of the laboratory both in human resources and infrastructure.
Success rates are steadily improving, due to the great progress made mainly at the laboratory level, but also thanks to the quality of the newer drugs used. Cultivation materials, ovens, air purifiers, newer techniques used for both embryo creation and evaluation ultimately result in more quality embryos being transferred, with the immediate result of giving birth to more children per IVF trial.
Most IVF centers in our country have nothing to envy from large and recognized overseas centers. Greece is one of the best countries in terms of reproductive support services, with success rates ranging from 30-55% overall.
It is worth noting, however, that there is still a need both to improve the statistical recording and evaluation of the results of each center as well as to the continuous control of the units by the independent assisted reproduction authority.