Every couple of years I check in with the website of my old IVF clinic, Sims IVF, Dublin, to see if their ‘success rates’ page has become any less meaningless over the years.
Alas, no: in 2018, they are still only publishing biochemical and clinical pregnancy rates. I would find this laughable if it weren’t so nefariously ill-explained by the nice man in the video, who optimistically describes a biochemical pregnancy as ‘a positive outcome’ (no caveats inserted).
It means that very early pregnancy loss is one of the main markers of success for the clinic, with the slightly raised hope that subsequent treatment cycles may lead to clinical pregnancy (let’s not get carried away and mention flesh-and-blood human babies, though).
Ugh, the IVF industry. I feel so embarrassed that I was caught up in it, and simultaneously proud that I worked out my own chances of success and ran for the hills before handing more cash over. At 46, I have never once regretted walking away from that chaotic money pit. Let me tell you, there is life after the shit-storm of your late-30s! You’ll be alright if you act on your doubts and walk away. Trust your own research.
Here are some useful articles and papers to read if you are confused by IVF clinics’ ‘success rates’.
- Biochemical Pregnancy During Assisted Conception: A Little Bit Pregnant
- Five traps to be aware of when reading success rates on IVF clinic websites
- IVF clinics are advertising misleading success rates, study finds
Or just read 44-year-old childfree-by-choice Grace Dent’s piece:
I know I am lucky in that I started off ambivalent about babies: leaving the IVF circus was easy for me. But as I listen now to a 39-year-old friend in the UK, as ambivalent as I was, wondering if she should have a baby because she doesn’t want to “regret it at 50”, I increasingly admire those who absolutely know that they don’t want one – it takes balls. I don’t comment when my friend says “if nothing happens, we’ll just leave it”. I said that too.
I also admire those who absolutely know that they do want one – it’s a lot more confusing if you’re somewhere in the middle, being egged on by treacherously encouraging doctors who leave the important bits out, like Graham.