What determines whether IVF is successful or not? This is dependent on a number of factors. The age of the female is very important, largely due to the number of high quality eggs available which is age related. This is called the “ovarian reserve”. Ovarian reserve is usually linked to age and is generally greater the younger we are, but this can also vary between individuals of the same age.
An AMH blood test provides an indication of ovarian reserve. Counting the number of visible follicles in your ovaries on ultrasound scan also gives information. This is called the “antral follicle count”. The true number of eggs is many many times greater than the number of follicles we can see on scan but the antral follicle count gives a good indication and tends to be greater the younger we are.
The period of time you have been trying to conceive as well as the outcome of previous treatment cycles can also impact on the likelihood of success. Being medically fit and well with a BMI of between 19-30, not smoking and avoiding excessive caffeine also helps. There are a number of medical conditions that need to be picked up and optimised before IVF, in order to have the greatest chance of success. If there is a significant male factor component then the choice of ICSI rather than standard IVF will in certain situations improve the chance of success. “ICSI” stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection whereby sperm is injected into the egg.
Once treatment has started, the response of your ovaries to medications and the number of mature eggs that are collected at retrieval are factors associated with outcomes. As is the number and quality of embryos that develop. The number of embryos transferred to the womb influences success rates, but with the risks that twin pregnancies bring it is in most common nowadays to transfer a single embryo.
Selecting the best IVF centre also makes a difference. Having an industry leading team of embryologists, doctors and nurses who continually strive to improve. They will select the optimum treatment regime for you, be skilled in procedures and perform them on the most advantageous day for your body. An experienced team of embryologists using good equipment will optimise the development of the embryos and skilfully select the best one to transfer. You can find out about success rates of different IVF centres on the HFEA website.
We have chosen to partner with the BCRM (Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine) for our fertility satellite service as their success rates are the best in the area. We are delighted to be able to help people living in Bridgwater, Taunton, and Somerset access excellent IVF treatment closer to home. To find out more about our fertility satellite clinic click here.