Success rates in the UK
What can you expect from fertility treatment in the UK? And what should you be aware of when clinics are advertising their success rates?
19. september - 2022
Most women and couples in treatment tend to attach a great deal of importance to the expected success rate of their treatment. And because the success rate of a clinic is important, clinics play into this by advertising their success. But success rates aren’t always measured in the same way by all clinics - and in their attempt to market themselves in the best possible way, you may need to dive a little deeper into the numbers when looking for a clinic.
What to be aware of when comparing success rates
When looking at the success rates for clinics, it’s important to keep in mind that clinics typically treat different types of patients. Some clinics are more likely to treat patients with lower chances of success than others - for example, patients who've had unsuccessful treatment in the past or patients that are older. When treating patients with lower chances of success, a clinic’s success rate will often be lower, which is why success rates aren't automatically an indication of how successful a clinic really is.
A great tip when comparing success rates is to look at HFEA‘s “Choose a Fertility Clinic” webpage, where you’ll find information about the clinics and are able to view the success rates for age ranges etc., including their success rates for IVF and ICSI, and how their rates compare to the national average.
How do clinics advertise their success rates?
As previously stated, clinics are aware that their success rates matter and therefore present them in the best possible way.
Here are a few different ways that clinics advertise their rates:
- Bold claims: Selling points such as “Baby guarantee” or saying that they’re “the most successful clinic in the UK”
- Cherry picking: Showing the success rates of a particular good year instead of the latest results or only using numbers from a particular successful group of people.
Be aware of what the numbers are actually representing and keep your eyes open. Some numbers can be misleading for the overall success of the clinic or for your specific situation. You can find more in depth explanations of how to understand the clinic’s success rate measures here.