IVF clinics success rates and league tablesWe recently added an interesting article about natural cycle ivf treatment
The article highlighted the use of mild or natural IVF treatments, without the use of ovary stimulating drugs - which can have side-effects.
This is a different approach that concentrates on working with the patient's body, not forcing it.
Pressure on IVF clinics and patients
In IVF treatement everyone seems to be under pressure, the patient, their family members and even the clinics and their own staff.
The HFEA compiles and maintains a league table of clinics in the UK, measuring their respective success rates. The measure of success is the number of treatments carried out by a clinic and the resulting number of pregnancies and births as a result of those treatments.
The HFEA is careful to point out that most clinics achieve similar success rates, and that the rate of success should not be seen as a complete measure of a clinic. The HFEA goes on to stress that this is not a "league table" of clinics, and should not be seen as such.
Odd, given that this is exactly what it is and is exactly how it is used, both by patients and the clinics themselves, when comparing their own performance.
Fertility league tables
League tables are widely seen as a crude measure of school performance, how can they not be a poor measure of a process as complex and fraught as fertility success?
League tables put pressure on clinics to perform, and could mean that more vigorous forms of treatment are given priority, when more natural treatment could be a better long term option.
So, if these are not league tables and most clinics are at the national average, why bother having them?
Particularly if there is even the remotest risk that more natural forms of IVF treatment could be overlooked.
Treatments that work with the patient's own body and result in healthier babies would seem to be a good idea.