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Canadians unable to access IVF success rates

IVF success rates can and do vary between clinics. This information is important when individuals and couples are trying to determine which clinic will likely give them their best chance at having a baby. While government agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom require fertility clinics to report the success rates of the treatments they provide, there is no such requirement in Canada. This leaves infertile Canadians without any reliable way to select a fertility clinic. Although some Canadian clinics report success rates on their websites, those numbers lack the reliability of statistics gathered and reported by an independent source.

In 2011, 23,000 treatments cycles were performed at the 32 fertility clinics across Canada – a 50% increase since 2008. Given the significant financial and emotional costs of IVF, many argue that success rates should be available to patients to help them make informed treatment decisions. However, others argue that posting success rates may be misleading to patients, since there are a number of individual factors that can affect the success of an IVF cycle.

Dr. Dmitry Kissen, who heads the report on fertility treatment success rates in the United States produced by the Centers for Disease Control, disagrees. According to Dr. Kissen, the significant out of pocket expenses for fertility treatment, not to mention the social and emotional costs, means that the independent reporting of success rates is important:

“As more and more patients turn to assisted reproductive technology to overcome infertility, they need accurate, standardized information on safety and effectiveness … to choose a clinic.”

Read more about this issue here.

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