Following the release of the CDC’s final ART Outcome Report for 2016, we updated our comparative IVF clinic ranking site. This site enables prospective patients to find the top performing IVF Centers in the United States based on Live Birth Per Transfer. The outcomes are divided into 4 categories based on the woman’s age at the start of the IVF cycle with an additional segment for donor egg cycles. These five segments are further divided between fresh and thawed embryo transfers.
As we did last year, the site is designed to focus attention on thawed embryo transfers. Many of the top performing centers have switched to a “freeze all” protocol. This protocol is required for PGD/PGS testing where the time to get test results exceeds the lifespan of the fresh embryo. The additional time prior to transfer afforded by the freeze all protocol also allows the uterine lining to return to a more standard state following hyperstimulation caused by hormones administered prior to egg retrieval. There are still top centers performing fresh embryo transfer with high success rates but this is declining year over year.
Which brings us to the most significant change we made this year. We now report optimal outcome in addition to live birth per transfer.
Optimal outcome is defined as a health singleton birth, delivered at normal weight and to carried to term. While some couples see twins as a “two for the price of one” bonus, there is ample research showing that multiple births have a higher rate of health issues and, subsequently can cost up to 20 times more within the first year after birth. This is something that should be considered carefully when selecting a center and determining the true cost of IVF.