A statistic that we follow closely at PFC is our cumulative pregnancy rate in a given year. This is defined as a patient’s chance of taking home a baby after one IVF cycle, but it includes the fresh embryo transfer and any frozen embryo transfers resulting from that one cycle. These rates are shown in the table and are broken down into maternal age groups. The numbers are calculated by looking at how many patients delivered a baby from their fresh transfer (43% of patients under age 35) and then adding in pregnancies achieved from the frozen embryos for patients that did not get pregnant in the fresh cycle (totals 64% of patients in this group). So in this age group, 2 out of every 3 patients had a baby from just one IVF cycle. Similarly, for patients doing a single cycle with donor oocytes, 74% had a baby.
|Fresh live birth||43%||32%||33%||16%||10%||50%|
|Average number of embryos transferred||1.6||2||2.6||2.8||2.5||1.4|
|Cumulative live birth rate (adds in frozen embryos)||64%||52%||38%||18%||10%||74%|
Cumulative pregnancy rates have special importance since PFC is a national leader in reducing the number of embryos transferred at one time while still maintaining exceptionally high overall pregnancy rates. One healthy baby at a time is the goal of fertility treatment at PFC and for every patient, a singleton pregnancy is the safest and most likely way to have a healthy baby. At PFC we work carefully with every patient to reduce their exposure to a multiple pregnancy and all its risks for mother and baby. And a big part of our strategy involves freezing embryos successfully so that we can use embryos conservatively and efficiently to generate more singleton pregnancies, and fewer multiples. Multiple pregnancies are a complication of IVF treatment, and we strive to avoid them.
Patients with the highest risk for multiple pregnancy are those where maternal age is <35, doing their 1st or 2nd IVF cycle or those patients using donor eggs. We encourage these individuals to transfer just a single embryo during their IVF cycle and to freeze their surplus embryos for use later. The frozen embryo program has been so successful here at PFC that it provides very high pregnancy rates for those patients that need to use their embryos from the freezer. It also means that we don’t have to risk transferring many embryos in the fresh IVF cycle because we have the frozen embryos as a back-up. And most patients that are doing elective single embryo transfer qualify for one of PFC’s financial plans (e.g. the refund plan) that include the cost of frozen embryo transfer cycles in the original price.
We believe that using embryos conservatively is the safest treatment. And we don’t see big differences in pregnancy rates between patients that transferred just one embryo vs. those that transferred 2. In fact, patients that received donor eggs and transferred 1 or 2 embryos had the same delivery rates, but those transferring 2 had a 35% twin rate. In our efforts to reduce this twin rate, we are now transferring 1 embryo 60% of the time in the donor egg program, and 40% of the time in patients aged less than 35.
We want our patients to have healthy babies and we are working to make this possible while still maintaining high success rates. Our goal is one healthy baby at a time.
- Joe Conaghan, Ph.D., HCLD & Embryologist Erin Fischer