The big picture
The considerations below are based on our genuine observation in over 15 years of fertility support, and does not create or intended to create any ranking of the fertility centres. We are not affiliated with any of the Perth fertility centres, and we do not endorse one over the others.
According to various statistics the average chance for a perfectly healthy young couple to become pregnant in one particular cycle is about 25-30%. This chance increases to 45% in 6 months, and about 85% in 12 months.
As you will see, this is not particularly higher than IVF pregnancy rates. The real difference is, however, that you have 13 natural cycle a year, so if not this cycle, then the next may be... In case of IVF, "this is the cycle".
IVF success rates
In controlled clinical trials, where the results are transparent and closely monitored, average IVF pregnancy rates fluctuate between 20 and 30%. The large variation is suggested to be caused by the differences in the general / reproductive health and the age of the women. Other factors that influenced success rates include the quality of the eggs and sperm, the duration of the infertility, and the medical expertise.
As you can see, IVF success rates published by the fertility centres are considerably higher than the results of the controlled clinical trials, which suggests that their published success rates (usually on their websites) are questionable in the best case, and outright false in the worse. Their success is also highly dependent on their selection criteria of their patients (by age, reproductive health, and indirectly by socioeconomic background, etc).
Furthermore, the pregnancy rates are calculated as a percentage of embryo transferred, and not as a percentage per cycles started. Therefore, women who start the IVF process, and do not reach the embryo transfer stage, are not included in these statistics. Another consideration is that IVF centers usually do not publish miscarriage rates which are estimated to be higher than with normal pregnancies.
Therefore, to make any reliable comparisons between clinics is a daunting task.
How to choose the "right" fertility centre?
Considering the above facts, it is not advisable to choose a fertility centre solely on their published success rates. Indeed, you may well entirely forget about them, because they merely distract your attention from the more important factors.
It is also important to remember that there are no secrets about IVF, and the procedures are generally follow the same tracks with some minor variation about the drugs, their dosages and the timing of their application.
Personal contacts with the centre, and words of mouth from someone you know and trust, usually produce better results. It is more important to have a feel about the care and attention what a fertility centre pays to details and personal peculiarities.
"Our" Success Rates
Before any discussion of "our success", we may surprise you by saying that we follow the ancient wisdom of "all I do is treat, God does the rest", so we do not take direct credit for our results. On the other hand, we take full credit for the quality of our treatments, and the love and care we provide to our patients.
How it all started
At the start of this century there had been a number of very significant clinical trials organized by universities and research institutes investigating the effects of acupuncture on the results of IVF. They culminated in 2006, with the statement of one of the most eminent fertility experts, Professor Rob Norman from Adelaide University: "acupuncture may double the success rates of IVF".
However, looking at the various clinical trials themselves, Andrash Bodonyi was highly critical of their acupuncture treatment protocols, and decided to conduct his own research. He studied traditional and modern day acupuncture texts to developed his own system of acupuncture fertility support, which finally concluded in the origin of our present treatment programs.
Our pilot study
To be sure of their effectiveness and to dissolve skepticism in some of our colleagues, with the support of Dr Thalina Lindquist, in June 2006 we started a 2 year pilot study on women aged between 30 and 46, who joined our Acupuncture IVF Support program. Most of these women had previously one or more unsuccessful IVF cycles. The IVF procedures themselves were done in 5 different fertility centres, where the specialists were not aware of our pilot study. As we had no funds for a double blind and placebo controlled trial, we chose to compare our results to the generally expected success rates in the different age groups at the IVF centres.
After a thorough analysis of the results we concluded that our specialized acupuncture treatment protocols more than doubled the expected pregnancy rates. The increase in the success rates was particularly striking in the age group of 35-42 years, where the expected pregnancy rates were otherwise very low.
Although, our pilot study had no general statistical significance, it showed that our treatment protocols should be an essential part of all IVF procedures done on couples in the "low chance" age groups.