Fertility Minefield; Barrage of Confusing Statistics That Face Women Seeking Treatment at Clinics

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER MUNRO;ELIZABETH HOPKIRK

WOMEN seeking fertility treatment face a minefield of confusing and potentially misleading statistics.

There is a huge disparity in success rates advertised by London clinics.

Some figures risk being skewed by selection practices which reject older or overweight women or those affected by cancer treatments, who all have lower chances of success.

The Evening Standard checked success rates published by fertility clinics and found they varied widely.

Success rates for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) range from 15 per cent to 37 per cent. For donor insemination, success rates range from 4.5 per cent, far below the natural rate of conception, to 50 per cent. IVF treatment at a private clinic costs [pounds sterling]1,500 to [pounds sterling]6,000 per cycle.

To add to the confusion, a high conception success rate may be due to the fact that a clinic has rejected more difficult cases, while a low figure may be explained by a more universal treatment approach.

But Mary Power, unit manager at the Lister Fertility Clinic, specialising in treating women who have had cancer, said: "It's very difficult to compare like with like in the IVF world because of the selection process. …