Understanding Surrogacy Success Rates

Surrogacy success rates posted by some IVF clinics may seem simple, but they are often very misleading. Here’s what you should know…

Because surrogacy regulation worldwide is inconsistent, clinics are free to post their own surrogacy success rates based on inconsistent criteria. Although a reputable clinic will not post false information about their successes, it is common for clinics (even in the United Sates) to post their most favorable statistics and remain silent on their less dramatic successes.

For example, there are a wide variety of IVF and surrogacy procedures, and they all have quite different success rates. The greatest success will always come from an IVF procedure where the sperm donor has had thorough medical evaluations, the egg donor is young and has a positive fertility history, and where the surrogate is also young and has met rigorous fertility criteria. In general, success rates in cases similar to this will be between 55% and 75% for a fresh embryo transfer using two high-quality embryos. (In cases like the one described above, IVF clinics have a surrogacy success rate of about 75% in the US or 65% abroad. Success rates using Fresh Embryos and Frozen Embryos are now about the same thanks to new freezing techniques. The rate of a successful birth is 95% once the surrogate is pregnant.)

In some cases, the clinic only will report surrogacy statistics for cases where the embryos have gone through PGD analysis. Success rates in these cases can rise to 80%. Unfortunately, the clinic often does not reveal that their incredible success rate requires the additional medical procedures and coss. (We don’t advise PGD for all couples, however our surrogacy success rates are similarly high when a PGD procedure is added.) Similarly, if you consider the success rate of the entire IVF and Surrogacy procedure (including subsequent embryo transfers with frozen embryos) the success rate is obviously much higher. Our cases have a more than 95% successful rate including subsequent transfers. Typically, cases that do not succeed after multiple embryo transfers are cases where it was later discovered that the genetic father has damaged sperm, or where the couple decided not to continue for personal reasons.

On the other had, few clinics will report statistics on the success of IVF procedures where the Intended Mother has donated her own eggs to the procedure. These cases are typically very high risk, since the couple often has a long history of failed pregnancies, and the egg donor is typically much older than what is recommended. For these reasons success rates for “self-donation” procedures are often around 15% to 20%. When comparing IVF and surrogacy success rates between clinics and agencies, it is often useful to ask for details on the “typical case” that is being reported. You may also ask for the number of embryo transfers the clinic has performed in the past year, and the corresponding number of successful pregnancies. This will provide a more useful comparison. Our success rate is among the highest in the region for both IVF and surrogate procedures. This is because of the world-class quality of our IVF clinic and pediatric hospital, as well as the experience and training of our medical teams.

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