If only this fertility myth were true! We’d love to wave a magic wand and know that every couple that steps through our doors would fulfil their dream of becoming a parent, but it’s not that simple.
The scientific advances that we have seen since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978, have been phenomenal. We have better understanding of the causes of fertility, and more options for treating it, than ever before. But, unfortunately, we are still a long way from being able to resolve all fertility issues.
It’s important for all couples considering fertility treatment to be realistic about the chances of success. As a guide, we had 51 live births as a result of transferring 239 embryos to women under 35 in the 12 months up to June 2014; the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority predicts our success rate for this age group of women as between 14-31% per cycle. Rather like rolling a dice, having more cycles of IVF does not change the odds, but it does give you more chances of throwing a six. However, the success rates for all treatments at all clinics goes down as the age of the woman being treated goes up.
The reality of the success rates is why we offer independent, specialist counselling to all couples before, during and after treatment. The physical and emotional strains of fertility treatment can be challenging both for individuals and for relationships. Hopefully, one day, we will be able to resolve all fertility issues successfully. But, in the meantime, it is important to try and keep your feet on the ground while pursuing your dream of becoming a parent.