Over the last few weeks, I have been debating whether my Dx should lead me away from the clinics closer to home. Mostly because I don’t feel they have the extensive experience with POF after chemo and radiation that their US counterparts have. I have not tried every clinic in Ontario or Canada so I cant say this for sure, but I feel that the experience and state-of-the-art technology is not as current as it is in the US.
So i decided to do a little sleuthing of my own. This site provides a good overview of how to decide on a clinic for those just starting out. In Canada, there is no independent third party that publishes the success rates of each of the clinics like they do in the US, so it is more challenging to research the clinics here. The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society does post the success rates for all 28 Canadian clinics as a whole (spoiler alert: there were 27% live births from a total of 11,806 IVF cycles started in 2010).
I then crossed the virtual border and went to SART and CDC and started to look up a few of the American clinics that are mentioned in the forums that I am considering. Now bearing in mind that my focus is on clinics that offer DE programs and have experience with POF, I managed to gather the following info:
Overall, staying ‘home’ for DE IVF would be significantly cheaper. However, the lack of experience and unavailability of an egg donor bank make this a risky choice at best. It may not cost less in the long run, since even if I were to find and go to the ‘best clinic’ in Canada, their success rates for a ‘live birth’ do not compare to their American counterparts and I may have to try multiple times to get my ‘live birth’.
In the US, I am looking as spending anywhere from just under double to about 4 times what it would cost in Canada. But there the success rates go up drastically. And it does seem that the more ‘successful’ clinics charge significantly more. There are also money back guarantee programs if you pay upfront for a number of cycles.
I am quite surprised by the SART figure for CCRM for 2011: 76% live births from DE cycles on women with POF! This is leaps and bounds better than the 30 to 50% at any of the other clinics with a large DE program. This is very surprising to me. I looked at historical data over the past 3 years and their rate holds steady at around 70%. That’s impressive! I guess I knew CCRM was one of the leaders in the ART world, but I didn’t realize how much better they really were until I looked up their figures.
Spending the time to look up the success rates really does help. I think it is safe to say that I am now very seriously considering CCRM. I know this is a crap shoot, but if I am going to play this numbers game, I am going to stack the odds in my favour, dammit!
Now who is going to tell hubby that it will cost him a small fortune to have this baby…