Board Certified and Trusted Reproductive Medicine Specialist

Dr. Bradley Miller is a Reproductive Endocrinologist who has been in practice for 18 years. Throughout his career over 2,000 babies have been born as a result of his care. He is the Managing Partner at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan, one of the leading fertility centers in Michigan. Learn more about Dr. Miller and follow his blog to discover more answers to your infertility needs and questions.

Archive for the ‘Success Rates’ Category

Vitrification Improves Success Rates of Frozen Transfers

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

In the past, pregnancy rates have been higher with fresh embryos rather than frozen but now it appears that may not always be the case. During a typical fresh IVF cycle we superovulate the patient with medication that will make her produce multiple eggs. These medications that are used to help a woman grow follicles can also harm the uterine lining so it is not in optimal shape for implantation. Studies have shown that implantation rates are higher in natural cycles rather than superovulated cycles when the embryos are of the same quality. That is why patients may be better off transferring frozen embryos, so that the uterine lining is in a more normal condition making it more receptive for implantation.

Previously, the technique used for freezing embryos was the slow freezing protocol. This was not very efficient and many embryos would get damaged while freezing and thawing. Even the best labs had poor survival rates. It damaged blastomeres because ice crystals formed within the cells and the cryoprotectant chemicals could not consistently prevent this damage. Today, using vitrification, a specialized freezing technique, which freezes the EMBRYO so quickly, ice crystals don’t have time to form, survival rates are better than 98%. Vitrification has allowed us to reduce the number of embryos being transferred because we now know that the embryos that were frozen are in good condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. Brad Miller at (248) 619-3100.

Success Rates – What You Need To Know

Friday, August 17th, 2012

An important factor when it comes to choosing an IVF center is their success rates. Patients want the best chance for success so they look for centers that have high success rates. However, these rates can be confusing and it is important that you understand how to interpret them. First you want to look for clinics that are performing a substantial number of IVF cycles a year. Typically 200 or more total IVF cycles or more per year is an adequate amount to determine success rates by age group. When a clinic has a small number per age group success rates will vary greatly based on a difference of only one or two pregnancies, which can be misleading.

Success can vary due to many factors. Age is the most important factor, when women are using their own eggs. Success rates decline as women age, and success rates drop off even more dramatically around age 37. Part of this decline is due to a lower chance of getting pregnant from ART, and another  part is due to a higher risk of miscarriage, especially over age 40. However, there is no evidence that the risk of birth defects or chromosome abnormalities (such as Down syndrome) is any different with ART than with natural conception.

Success rates vary with the number of embryos transferred. However, transferring more embryos at one time does not continue to increase the chance of success, but may only increase the risk of a multiple pregnancy, which is much more complicated than a singleton pregnancy and is more likely to result in babies with severe medical problems.

Day 3 follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are also critically important in evaluating your potential for successful conception in an assisted reproductive technology program. This blood test is typically drawn on the third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Day 3 FSH levels have been shown to be an incredibly accurate predictor of IVF success, independent of age. Essentially, an elevated Day 3 FSH value indicates a very poor prognosis for conception through IVF and a high risk of pregnancy loss should the rare conception occur. Every IVF program establishes a “threshold” FSH value unique to their laboratory, above which pregnancies are very rarely conceived despite great effort and repeated IVF attempts. At RMA, we have determined that an FSH value of 15 or higher predicts that IVF will have little or no chance in helping to achieve pregnancy.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) is the primary organization that collects cycle data and creates guidelines and standards for the centers to follow. Visit SART’s website at www.sart.org to get more information and review the most recent 2010 success rates.