New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control's Division of Reproductive Health reveal that the birth rate at the University of Maryland's Center for Reproductive Technology is the highest in the Baltimore/Washington area. The report is a tool for consumers to evaluate the track record of various programs.
Combining data from all age groups, the University of Maryland's rate of 30.6 births for every 100 in-vitro fertilization (IVF) transfers surpassed the rates of nine other programs in the region that are part of the national listing. Among women patients age 35-37, the birth rate at the University of Maryland was 53.3 percent.
"We already knew that we had the highest quality expertise and technology. These statistics confirm that we are doing an excellent job in giving our patients the best possible chance for having a baby," says Howard McClamrock, M.D., program director of the University of Maryland Center for Reproductive Technology and associate professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The new statistics, which use data from 1997, show that the birth rate from the University of Maryland Center for Reproductive Technology was at least 20 percent higher than at all other Baltimore-area programs.
During the IVF process, women take medications that stimulate the production of eggs. The eggs are retrieved and then, in a laboratory, they are fertilized by sperm. The resulting embryos are implanted in the woman's uterus. The procedure is offered to women who cannot conceive because of tubal obstructions, endometriosis, problems with partner's sperm, among other causes.
At the University of Maryland, 26 women out of 85 who had embryo transfers delivered babies during 1997. "We are not one of the biggest programs in the region, but we are proud to be at the top in terms of live births per transfer," says Dr. McClamrock.
In recent years, the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Reproductive Technology has made enhancements to its laboratory. In 1996, it was one of the first programs to begin performing the embryo transfer using ultrasound guidance and a new type of soft catheter. Another technique to improve the chance of embryo implantation, called medically-assisted hatching, was used for most of the transferred embryos during 1997. For that procedure, the embryo is treated with a special solution before the transfer to make it easier for the membrane surrounding the embryo to attach to the womb.
(Note: The Centers for Disease Control web site that contains in-vitro fertilization data from individual medical centers can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/drh/art.htm)
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