Louise Brown takes a look at the USA organisation SART

When Louise Brown was born in 1978 she was the first IVF person in the world. Now, it is a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of organisations devoted to fertility issues.

Each month Louise Brown will look at a single organisation and explain what they do and how they support fertility issues.

This month, in the second of her ‘What the IVF’ series, Louise looks at the fantastic work provided by SART in the USA who have been providing unbiased information and setting the standards for IVF in the US since 1985

Back in the 1970s when my mother, Lesley Brown, had tried for a baby without success for ten years, there was very little help available and hardly anyone to speak to about the problem.

Her only real source of information was her family doctor. From there she was referred to a specialist clinic. It was by pure chance that the doctor at the clinic had heard about the experimental work going on that was to lead to my mum becoming the first person to successfully give birth thanks to IVF.

Today in the US those looking at IVF as an option can get a huge amount of support, help and vital information from Society for Reproductive Technology or SART as it is known. About 90 per cent the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics in the country are known to SART, which ensures they have the highest standards of quality, safety and patient care.

Their website www.sart.org is a good place for someone to start to gather the vital information needed when considering IVF. You can find out how successful any particular clinic is at creating babies; where finance can be sourced; what are the rules and regulations around fertility treatment.

Women need to know the risks involved in the different techniques, so they can make the decision on what works for them, again SART is useful for independent support on this.

Of course most IVF clinics and experts provide reliable information and help, but when you know that they are also trying to sell their services it is reassuring to go to somewhere independent with real expert advice and data from throughout the country.

One fascinating part of the website is the predict my success page. Here you can enter the basic details without giving away anything personal and it will give you a percentage success rate likely from one, two or three cycles of IVF.

Besides the work with patients SART works closely with US congress, consumer groups, professional organisations, doctors, government organisations, pharmaceutical companies and all the others involved in the amazing world of Assisted Reproductive Technology. These conversations help to make the rules and set guidelines for best practice.

My mum would never believe how IVF has grown all over the world since she was the first to successfully have a baby. But she would be pleased that women seeking help today have support and advice at their fingertips to guide them on the path to successful fertility treatment.

To learn more about SART visit here

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