We can not promise you eternal happiness, but perhaps one or two miracles
Since the clinic was founded in 1990, we have helped more than four thousand couples to become parents of one or more children. In the near future 6000 children have been born after treatment of their parents at our clinic. These figures place Carl von Linné Clinic among the most successful clinics in the Nordic countries. Recently, Italian newspapers ranked us among Europe's top five clinics for assisted reproduction.
An increasing number of foreign patients are coming to us
An increasing number of patients is now turning to us from abroad. The reasons are not only the high success rates at our IVF treatments, but also such qualities as our ambition to treat each couple as an individual couple. Although you all have one important thing in common, the great longing for a child, each couple is unique. Therefore, we (and friends at the University of Uppsala) have developed several prognosis models, which help us give each single couple their chances to succeed at IVF. And we individualize the treatment protocols accordingly.
Science and honesty
We believe in using methods that are proven scientifically, and not merely flavour of the month on the Internet. We also believe in honesty. We want you to be fully aware of your chances, good or bad, so that you have a solid basis for your decision to engage in a treatment or not.
How to choose the right embryo?
During the last decade it has become evident that success at IVF is to some 90 % determined by the embryo quality. The uterus and its endometrium is usually very cooperative as long as the embryo is perfect. This we know from genetic analyses of the embryos and from the good results achieved at succesful egg donation programs.
But embryologists have long been selecting embryos to transfer mainly on intuition rather than from scientific evidence. Why? This may seem surprising given the fact that more than two decades have elapsed since the birth of the first IVF-baby.
The simple reason for this lack of precise knowledge is really that, up to recently, essentially all IVF-clinics routinely transferred two or more embryos. So when the result was a single implantation, the embryologists did not really know what embryo had actually implanted. So, even if the embryos that had been transferred were carefully characterized in terms of number of cells, variation in cell size, fragmentation etc, this knowledge was of limited value.
How did we do to construct the world's first evidence-based embryo score?
So we realised that we had to improve our means to predict the implantation potential of the single embryo.
Between 1999 and 2002 we consecutively scored the embryos to be transferred for the five most relevant variables - qualities that could be measured in the microscope when the embryos had been cultured for 48 hours.
Afterwards we related the scoring to the results, but only for the embryos with a precisely known fate. As all transfers were two-embryo transfers, we used the twin implantations and the completely failed implantations in our calculations. This ended up in a completely new embryo score, a 10-point Integrated Morphology Cleavage (IMC) score. With this score, we can now rank the embryos and more precisley choose the right one/s for transfer. (Construction of an evidence based integrated morphology cleavage (IMC) embryo score for implantation potential of embryos scored and transferred on day two after ovum pick-up., Holte et al, Hum Reprod 2007; 22, 548-57).
The world's first validated model for one or two embryo replacement
Together with mathematicians and statisticians at the University of Uppsala we constructed prediction models for implantation chance with one or two embryos, using the embryo score together with other factors of importance. These other factors were also derived from large series of treatments at the clinic. Finally, we could use the models to decide for one or two embryos to transfer in the individual case. From 2003 the models have been in full use, and they have also successfully been tested by four other Nordic clinics.
How has the new prognostic model affected our results?
Using the models, we have proven that it is possible to attain an equally high success rate overall with a majority of single-embryo transfers, as with two embryos per transfer as a rule. Why is this an important improvement in IVF? Because this strategy gives a much lower twin rate. Although some couples may think that twins would be the perfect outcome after years of longing for a child, crude facts show that twin pregnancies are very hazardous indeed. The risk of cerebral palsy is increased four-fold due to the much increased risk of premature birth.
With our strategy, based on the mathematical prognosis models, couples give birth to a similar number of children as before, but one at a time. This is partly because of our highly succesful freezing program for embryos. But also because of our unique knowledge in ranking and selecting embryos to transfer. In fact, the percentage of implantation per embryo has increased dramatically after we introduced the new embryo scoring model and the prediction models for selecting one or two embryos to transfer.
If you are working with IVF and want to test our model, check this site: Model information.
More healthy children born, less risky pregnancies
When applying the prediction models to guide for one or two embryos to transfer (since 2003), we have experienced a reduction from 27 % twins to less than 3 % at a fully retained overall pregnancy rate per egg collection. The number of babies who died before or directly after birth are reduced by 60%, and the percentage of premature deliveries and/or children born with a low birth weight are reduced by 60-70%. In fact, the results show that with this strategy, the risks for the mother and the baby are brought down to the level of the overall Swedish population.
These results were partly presented in June 2007 at the annual meeting of the British Human Fertility and Embryology Authority in London, and fully at the ESHRE congress in Stockholm July 2011. The media coverage of that lecture was quite extensive with interviews from various countries. A selection of these articles are here:BBC World News (Radio): Health Check 06/07/2011; BBC News; Press release ESHRE 2011; Daily Mail, UK; The Australian; Science Daily; New Scientist; AFP
More about us
Carl von Linné Clinic is situated 30 minutes from Stockholm International Airport. Three of the four doctors working at the clinic were all part of the team which founded the clinic in 1990, and they, Torbjörn Bergh, Jan Holte and Oddvar Bakos, also initiated IVF at the University Hospital of Uppsala in 1987. Later, the doctor staff has been increased with Dr Thomas Brodin, who is also deeply involved in our research. You can see the staff at "Personal" and the interior of the clinic at "Interiör".
We usually keep our waiting list no longer than 4-6 weeks. IVF treatments can often be performed with the help of local doctors, so that only the last part of the treament is localized at the clinic. The cost for one treatment (IVF/ICSI) is 23 500 SEK (approximately 2 600 Euros).
Lodging of different prizes are offered with discount for our patients. Check this at "Boende". Even if most information is given in Swedish, you usually find someone with a good knowledge in English on the telephone.
If you want to contact us
Just call us at +4618550044, between 13.00 to 15.30 Mo-Fri and talk to one of our nurses, Lena, Ingela, Eva-Lena, Maria or Katarina. They are all fluent in English, and they can answer all your questions. Alternatively, send us an e-mail at PGEgY2xhc3MgPSAibF9tYWlsIGxfbmV3X3dpbmRvdyIgaHJlZj0ibWFpbHRvOmluZm8uY3Zsa0BsaW5uZS5zZSIgdGFyZ2V0PV9ibGFuaz5pbmZvLmN2bGtAbGlubmUuc2U8L2E+.