The aim of reproductive medicine is to help couples with an unfulfilled child wish to have a child by offering them the best treatment option. The choice of treatment reflects effectiveness and safety. While effectiveness refers to the extent to which a treatment increases the chance of a couple in having a baby, safety relates to adverse effects associated with such a treatment. In an attempt to integrate effectiveness and safety, healthy singleton live birth (at term) has been suggested as the ideal outcome measure for evaluative research in reproductive medicine. Although intuitively desirable, this proposal overlooks the fact that assessment of effectiveness and safety in this context cannot be measured as a single outcome. In this paper, we explain why effectiveness and safety outcomes in reproductive medicine should be assessed independently, and later synthesized to inform clinical decision-making.
- Outcome measures
- Reproductive medicine