IVF IS A NUM­BERS GAME

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FEATURE -

There has been much con­fu­sion, de­bate and back­lash about the pur­ported suc­cess rates of IVF in Aus­tralia.

Last year, The Med­i­cal Jour­nal of Aus­tralia pub­lished com­pre­hen­sive in­de­pen­dent re­search on IVF suc­cess.

It fol­lowed more than 56,000 women who be­gan IVF in Aus­tralia and New Zealand over a course of treat­ment up to eight cy­cles or the birth of a child. The data did not in­clude women us­ing do­nated eggs or em­bryos.

Not sur­pris­ingly, it found the younger women are when they start the IVF process, the greater their chance of pro­duc­ing a ‘live birth’.

Those aged 30-34 have a 43 per cent chance af­ter one cy­cle, com­pared to 40-44 year olds who have an 11 per cent chance.

Log­i­cally, the greater the num­ber of cy­cles, the higher the chances of suc­cess. Women who be­gin the process at age 40-44 have a suc­cess rate of be­tween 21 per cent (con­ser­va­tive) -34 per cent (op­ti­mal) at six cy­cles.

Women who start try­ing un­der 30 can have a suc­cess rate be­tween 69-93 per cent af­ter six cy­cles and women 30-34 had only marginally lower rates than these.

But the re­searchers warn their anal­y­sis does not take into ac­count in­di­vid­ual fac­tors that af­fect the chances of IVF suc­cess, in­clud­ing how long a cou­ple had been try­ing to con­ceive, body fat lev­els and ovar­ian re­serve, a mea­sure of the re­pro­duc­tive po­ten­tial of the ovaries.

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