Predicting your chances for IVF success could be as easy as answering nine simple questions, according to a UK research team that claims to have produced the most accurate calculator yet for determining IVF treatment odds. As explained in the January 4, 2011, issue of Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine, researchers analyzed the details of more than 144,000 IVF cycles and came up with nine key factors that influence IVF success, including a woman's age, how many years she has been trying to get pregnant, what doctors say is the cause of her infertility, what previous IVF attempts she has made, and what the outcomes were. Based on these statistics, researchers say their model can predict live birth via IVF with up to 99 percent accuracy.
"In the US and the UK, IVF is successful in about a third of women under 35 years old but in only 5 percent to 10 percent of women over the age of 40. However, there are many other factors in addition to age which can alter your chance of success and clinics don't usually take these into account when counseling couples or women," says Professor Scott Nelson, Muirhead Chair of Reproductive and Maternal Medicine at the University of Glasgow, one of the creators of the calculator.
What are your chances? To test the accuracy of their new tool, researchers have made the calculator, called IVF Predict, free for anyone to use on their website, www.IVFpredict.com, and a soon-to-be released smartphone app. The test takes less than 60 seconds to complete, researchers tout. But critics say it doesn't ask about certain lifestyle factors that may affect IVF, such as smoking and weight. The best way to gauge whether IVF is the right choice for you? Despite the high-tech ease of calculators like this one, talking to your own doctor or fertility specialist is still a sure bet.