New website promises greater transparency of IVF clinics' success rates

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

A new website will provide those looking to conceive more clarity around the success rates of Australian IVF clinics. 

The Your IVF Success website, due to launch Monday, will help prospective parents predict their likelihood of becoming pregnant. 

The site will be funded by the federal government and according to The Age will feature a 'predictor tool' that allows would-be-parents to enter their and their partner's ages, any infertility diagnosis, if they have existing children and previous IVF treatments, which will be used to calculate an estimate of their chances of conception. 

It will also provide transparency for the success rates of IVF provider clinics, which can vary by as much as seven per cent success to 31.5 per cent per initiated cycle, The Age reports. 

A spokesperson for the Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the site had been developed to assist patients in accessing information about their chances of having a baby using national statistical information.

"It will include an individual IVF success estimator tool to allow individuals to estimate their chances of IVF success through the input of individual characteristics and IVF history," they said.

"The clinical success data of fertility clinics in Australia will also be published on the website so that those thinking about starting, or continuing IVF can make informed decisions."

The site's funding is part of a $4.6 million Medical Research Future Fund grant to the University of New South Wales.

Scientific Director of fertility treatment specialist Genea Steven McArthur said he welcomed the site, adding the transparency in data would be beneficial in helping would-be-parents find reputable clinics. 

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"Genea fully supports the imminent launch of the Your IVF success website and has been advocating for many years for greater transparency and consistency in reporting of success rates," he said.

"We have consented to the publication of our data and are very proud of Genea's success rates and how they compare to the national average. "

For Heidi and Dean Stevens who conceived their daughters Elsa-Jodi, two and Sianna, six months via frozen embryo cycles at Genea, the site offered other parents the chance to avoid prolonged attempts at less successful clinics, like they went through before finding Genea. 

"After a very long and emotional journey, we wanted to have one last attempt – it was our first and only stimulated cycle at Genea," Heidi said. 

"Not all clinics are created equal- different clinics have different processors, IVF cycle management and science- it all makes a difference."

The site will also be welcome news for the many women and couples looking to IVF. According to research from the University of NSW released last year, there were 14,355 babies born via IVF in Australia in 2018 - close to one in every 20 births. 

The total number of initiated IVF cycles for the year was 84,064, up 2.2 per cent from 2017. Researchers found the live birth rate per embryo transfer to be 27.3 per cent. The rate for frozen embryos was slightly higher at 29.3 per cent, compared to fresh embryo transfers at 24.6 per cent.   

Women aged under 30 also had a higher chance of success for a live birth (40.4 per cent fresh transfers/34.9 per cent for thawed), while for women aged 40-44 years the rate was 9.5 per cent for fresh cycles and 20.1 per cent for thawed. 

One in 10 babies born to women aged over 35 in Australia are conceived with IVF assistance.