9 Questions That Predict Fertility Success
According to the latest research conducted by researchers at Bristol and Glasgow universities and published in PLOS Medicine, you can calculate how likely you are to get pregnant from any individual IVF treatment.
These questions are only concerned with predicting your chances of having a baby through IVF and don't take into account the success rate of your fertility clinic. The developers of the test, Professor Scott Nelson, Professor Debbie Lawlor and Dr Tom Kelsey, claim it's the most accurate test available. Although it doesn't consider lifestyle factors like smoking, weight or diet, the researchers still believe it will accurately predict how successful your IVF will be.
Using data from over 144,000 IVF cycles collected by the HFEA (Human Fertility & Embryology Authority) the research team was able to work out a statistical model to predict the outcome of IVF treatment. By analyzing such factors as age, the type of eggs used in treatment, and the length of time the couple have been having treatment, they were able to work out which information was the most critical. They also took into account information like your previous pregnancy history and whether you would be using ICSI or donor eggs. They then came up with just 9 simple questions for you to answer to get a prediction of the likely outcome of IVF treatment.
The 9 Questions
1. How old is the woman?
A woman's age makes a great difference as fertility drops off year by year
2. How long you have been trying to get pregnant?
The longer you've been trying the less likely you are to be successful
3. Will you be using your own eggs or donor eggs?
If people use donor eggs and get pregnant they are more likely to have a preemie baby or one with a low birth weight. On the other hand if you are an older woman using your own eggs decreases your chances of getting pregnant through IVF
4. What is the reason for your infertility?
Certain causes like cervical problems make a successful IVF treatment less likely
5. How many IVF treatments have you had already?
The number of treatments you have can make a difference to the outcome of further treatments
6. How many unsuccessful IVF treatments have you had?
This can also alter your chances of future success
7. What is your pregnancy history?
If you have had a previous pregnancy or a live birth you are more likely to be successful another time
8. What fertility drugs are you using?
Certain medication has a higher rate of success for certain conditions
9. Will you be using ICSI as part of your treatment?
Using ICSI gives a greater chance of success for many infertile couples
Once you have answered these questions in a simple, drop-down menu format, the programme gives you an instant result. It displays in percentage terms your chances of having a live birth using IVF. It is very easy to alter your answers so you can see how for example having a different medication, using a donor egg or ICSI might make a difference to the outcome.
The researchers have not only made this test available online but have also developed an iTunes app. You can follow it on Twitter to find out when you will be able to download it, for free, onto your smartphone. This will make it even easier to discuss your choices and chances of success with your fertility specialist.
Look at the rest of our website for more information about various fertility treatments.