With infertility affecting about one-in-six Australian couples, new statistics will give women a better idea of their chance of having a baby using IVF.
For the first time Australian researchers have reported the cumulative live birth rates of complete IVF cycles as opposed to the number of babies born per cycle.
It found the greatest success is achieved for women who begin reproductive assistance before the age of 30, with live birth rates increasing to as high as 92.8 per cent after the seventh cycle of IVF.
The University of New South Wales study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, followed more than 56000 women who began assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment between 2009 and 2012.
Overall, IVF resulted in a live birth in 33 per cent in the first cycle.This rose to between 55 per cent and 77 per cent after the eighth cycle.
Women who begin ART before the age of 30 had a 43.7 per cent chance of a live birth after just one cycle of treatment, with success rates increasing to between 69.2 per cent and 92.8 per cent.
For women aged 40 to 44 the live birth rate dropped to 10.7 per cent, and to 1.4 per cent for those aged 45 or older.
However, success rates increased to roughly 40 per cent by the seventh cycle for women aged 40.
UNSW National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit director Associate Professor Georgina Chambers said the findings would provide women with clearer statistics on whether IVF would work for them.
‘‘These estimates can be used when counselling women about their likelihood of having a baby using ART treatment and to inform public policy,’’ Assoc Prof Chambers said.