The success rates of all IVF clinics across Australia will be available online for the first time, making comparisons between clinics easier and more transparent for future parents.
The YourIVFSuccess website, launched today by Health Minister Greg Hunt and Senator Stirling Griff, will allow patients to search all 85 accredited IVF clinics in Australia, providing independent and impartial information about the clinics and their treatment success.
The new online tool has been developed by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Statistics Unit (NPESU) at UNSW Sydney and is funded by the federal government.
Patients will also have access to a new online estimator that allows couples to predict their chances of successfully having a baby based on their individual characteristics.
“IVF has helped hundreds of thousands of Australians become parents. But until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to find and compare fertility clinics or to estimate an individual’s chance of treatment success,” said Professor Georgina Chambers, Director of NPESU.
“The YourIVFSuccess prediction model, called the IVF Patient Estimator, is the most contemporary and comprehensive estimation calculator for IVF success in the world. It will help those thinking about starting, or continuing IVF, make more informed choices and to predict their chances of having a baby.”
Previously the only way a patient could look at success rates was to go to individual clinics directly where outcomes are presented in different ways making comparison more difficult.
“Providing more transparency to patients has been possible because the NPESU manages the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD), a registry of all assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment cycles undertaken in Australian and New Zealand fertility clinics,” said Professor Chambers.
The IVF prediction tool, created by data scientists from UNSW’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health, is based on information from more than 600,000 IVF cycles done between 2009-2017 in Australia recorded via the ANZARD database.
ANZARD collects information on almost 80,000 IVF cycles performed by Australian fertility clinic each year. The most recent data from ANZARD shows that more than around 14,500 babies were born each year in Australia from IVF treatment, that represents almost one in 20 babies born each year in Australia.
A patient will be able to predict their chance of IVF success by entering characteristics such as the couple’s age, diagnosis, whether the couple is new to IVF, previous IVF cycles and if the patient already has children.
“IVF is a difficult process both physically and emotionally and each cycle can leave patients significantly out of pocket. This independent site will be invaluable for anyone thinking about starting or continuing IVF and looking for impartial information to inform those choices,” said Professor Chambers, who noted that similar sites have been developed in the UK and US.
The success rates of clinics are measured using four indicators including births from each egg retrieval cycle for all women and for those who are new to IVF, births per individual treatment attempt and births for each embryo that is transferred.
“These four measures provide an overall view of a clinic’s performance, while respecting clinician and patient autonomy for how IVF is practised, and most importantly, these measures minimise incentives for poor clinical practice, or incentivise clinics to only treat patients with a good chance of IVF success,” said Professor Chambers.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said: “The YourIVFSuccess website will help people estimate their chances of success through this treatment so that they can make the decisions which are right for them.”
Senator for South Australia, Stirling Griff, said this important project will help people navigate the difficult and often complex world of IVF. “I want to thank the expert working party, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Access Australia, and the IVF Directors group representing the IVF clinics for their considerable efforts to make this online tool a reality.”