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Your Fertility Crystal Ball
With the current average cost of an IVF cycle at ,400 (not necessarily including meds—ouch), it's totally understandable that women might want to know if they'll get a return on their investment before jumping into the often-choppy waters of assisted reproductive technology. Luckily, a brand-new, free tool is making it easier to do just that—enter the SART Patient Predictor, which can help forecast your chances of success before you ever pick up a needle.
Introduced in late January, the predictor consists of a simple questionnaire that takes factors like age, weight, height, and reproductive history into account while calculating your likelihood to have a baby through IVF. The algorithm was developed based on data collected from approximately 500,000 treatment cycles and more than 320,000 women throughout the U.S. since 2006.
Here's what I learned after plugging in my vital stats and diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve: my probability of having a live birth after one IVF is around 20 percent; 35 percent after two cycles; and 46 percent after three cycles. (Being that I'm about to start my third IVF cycle, I'll take the increased odds!) The results also share info about one's risk of having multiples and how the odds change based on the number of embryos transferred.
Pretty useful stuff, but Dr. Jane Frederick of HRC Fertility cautions that it's not a completely comprehensive analysis. She believes that factors like genetic history (i.e. the age your mom and sisters went through menopause) should be considered, as well as individualized test results (such as FSH, estradiol, and AMH). She also believes some of the criteria are too general; for instance, one of the checkboxes is "male factor infertility," but pregnancy odds may greatly differ within the various types of MFI.
"A lot of reproduction is not black or white—there's a lot of gray area," says Frederick. "I'd caution the consumer to use this as a resource, but to still talk with a doctor for a more individualized approach."
Bradley Van Voorhis, M.D.
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