'YourIVFSuccess' website will help hopeful parents make informed choice

Genea Canberra fertility specialist Tween Low has welcomed the federal government's new 'YourIVFSuccess' website which she says will help prospective parents make an informed choice on IVF treatment. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
Genea Canberra fertility specialist Tween Low has welcomed the federal government's new 'YourIVFSuccess' website which she says will help prospective parents make an informed choice on IVF treatment. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Australians turning to IVF to fulfil their dreams of starting a family will be able to access a new tool to help boost their chances of conceiving from today.

The federal government's YourIVFSuccess website will be launched on Monday and will publish the success rates of IVF clinics across four distinct categories.

Genea Canberra fertility expert Tween Low welcomed the arrival of the website, which she said "had been a long time coming" and would offer people the chance to make an informed choice about IVF treatment.

A Health Department spokeswoman said prospective patients would be able to enter their details into an online estimator which would consider the main factors associated with IVF success, including age, reason for infertility and previous pregnancies.

"The estimate generated is based on the information the patient enters when compared to the probability of a live birth based on women who have had IVF treatment in Australia with the same characteristics," the spokeswoman said.

"The estimator has been built by statistical experts based on audited data provided each year by every licensed fertility clinic in Australia."

Dr Low said the website was a breakthrough for prospective parents as it would allow them to make an informed choice about IVF with clearly presented data.

"Different clinics present data in different ways," Dr Low said.

"It's difficult for patients because they're not really comparing apples with apples."

"They might go into IVF with rose-tinted glasses and an expectation of success and this can lead to disappointment."

The website would help to correct this, she said, by making success rates more transparent. Dr Low said success rates between clinics could vary wildly with some as low as 7 per cent and others reaching 45 per cent successful treatments.

The website would publish success rates across four categories, including patients attempting IVF for the first time and those who had never attempted IVF.

Clinics were not obliged to publish their data via the YourIVFSuccess website and must consent to having their success rates included, the department spokeswoman said.

"Consumers can still search for clinics that have not consented, to obtain information about the services the clinic provides," she said.

"Those clinics that do not consent will have a message appearing on their 'YourIVFSuccess' clinic webpage indicating that their success rates are not available for publication at this time."

Dr Low hoped the website would assist patients to avoid the emotional toll of repeated failed IVF treatments by helping them choose a clinic more suited to their needs.

She recalled one patient who had undergone four years of failed IVF treatments before visiting her in a "last ditch" attempt. She fell pregnant on her first transfer.

"Just because they haven't had success with one company doesn't mean they should give up," Dr Low said.

The website has caused some concern clinics would try to artificially boost their success rates by only treating patients with a higher likelihood of conceiving, for example.

But Dr Low thought that was unlikely as clinics would not be able to manipulate results to such an extent without compromising their accreditation, she said.

The department spokeswoman said while the government had no ability to influence which patients a clinic opted to treat, clinics were encouraged to treat all those seeking assistance to fall pregnant regardless of their individual circumstances.

This story New IVF website will help hopeful parents make informed choice first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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