July 19 — A computer-based analysis can estimate a woman’s chance of success from fertility treatments more accurately than age-based guidelines, Stanford University scientists said.
An analytic model developed in research goes beyond age to take into account women’s height, weight, hormonal factors and the health of embryos, said Mylene Yao, author of a study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers looked at 634 IVF treatments to test their model. In 60 percent of patients, the scientists when using the computer analysis found a significant difference in the calculation of likelihood of having a baby.
Age alone would be a better predictor of the success of fertility treatment in fewer than 1 in 1,000 cases, Yao said, citing statistical methods used to test the model. Computer- based analyses could help women decide whether to buy repeat IVF treatments that can cost $10,000 a try, Yao said. Almost 75 percent of IVF procedures fail to result in live births, according to the study.
“When people have the information about their own specific chances, they are going to feel more confident about pursuing the treatment,” said Yao, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford, near Palo Alto, California, in a telephone interview on July 16 “Each patient is truly unique,” she said. “Even though no two patients are alike, we’re still able to give very predictive information.”