Submitted by Shelby D Burns Thu 07/22/2010 Tweet
Book belly A woman – a couple – will decide after months or years of infertility to make the in vitro investment. It’s a heavy cost in terms of finances and emotions. Then, if it fails, the couple must decide whether to try again risking loss once more. And finally, the ultimate question will need to be answered: at what point do we give up? A team from Stanford University may have help. Researchers have developed a model to predict the possible success of subsequent rounds of IVF based on data collected from the first attempt. “Our finding show that the first IVF cycle can provide quantitative, customized prediction of the live birth probability in a subsequent cycle,” the researchers reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This concept is radically different from the current paradigm, in which age is a major predictor.” Dr. Mylene Yao, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, led the research team and expanded on her prior work to determine a test for success. The newer test not only integrates more data, but success is measured by live birth not simply occurrence of pregnancy. The success rate of first round IVF using fresh eggs is around 29%. Doctors use age based data to counsel patients from there. But there are so many factors to consider that this data by itself may be misleading. Yao and her colleagues found a way to provide a more personalized solution. They identified 52 factors including age, levels of certain hormones, number and quality of eggs and individual characteristic of each embryo, that influence her chances of full term pregnancy. Their results are 1000 times more accurate than the previous age based model. “The current age-based paradigm may provide misleading live birth outcome probabilities for a large portion of patients,” explained Yao. And since every woman needs the best odds when embarking on IVF, this is a welcome and critical advance.