Coming soon: An "app" for predicting in vitro fertilization outcome

March 1, 2011

Using data from more than 144,000 in vitro cycles, British researchers Scott Nelson and Debbie Lawlor developed a mathematical "prediction" model to calculate the likelihood of a live birth after IVF.

Using data from more than 144,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, British researchers Scott Nelson and Debbie Lawlor developed a mathematical "prediction" model to calculate the likelihood of a live birth after IVF. Currently available free online (at http://www.ivfpredict.com/), the computer calculator application soon will be available for download on Apple's iPhones and other mobiles, according to the IVFpredict Web site.

To develop the calculator, researchers used data collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates IVF in the United Kingdom, to assess which characteristics of infertile couples and the treatment they receive could be used to predict live birth after IVF. They then incorporated these findings in the calculator. Factors that decreased the chance of at least 1 live birth were increasing maternal age, increasing duration of infertility, and use of the woman's own oocytes. Increased chances of success were associated with a previous IVF live birth and use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

The authors also reported that the chances of preterm and low birth weight after IVF increased if donor eggs were required and ICSI was not used, that an increased risk of macrosomia was associated with increasing maternal age and a history of previous live births, and that all 3 of these undesirable birth characteristics were tied to infertility caused by cervical problems.

Nelson SM. Lawlor DA. Predicting live birth, preterm delivery, and low birth weight in infants born from in vitro fertilisation: a prospective study of 144,018 treatment cycles. PLoS Med. 2011;8(1):e1000386.

Accuracy for you. IVFpredict Web site. http://www.ivfpredict.com/. Accessed January 21, 2011.