The IVF baby app
Want to know your chance of having a baby through in vitro fertilization? There's an app for that.
British researchers have devised a formula which they say gives a highly accurate prediction of the potential success of IVF, to help couples decide whether to try the treatment.
They have made it available online as a simple computer calculator application, and say it will soon be available for download on Apple's iPhones and other mobiles.
Scientists from the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol analyzed the details of more than 144,000 IVF cycles to produce a statistical model that can give a prediction of live birth which is up to 99% accurate.
How does it work?
The formula takes into account the woman's age, number of years trying to get pregnant, whether she is using her own eggs, the cause of infertility, the number of previous IVF cycles and whether she has previously been pregnant or had a baby.
"The result of this study is a tool which can be used to make incredibly accurate predictions," he said in a statement.
Nelson's team used data held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates IVF treatment in Britain. They looked at all cycles carried out between 2003 and 2007 and assessed the chances of having a live birth.
The fertility treatment market is big and growing, with an estimated 140,000 IVF cycles in the United States in 2008. As many as 80 million couples worldwide are infertile, experts say.
The calculator is already available free at ivfpredict.com. Applications for iPhones and Android smart phones are coming soon, so users "can discuss the results with your clinicians right there in the clinic," the website says.
"This model provides women considering IVF with an understandable and quantitative estimate of their chances of success. It is a great resource."
Would you use the IVF app?