A "huge emotional rollercoaster" was the best way to describe going through the IVF process, for Sutherland Shire mum, Lauren Gocher.
Diagnosed with endometriosis, she endured a long wait for her forever family, as she couldn't fall pregnant naturally. The 37-year-old and her 42-year-old husband now have two children with another baby on the way. But the road to get there was far from easy.
"I could only conceive via IVF," she said. "It's totally consuming and ruled life for five years. It took 10 transfers and five egg retrievals to have our first daughter. Our son was the 11th transfer, then we had another failed transfer. Then the 13th transfer - is my current pregnancy."
New figures however reveal that one in three women successfully have had a baby in their first IVF cycle.
The annual IVF report from UNSW examines the latest numbers and trends in assisted reproductive technology. Medical researchers part of the 2021 Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) report, found that 37.1 per cent of women who commenced Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) achieved a live birth in their first complete ART cycle. The annual IVF report also showed women had at least a 53.6 per cent chance of achieving a live birth after three complete ART cycles.
ART is a group of procedures that involve the in vitro (outside of the body) handling of oocytes (eggs) and sperm to establish a pregnancy. Each ART treatment involves several stages, generally called an ART treatment cycle. The embryos transferred to a female patient can either originate from the cycle in which they were created (fresh cycle) or be frozen (cryopreserved) and thawed before transfer (thaw cycle). A complete ART cycle includes embryos transferred during the embryo creation cycle and any subsequent frozen embryo transfer cycles.
Success rates decreased with age. Women aged between 30 and 34 had at least a 67.8 per cent chance of achieving a live birth after three complete ART cycles, while women aged 40-44 had at least a 20.3 per cent chance.
The report also showed that, on average, one in four women did not continue treatment after a failed cycle, because of the psychological or financial stress that can be associated with infertility and its treatment.
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