IVF success drops dramatically after five attempts

The University of NSW (UNSW) study is the first in the world to track national success rates for in vitro fertilisation and is based on 2011 statistics from 35 centres in Australia and New Zealand.

Cumulative success rates increased by cycle, with a live delivery rate of 21% after one cycle, 31% after two cycles, 36% after three cycles, 39% after four cycles and 40% after five cycles. 

However, the chances of success drop dramatically after five attempts.

The study, which is to be presented at the Fertility Society of Australia Annual Conference in Sydney on Sunday, showed that when women aged 35 and older are removed from the statistics, the success rate jumps to more than 50% after five attempts.

"This is a great result. It shows the benefit of getting treatment early," lead author UNSW Professor Elizabeth Sullivan said. 

Success among different centres was widely divergent with clinics in the first quartile