As a researcher in reproductive health, IVF is an area that has always been important to me.
The IVF journey, with all its ups and downs, is often the last opportunity for people finding it difficult to conceive. It gives women and people in relationships hope. And, for the successful patients, it gives the ultimate gift of new life.
Australia has one of the highest utilisation rates of IVF in the world. As many as 1 in 7 couples experience difficulty conceiving and may turn to IVF for help.
And yet there is still limited data around fundamental parts of the process.
The probability of having a baby from IVF is modest at around 40%.Despite the fact that it’s far from a guaranteed success, millions of dollars are spent on cycles every month. With such high stakes, research is an important component to ensure that people having IVF are receiving the best care.
Over the next five years, my research will take a deep dive into the experiences that people have with IVF. I’ll look at key issues in the sector, such as access to different treatment options, how effective these are and whether they are safe, and how information is provided to and interpreted by, people undergoing infertility treatment.
But it all starts with you — we are inviting women to take part in a survey to help us better understand the experience of having IVF in Australia. It includes questions about the types of IVF treatment you’ve had and how you feel about different treatment options.
It is open to women who have had IVF or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in Australia since 2017. Women with or without partners can complete the survey, including women in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, single women, and women who used sperm, egg or embryo donors.
The survey takes 10-20 minutes to complete, and the answers are completely anonymous.
With 75,000 IVF cycles happening in Australia every year, we all seem to know someone who has been through it themselves. If you know someone who might be interested in taking part, please send on the link.
This research is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital. Research at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne looks at all areas of women’s and newborn’s health and, with this, hopes to drive better health outcomes for these people.
With my research in particular, I hope to provide important information to researchers, IVF clinics and people undergoing IVF in the future to make the patient care more evidence-based – and ultimately make it a better experience for the people going through it. I’m hoping to capture the IVF journeys of as many women as possible with my research, so they can be part of this change.
Like with many thorough research projects, it will take time to do. But I’m looking forward to contributing to this important area of research.
Click the image to take the survey.