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New Tool to Help Decide if IVF is For You
February 25, 2018
Univfy Helps Women Decide Their Next Step
A new company, Univfy, emerged in 2009 to help predict the possibility of a woman getting pregnant while on IVF. Its founder, Dr. Marlene Yao, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who noticed that some women end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on IVF and are never able to conceive. Around 12% of women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four have trouble conceiving, and many turn to IVF. A single round of IVF can cost as much as $23,000, and can be hard on a woman's body. Additionally, many have to go through multiple rounds before they are able to conceive.
Univfy is a new fertility tool that helps women decide whether or not IVF is for them
With machine learning technology, it is constantly improving
IVF, while often rewarding, can also be expensive and stressful and Univfy helps women make that difficult decision
What does Univfy do?
Dr. Yao wanted to find a way to predict how likely a woman was to get pregnant from IVF, and likened her method to a FICO score, which is a financial risk assessment for loans. So she works with IVF clinics across the United States to calculate women's chances of pregnancy. 12 centers are currently using Univfy, but 50 more are set to start during 2018.
How does it work?
Univfy has machine mapping technology that assesses the likelihood of an individual conceiving during three cycles of IVF. It uses a lot of data to calculate this, including the prospective mother's body-mass index (BMI), her age, her hormone levels, and her partner's fertility. In an interview with CBS MoneyWatch Dr. Yao explains why she chose to use machine learning, "Without using machine learning, using traditional statistics, you would have to set up a threshold or cutoff -- different programs use different criteria: Your age has to be under 38, or your BMI has to be under 35, or your ovarian age has to be under a certain amount. So there would be all these cutoffs so that program could be viable. But then, only 10 percent to 15 percent of people will qualify." Machine learning technology means that as more and more clinics continue to use Univfy it will continue to become more accurate and will be able to help even more women decide if IVF is the correct path for them.
How does this help?
It gives women an idea of whether or not IVF is worth the price and the changes to their body. While IVF can be an amazing procedure for some, for others it just doesn't work, for whatever reason. Dr. Yao's program can help those women decide whether or not to go through with it or to consider other options, such as adoption or surrogacy. It also helps IVF clinics calculate refunds, if a woman decides to go through with the procedure and is not able to become pregnant. If you're considering IVF, Univfy is a great tool to help make your decision--but of course, so many factors go into the whole fertility process that you should also consult with your doctor every step of the way!
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