Scientists have identified a method that predicts whether a women undergoing infertility treatment will become pregnant with a level of 70 per cent accuracy.
Detailing the method in the journal PLoS One, the researchers reveal that it uses four factors to determine a woman's chance of becoming pregnant - the total number of embryos, number of eight-cell embryos, percentage of embryos that stopped dividing and would die, and the woman's levels of follicle-stimulating hormone.
The four factors were identified after a study of 30 variables in more than 650 IVF cycles performed at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2005.
According to lead researcher Dr Mylene Yao, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the university, the method could help patients to decide whether to go ahead with another cycle of IVF.
Dr Yao explained: "People make decisions based on probability. At that point, it's really important to give a more accurate prediction."
Figures suggest that as many as one in four couples of reproductive age are affected by infertility.