Hundreds of thousands of Australians have used in vitro fertilisation and other reproductive technologies to conceive. But until now, there hasn't been an easy way to find and compare fertility clinics, or to estimate the chance of success.
"For a range of reasons, sometimes starting a family is not straightforward and this can be a confusing and distressing time," Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.
The federal government has funded a YourIVFSuccess website with information on the treatment and on all fertility clinics in Australia, including their success rates.
A "success estimator" has been designed to help people calculate their chance of having a baby using IVF, based on data from all women who have undergone the treatment in Australian fertility clinics.
The tool considers the main factors associated with IVF success, including age, the reason for infertility and previous pregnancies.
It then generates an estimate on the chance of a live birth, based on the statistical data of women who have had IVF treatment in Australia with the same characteristics.
All accredited IVF clinics have provided this data to the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Database each year as part of their licensing requirements since 2002.
The register records information on IVF cycles and demographic details on female and male patients, such as age and infertility diagnosis, and the pregnancy and birth outcomes from each cycle of treatment.
An annual report is published each year covering treatment practices, success rates and perinatal outcomes for all assisted reproductive technology treatments, including an analysis of recent trends.
The database is used to benchmark the performance of clinics and inform research and public policy.
South Australian senator Stirling Griff, who advocated for the website, said it would help fill an information gap.
"This important project will help people navigate the difficult and often complex world of IVF," he said.
"The website means infertile Australians will no longer be flying blind when they choose a clinic.
"They can use it to research and view the performance of each fertility clinic, to understand their own prospects of success, and to make an informed choice."