The cost-effectiveness of using a prognosis-tailored strategy model to triage couples with idiopathic infertility for assisted reproduction technology

Dang Kien Nguyen, Sean O'Leary, Clarabelle T. Pham, Moustafa Gadalla Abdelhafez, Bronnie Roberts, Helen Alvino, Kelton Tremellen, Ben W. Mol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate whether a prognosis-tailored triage of ART for couples with idiopathic infertility by using the Hunault prognostic model can decrease the cost of treatment without compromising the chance of live birth. Study design: This is a retrospective study conducted in an Australian fertility clinic. Couples seeking infertility consultation who were subsequently found to have idiopathic infertility after evaluation were included. We compared the costs per conception leading to live birth of the prognosis-tailored strategy with the immediate ART strategy, which generally reflects the current practice in Australian fertility clinics, over a 24-month period. In the prognosis-tailored strategy, for each couple, the prognosis for natural conception was assessed using the well-established Hunault model. Total cost of treatments were calculated as the sum of typical out-of-pocket and Australian Medicare cost (Australian national insurance scheme). Results: We studied 261 couples. In the prognosis-tailored strategy, the total cost was $2,766,781 and the live birth rate was 63.9%. In contrast, the immediate ART strategy yielded a live birth rate of 64.4% with a total cost of $3,176,845. Implementing the prognosis-tailored strategy using the Hunault model saved $410,064 in total and $1,571 per couple. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was $341,720 per live birth. Conclusion: In couples with idiopathic infertility, assessment of prognosis for natural conception using the Hunault model and delaying ART for 12 months in couples with favourable prognoses can considerably reduce costs without significantly compromising live birth rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Idiopathic infertility
  • Live birth
  • Natural conception
  • Prognostic model

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