Consider surgery before IVF, gynaecologists told

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 12 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:66
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Surgical options should be considered before clinicians offer women in vitro fertilisation (IVF), experts recommended at a conference last week on obstetrics and gynaecology.

    In vitro fertilisation is not a “universal panacea” for all fertility problems, said William Ledger, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Sheffield.

    He showed data from York University Health Economic Consortium on the most cost effective preferred solution for infertility. Out of tubal disease and endometriosis, anovulation, male factor, and unexplained infertility, in vitro fertilisation came out top for only severe tubal disease and endometriosis.

    “The media's fascination with IVF is as if there is no other option,” he said. “Many patients pick that up, and you have to try to convince them to try something else because they think, ‘I'm infertile, I have to do IVF.' This is not the case. …

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