Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Are we overusing IVF?

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g252

Rapid Response:

Re: Are we overusing IVF?

A child for a childless couple is a boon of life. In many societies the pressure to have a baby after a marriage is a psychological burden on the wife. This burden is aggravated by the in laws of the wife, which in turn becomes an expectation to have physiological amenorrhea. Every failed attempt to conceive soon becomes a social stigma and pushes the couples to go for infertility treatment to any clinic that offers them a hope to have a baby soon. Availability of artificial methods of reproduction, its exploitation and the pressure from the family pushes them to go for in vitro fertiliztion (IVF). The IVF clinics become the last resort for such couples and IVF centers become many a time savior of marriages from divorce. A divorce becomes a social stigma more to the woman than to a man.

Therefore, we cannot use the term over-use or under-use for a procedure that is available to give a chance for the patient to take a risk to have a baby like IVF. It is the same as an instrument in the hands of a person being used for good or bad outcomes. The only way we could fulfill the expectations of couples wanting IVF as a procedure is to improve its success rate, minimize psychological stress of the procedure and reduce invasive procedure to the minimum. That will ensure IVF being used optimally as a suitable procedure for couples who are hard pressed to have a baby.

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 January 2014
Dhastagir Sheriff
Faculty of Medicine, Benghazi University