Intended for healthcare professionals


Show patients evidence for treatment “add-ons,” fertility clinics are told

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 15 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l226
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

Patients undergoing fertility treatment should be given far more information about treatment “add-ons” and should only be offered them if there is good evidence that they are safe and effective, according to the UK fertility regulator.1

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and 10 leading professional and patient fertility groups agreed a consensus statement after growing concern that patients are being frequently offered, and charged for, optional extras to their treatment which claim to improve their chances of having a healthy baby. These additional therapies and techniques include genetic tests, drugs, surgery, and equipment.

The statement says: “Offered responsibly, they can be a sign of healthy innovation in the fertility sector. However, there is currently no conclusive evidence that any of the add-ons increase the chance of a pregnancy or live birth.”

The matter was raised in …

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