The craziest things I did in the name of infertility
There is growing concern that desperate couples are being misled by IVF clinics who are selling them expensive ‘add-ons’— experimental procedures that have not been tested in clinical trials or have been shown to make no difference to results.
One couple is now suing their clinic for selling them £7,000 of extras that they were told would increase their chances of a successful pregnancy.
They said: ‘We were desperate. If they had said they could sprinkle fairy dust and it will make you pregnant we would have bought it.’
In order to regulate the industry, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have created a new easy-to-understand traffic light rating system, to educate patients about emerging and new techniques and how effective they are .
Furthermore, under a new code of practice, fertility clinics will soon have to explain the clinical evidence behind treatment add-ons — helping patients make better decisions about what’s right for them. I wholeheartedly support all measures to ensure patients are able to make informed decisions about their treatment, and acknowledge that desperate, vulnerable patients are easy targets.
I should know, I’m one of them.
The crucial element to note is that despite the fact these add-ons aren’t proven doesn’t affect whether we buy into them or not – because we’re desperate and will try anything.
It is not only IVF clinics who are selling treatment under the impression that there’s evidence that it will increase chances — something I hope the new code of practice will help to combat.
The fact is that many, many infertility patients will be doing — and spending vast sums of money on — a whole range of weird and wonderful shit: not because we genuinely believe it will be the magic cure, but because we’re desperate to try anything and everything, just in case.