HFEA to issue new rules on expensive add-ons

In the future anyone having IVF treatment will have to be told if add-on treatments will not be effective for their journey, the HFEA have ruled

The new rules, which are due to come into practice later this year, are down to clinics charging patients for expensive treatments that have not been the subject of a clinical trial, but are marketed as an enhancement to their IVF treatment.

The new code of practice, which has to be approved by the new health secretary Matt Hancock, will mean IVF consultants will have to explain to patients what clinical evidence there is to offer extra procedures.

HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire has told the Guardian the move was due to a recent increase in the variety of treatments being offered by clinics in the UK

Just some of these treatments include embryo glue, endometrial scratch, time-lapse imaging, immunology suppression treatment and assisted hatching.

Many of these have little evidence of improving live birth rates.

According to the HFEA patients are being asked to pay far more for treatment than the £3,000 to £5,000 watchdog guidelines for a single IVF cycle.

Mrs Cheshire said in an interview: “We know that some patients are being asked to pay double or triple that, or even £20,000 per cycle, and there isn’t much difference as far as we’re concerned. There is no effective evidence that these treatments work, and some of them may even be potentially harmful for some patients, which clearly isn’t ethical.”

The chairwoman of the British Fertility Society, Jane Stewart, said many new add-ons and extras were being offered without any medical evidence.

She told the Guardian: “A lot of the time, patients are shopping around for what they think they need and that is wrong, medicine is not like that.”

Were you offered any add-on treatments on your journey? Was your treatment successful or did the extras have no affect? Let us know your story, get in touch with us via our social media pages, @IVFbabble or email us mystory@ivfbabble.com

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