Dr Robert Winston, one of the leading professors of fertility and gynaecology has said GPs need to take infertility more seriously
The professor was taking part in a phone-in on trying to conceive with hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and was answering questions on struggling to have a baby.
During one of the calls from endometriosis sufferer Keeley, 28, who had been trying for a baby with her partner for five years.
Dr Winston suggested she be given an investigative laparoscopy before having another cycle.
He said: “In my view people go straight into IVF when it is really not necessary and I would argue that you really need a laparscopy and probably an x-ray of the womb, a hysterosalpingogram as both will be valuable to understand what is going wrong.”
He said he felt very careful assessment of her partner’s sperm was also important as he was slightly older and not to go for IVF before this.
He then spoke to Alex, who had repeated failed implantation and was about to start her final IVF cycle privately – the only one she could afford.
He said: “The first thing to look at is a hormonal problem, if you’ve not had implantation and failed cycles, or embryos that can’t be transferred it indicates there maybe more going on with your hormones.
I would hold off another cycle until you’ve got some tests done. It’s worth doing that first and isn’t very expensive.”
Holly asked why people have lots of IVF and then suddenly get pregnant naturally.
Dr Winston candidly answered that they probably did not need IVF in the first place.
He said: “The problem is you get shunted into IVF by general practitioners who don’t take infertility seriously. They never seem to realise the degree of distress that causes. When you go through IVF and you have an embryo transfer, you fantasise for two weeks that you are pregnant and then women bleed and that is terribly distressing.
“In older women they are better having regular sex than having IVF. It does work and sounds obvious.”
What do you think about Dr Winston’s comments? Did you feel rushed into doing IVF by your GP? Get in touch via our social media pages, @IVFbabble on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.