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  • IVF Add-Ons – Are they worth the expense?

    Many couples turn to IVF in pursuit of creating a family. These couples put their absolutely trust in their clinic and doctor to provide them with the most up to date and research based treatments and investigations. However there is increasing concern that many of the additional treatments and services offered by fertility clinics in the UK are not research based and are therefore misleading patients, increasing their financial burden and ultimately offering little more than false hope.

    IVF is expensive, especially when less than half the procedures receive NHS funding. Add-ons increase this financial burden. An endometrial scratch, for example, can cost over £300, time lapse imaging up to £850 and pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) in the region of £3500

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    Research conducted at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford (Heneghan et al 2016), aimed to assess IVF Add-Ons offered in all UK Fertility clinics against the following criteria:

    • Are the Add-Ons recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)?
    • Have Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT’s) been conducted to prove that the treatment or intervention is effective?
    • Are there any risks or adverse effects associated with the treatment or intervention?

    Following the assessment of the website of Fertility Clinics in the UK, the researchers were able to identify a total of 38 interventions and classified these as 27 IVF Add-On, 6 alternatives to IVF and 5 treatments for fertility preservation.

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