Study reveals lack of supporting evidence for claims about fertility treatments

Spencer, E.A. et al. (2016) BMJ Open. 6:e013940

B0007661 Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), artwork
Image source: Maurizio De Angelis – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Objectives: Fertility services in the UK are offered by over 200 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)-registered NHS and private clinics. While in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) form part of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance, many further interventions are offered. We aimed to record claims of benefit for interventions offered by fertility centres via information on the centres’ websites and record what evidence was cited for these claims.

Conclusions: Many fertility centres in the UK offer a range of treatments in addition to standard IVF procedures, and for many of these interventions claims of benefit are made. In most cases, the claims are not quantified and evidence is not cited to support the claims. There is a need for more information on interventions to be made available by fertility centres, to support well-informed treatment decisions.

Read the full abstract and article here


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