LIFEalerts – IVF & Surrogacy

IVF & Surrogacy

Australia – Specialist question the need for expensive add-ons of IVF

Two Australian IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) Specialists are questioning the need for expensive IVF add-ons that get offered to so many IVF clients. If standard IVF works, why all the expensive add-ons? They claim that many expensive IVF add-ons rest on very shaky evidence.

Take, for example, ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection. First developed in 1992 (without clinical trials) as a way of treating male infertility, it has become the most popular method of IVF – even though the rate of birth defects appears to be a bit higher. The authors recently published an article in The Lancet based on data from Vietnam which claims that, ICSI – which is much more expensive — does not improve the chance of a baby when compared with standard IVF if men have a normal sperm count. “So why do clinics routinely offer it?”

Their hunch is that “doctors may recommend it for fear of patients’ reactions if the eggs don’t fertilise, even if ICSI doesn’t improve the ultimate chance of a baby for those with a normal sperm count.”

They conclude: “Couples with infertility belong to a very vulnerable group who will do almost anything to achieve a pregnancy. They deserve our dedicated care and evidence-based treatment.” More