This site is intended for health professionals only

Experts wary over new IVF therapy

Patients are being offered too many new fertility treatments that have yet to be adequately tested, many experts believe.

Almost half the doctors, nurses and scientists taking part in a survey agreed that new procedures are being brought in too hastily.

More clinical trials are needed to test the effectiveness of novel In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) techniques, according to almost all those questioned.

The survey of health professionals also found many believe access to IVF should be restricted for those with lifestyles that reduce the chance of a successful treatment.

The survey of 186 mostly British experts was carried out to mark the 30th birthday of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, who was born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Greater Manchester on July 25, 1978.

A total of 46.2% of participants in the survey agreed that new procedures were being introduced "far too quickly" before they had been adequately tested.

And more than 40% believed access to IVF should be conditional on lifestyle - so that, for instance, smokers, the obese and recreational drug users ought to be disqualified.

Only 28.8% agreed that access to IVF should be offered to all regardless of lifestyle.

The survey was conducted by the British Fertility Society (BFS) in conjunction with the Science Media Centre in London and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Eshre).

Copyright © PA Business 2008