Is the infertility 'industry' exploiting women?

8th November 2010 in Advice, Infertility, IVF, Treatments

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

A recent article in the media – written incidentally by a woman in her 40’s has just had her first baby naturally so as such isn’t affected by infertility issues herself – labelled the IVF and reproductive medicine industry as ‘exploitative’, claiming it puts profits before human emotions.

Her basis for this claim was that many women falsely believe that advances in infertility treatment ensure they have a failsafe backup for having children at any age, when in fact the chances of successful treatment once you get into your mid-40s is greatly reduced.

She claims however that many doctors and infertility clinics don’t spell this out to their patients, so many desperate women are ‘easy pickings’, paying thousands for treatments which have little chance of resulting in a baby.

Well, whilst we cannot speak for other infertility clinics, here at Manchester Fertility we always advise on the best treatments to suit our patients – not our profits.

What would be the point of putting our patients through the emotional and physical rollercoaster that is IVF and infertility treatment, if we knew there was little or no chance of success? No infertility clinic wants want to see treatment fail, time and time again.

It’s a huge disappointment for our entire team – the embryologists, consultants, nurses and counsellors – on the occasions when treatment doesn’t work. We get to know all of our patients personally very well, and so it naturally affects us all.

If you’re in your 40s, and are thinking of IVF or other infertility treatment, you should check out the official HFEA-reported results for the clinic where you are considering treatment. These results will give you a good indication of the success rates they have for women in your age group.

You should then go and visit the clinics – at Manchester Fertility we have monthly open evenings so anyone thinking about infertility treatment can come and meet us face-to-face – and ask as many questions as you can.

Any good infertility consultant will give you an open and honest answer. Because although infertility treatment has come a long way, it sadly doesn’t work for everyone, everytime, and it’s wrong for a clinic to promise success or a better chance of pregnancy to get you in the door. It’s why researching your clinic is so vital before you embark on any treatment.

Last updated: 20th January 2020