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Breakfast Wednesday, 28 August, 2002, 04:53 GMT 05:53 UK
Fertility treatment row
IVF
IVF is not a soft option according to fertility expert
Some fertility clinics are pushing couples into having fertility treatment when all they need is time to conceive naturally.

The criticism - by the industry's watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority - comes in the week that success rates of fertility clinics are being published.

Although the organisation stresses the list is not a league table, it is bound to put the industry under greater pressure.


Breakfast talked to Suzi Leather, the new head of the authority, and to a leading fertility doctor: Professor Ian Craft.

  • Suzi Leather wonders whether this "Quick, Quick, Quick" idea about motherhood is pressurising people unnecessarily into fertility treatment and raising anxiety levels". She's concerned people are panicked into treatment. "If you want to put motherhood off for a while because you want a career or your relationship isn't right, there is no need to immediately start thinking about freezing eggs"

  • Professor Craft believes if you are young -- under 33 -- he wouldn't suggest IVF. He would suggest waiting and possibly sperm washing. If that didn't work after several attempts then IVF might be an option. He can't agree with Suzi Leather when she says women shouldn't worry about their clocks ticking. They should. Its about Science and its about sense.

    His clinic, the London fertility clinic, is professional. Staff are highly qualified. Most couples receive a paltry treatment from the NHS. He feels his clinic and others get a lot of stick because they are private. New patients are presented with an information pack outlining success rates, they do not try to pull the wool over peoples' eyes. There will always be those who are disappointed and it is not a cheap process. He wants his patients to have the right to have a healthy child and does everything he can to try and make that happen.

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    18 Jul 02 | Health
    12 Apr 02 | England
    31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
    26 Jul 99 | Medical notes
    08 Jul 02 | Health
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