- BCRM may offer you treatments or tests in addition to your routine treatment, these are called add-ons
- These may or may not improve your chances of having a baby, nor reduce your risk of miscarriage.
- Treatment add-ons may have insufficient evidence to show that they are effective and or safe for routine use in patients.
Treatment add-ons have varying levels of scientific evidence to support their effectiveness and safety and, at times, this evidence can be contradictory. It is important to keep in mind that for most patients, routine fertility treatment such as standard IVF or ICSI are effective options without add-ons.
At BCRM we will inform you of the scientific evidence and clinic based approach to support treatment add-ons that we may offer you.
These treatments add-ons may be offered to specific patients where we believe there may be benefit from the additional techniques.
If decide to use an add-on that has been offered, you are under no obligation to agree.
We would encourage you to read the useful information on Treatment Add-ons provided on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology authority (HFEA) website. www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/treatment-add-ons/ as well as the consensus statement produced by specialist fertility bodies www.hfea.gov.uk/media/2792/treatment-add-ons-consensus-statement-final.pdf
As you will see in the link above, the HFEA publish information treatment on add-ons including highlighting the fact that many lack sufficient evidence to show that they are effective and/ or safe.
This HFEA information may help you to make an informed decision about whether using a treatment add-on as part of your treatment is the best option for you.
To make it easier to understand the scientific evidence for each treatment add-on the HFEA have developed the traffic-light rated list of add-ons.
The HFEA’s traffic light rating system consists of three colours that indicate whether the evidence, in the form of high-quality randomised control trials (RCTs), shows that a treatment add-on can safely improve the live birth rate for someone undergoing fertility treatment.
The HFEA appreciate that some add-ons show benefits in certain groups of patients. Where relevant they have outlined this in the description of that add-on.
For specific patient groups there may be reasons for the use of a treatment add-on other than to increase live birth rate, for example to reduce your chances of having a miscarriage. In these situations, the HFEA state it may be appropriate for you to be offered a treatment add-on as part of your treatment and not in a research setting.