Working together with the professional bodies and patient groups, we have recently updated our information for patients on treatment add-ons on the HFEA website. This includes the addition of advice that, in some circumstances, the use of an add-on is appropriate and that this is best discussed by a patient with their clinician. The add-on information focusses on the evidence of increasing live birth rate (LBR) from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We have also acknowledged that some add-ons may have other benefits such as reducing the chance of miscarriage. The HFEA’s information on the use of immunological tests and treatments when offered as an add-on to routine fertility treatment in healthy patients has also been updated to make it clearer, more detailed, and informative.
For patients we have compiled a list of questions that it may be helpful to ask at their clinic appointment if they are considering, or are offered, any treatment add-ons
We want to highlight that for most patients, having a routine cycle of proven fertility treatment is effective without using any treatment add-ons. Also, if patients are self-funding, for them to consider whether it might be more effective and/or affordable to pay for multiple routine, proven treatment cycles, rather than spending more on a single treatment cycle with treatment add-ons.
We have put together some freely available resources from the professional bodies and the Cochrane Library. These resources can be used to support conversations with patients about add-ons. They can be found here on the HFEA’s Clinic Portal.
For patients we have compiled a list of questions that it may be helpful to ask at their clinic appointment if they are considering, or are offered, any treatment add-ons – these include questions on evidence, suitability and additional costs. The questions were put together in conjunction with Fertility Network UK and tested with patients and professionals.