A recent study has shattered all the misconceptions about the most common infertility treatments in UK. Apparently not many find successful results from them. Bmj.com has published the study that challenges these medical interventions and the UK guidelines on the infertility treatments.
According to the study, there is one out of every seven couples in UK who experience infertility. And for quarter of these couples, the commonly resorted treatment for infertility is the first thing that is suggested, as per the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, in UK.
Around 580 women who were experiencing infertility (reasons unexplained) were studied by the University of Aberdeen for more than 2 years. They were divided into three groups where one group tried conceiving naturally without any medical treatments, the other group took the oral clomifene citrate (CC) for slight ovulatory dysfunctionand the last group had the unstimulated intra-uterine insemination (IUI) of sperm.
It has been found that the 17 percent of women who took to natural way of conceiving gave birth while 14 percent of the women who took CC and 23 percent of women who tried IUI experienced pregnancy and gave birth during the study. In all, 101 women gave births during the study.
10 percent of women taking CC experienced side-effects of the treatment that include abdominal pain, bloating, hot flushes, nausea and headaches. However, the women with no medical interventions were the most satisfied as compared to women on both the treatments – CC and IUI.
“These interventions, which have been in use for many years, are unlikely to be more effective than no treatment. These results challenge current practice, as endorsed by a national guideline in the UK,” conclude the researchers.
In an editorial, Tarek El-Toukhy and Yacoub Khalaf from the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, say: “As a direct result of the lack of evidence, many couples with unexplained infertility endure (and even request) expensive, potentially hazardous, and often unnecessary treatments.”
The researchers note that the national guidelines need revisiting. Also, high quality clinical trials are required for policymakers and patients to inform them about best treatments, the cost effectiveness and the adverse effects of these medical treatments conclude the researchers.