IVF is not always best: Women deserve a choice
22 May 2014

There are far more effective treatments than IVF and a controlled clinical study of one option is now urgently needed to give women a fair chance of pregnancy, writes Dr Xiao-Ping Zhai

Women have recently received some extremely important and authoritative warnings about the low success rates of IVF treatment, especially after they reach the age of 35.

Speaking to The Sunday Times in April, Sally Cheshire, the new chair of UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), was right to highlight the steadily decreasing chances of becoming pregnant from an IVF cycle, which stands at just 1% for women over the age of 45.

With stark differences between success rates at different clinics, HFEA and NHS England now recognise the need for the NHS to focus its finite resources on the most successful treatments.

But there is still nowhere near enough recognition for alternative treatments which are today producing outstanding results in helping women to conceive naturally.

IVF does have its place for mechanically dealing with problems, but it is simply not always the best answer for many women, who now need to be given greater choice about other treatments which can be more effective, less invasive and which could be far less costly for the NHS.

With a 5,000 year history, traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, is one of the most powerful alternatives to Western medicine. It has been shown to produce far better results than IVF, at the same time as being less stressful for the people trying to conceive and significantly less expensive.

One Adelaide University study, for example, found that traditional Chinese herbal medicine was twice as effective in treating female infertility, achieving a 60% pregnancy rate in their study, compared to a 30% success rate using Western medicine.

Closer to home TCM treatment programmes are delivering high success rates on Harley Street in London, helping many women to have babies naturally after several failed cycles of assisted fertility treatment.

There is now a need to go much further to regulate the profession, in order to bring validity to treatment options which can make such a difference.

A controlled clinical study along of TCM is also urgently needed. Without it, TCM will continue to be damned as unscientific and therefore unprofessional. If science is about experience and discovery, as well as research and confirmation, then every discipline should be treated fairly.

As women reach their 30s and 40s they simply cannot be denied choices and treatments which could be both life changing and life giving. – See more at: http://www.zhaiclinic.com/blog/May-2014/www.motherandchild.co.uk#sthash.J8S2uphe.dpuf