The Dark Side of Fertility Clinics: Unmasking Ovarian PRP Scams
September 21, 2023

One of my patients with a low AMH level was asking me about the possibility of using ovarian PRP in order to improve her egg quality. When I explained to her that it was a scam, she countered by saying – When I search on the internet, I find that this is a treatment which has a success rate of 70% to 80%. I cannot understand why you refuse to offer this treatment, especially when the success rate with it is so high! Aren’t you equipped to do this?

I had to explain to her that doing ovarian PRP ( platelet enriched plasma) is child’s play – all it needs is drawing a blood sample from the patient, centrifuging this to enrich the platelets, and then injecting this fluid, which is now supposed to contain magical stem cells and growth factors) into the ovary, to “rejuvenate” them.

The hallmark of a scam is that doctors create these to enrich themselves at the expense of patients! They will lie through their teeth because they're not answerable or accountable to anyone and they can make up whatever success rate figure they like because they know they will get away with it. They know that patients with poor ovarian reserve are desperate, gullible, and ignorant, which is why they are easy to exploit by making all kinds of tall claims.

Then she asked me – But how do I know who's right? Why should I trust you? Why wouldn't I trust them? I have friends of mine who've been to these clinics because they were so impressed by the high success rate. Yes, they didn't get pregnant and finally had to use donor eggs, but at least they tried the “latest, cutting-edge” technology!

It’s very easy to take a patient who doesn't understand medical facts for a ride! I asked her to use her common sense, and reason from first principles.

Ask yourself – Why is this ovarian regeneration PRP technique available only in Indian IVF clinics? Why does no IVF clinic in the UK or the US ever offer this kind of treatment? This is because they're answerable and accountable, and their figures get audited and tracked by a national body – the Human Fertilization Embryology Authority ( HFEA) in the UK, and the SART in the US.

In fact, the HFEA on its website clearly states that ovarian PRP is a useless add-on and should not be used. It’s fine if researchers use experimental, unproven techniques, but patients don’t pay a single paisa for taking part in a clinical trial! Sadly, many doctors can be extremely unscrupulous and unethical, because they want to maximize their profits, rather than improve the care they offer to their patients. They are quite happy to take advantage of the fact that patients know very little about the truth, and aren’t able to think critically for themselves ! They use them as guinea pigs – and charge them an arm and a leg for this privilege!

Sadly, the regulatory authority in India seems to be sleeping on its job, and doesn't bother about whatever claims these IVF clinics so brazenly make on their websites, no matter how false and outlandish they are! This is why Indian patients continue being taken for a ride. And this is doubly tragic, because once these patients have burned their fingers and wasted their money, they refuse to trust any other IVF clinic, no matter how good this is. It’s this rampant cheating that has caused IVF patients to treat all IVF doctors with suspicion! IVF clinics used to be very highly regarded once upon a time, but these stories of cheating patients have become so common, that everyone is increasingly aware of the fact that you just cannot leave everything up to the IVF clinic - you cannot trust everything the IVF clinic tells you. This is why it's so important that you do your own research, and the right way to do this is to go to reputed IVF clinic websites - especially those from the US, Australia, and the UK, because they know that if they lie, they will get hauled up and sued!

Indian IVF clinics know that they can get away with anything because no one is ever going to challenge anything they say. This is why they continue to get away with making all these kinds of inflated claims about their success rates ! They are optimized to fool patients , so they can make tons of money on procedures which are completely useless and unproven .

Sadly, patients refuse to use their brains because they're so desperate. They are willing to clutch at straws, which is why they fall prey to these scamsters, who are really just salesmen in disguise! This breaks my heart because doctors have a fiduciary responsibility to their patients and have sworn a Hippocratic Oath. Sadly, they seem to have forgotten this, simply because they just want to make more money, irrespective of whether the treatment they offer works for the patient or doesn't.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.