The latest scam in IVF

It breaks my heart when I see all the scams IVF clinics use to cheat their patients. They disguise these in fancy scientific terms, and take their patients for a ride, by subjecting them to expensive, unproven treatments.

They use their patients as guinea pigs - and to add insult to injury, they charge them for this privilege !

The latest scan is the use of "platelet-derived growth factors" to "rejuvenate the ovaries" and " improve the endometrium". Lots of new startups have designed many different clever terms ( "autologous platelet rich plasma, PRP" and "platelet activating factor" to describe the same rubbish.

They basically collect the blood of the patient, separate the platelets, and then infuse the "platelet rich portion" into the endometrium; and/or the ovaries. This is the latest magic elixir, dressed up as a scientific potion, which is supposed to improve the thickness of the uterine lining; and get the ovary to regenerate new eggs, because the platelets are full of nourishing bioactive growth factors. This is simple cheap and easy to do, and any doctor can start offering this highly lucrative treatment to their patients.

The " clinical trials" they carry out are published in dodgy poor quality medical journals, who will print anything for a price. This gives them the instant imprimatur of respectability !

Sadly, infertile patients are so vulnerable and desperate, that they will sign up for anything which the doctor tells them will improve their chances. Lots of companies are peddling these potions, which doctors are very happy to promote, because they get a huge chunk of the profits for doing these procedures.

Such a shame !
Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.