Will Clear Passage Therapy take up my challenge?

Can Clear Passage Therapy treat 5 patients with documented bilateral hydrosalpinges to prove that their treatments really work ?

Clear Passage uses a wide variety of clever techniques in order to lure patients. They claim to be able to treat lots of conditions , ranging from chronic pelvic pain to adhesions to blocked tubes. ( This is smart, because the more the number of conditions you claim to be able treat, the greater the number of patients will come to you.)

Patients who go to Clear Passage are self-pay , well-heeled patients who are self-referred. These are internet positive patients, who will scour the web to find alternative treatment options, because they are not happy with what their present doctor is offering. Clear Passage does a great job of targeting these patients !

In order to claim legitimacy for their technique , they will get papers published in what they consider to be respected medical journals , and then use these as proof that the techniques work. ( They also use endorsements from a few doctors - but what weight these carry is difficult to establish. ) Fortunately, they do not need to prove to the FDA that their treatment works ! Sadly, very few patients will bother to read the original paper, the full text of which is not published on their site.

Interestingly, there is no patient they will refuse to treat. Everyone is potentially a paying customer, and they are happy to treat everyone who comes to them , provided they can afford to pay , whether they actually require treatment or not.

For example, it's well known that patients with just one blocked fallopian do not need any treatment at all . One normal tube is enough for normal fertility. However, they will be happy to treat these patients, and when they get pregnant, they will then take credit for their success. Patients are duped into believing that it was the treatment which help them to get pregnant , without realizing that a number of women with just one blocked tube will get pregnant in their own bedroom , without having to spend US $ 4000 on Clear Passage Therapy !

Also they will not highlight the limitations of the diagnostic techniques which are used to diagnose blocked tubes. Doctors know that sometimes tubes may appear blocked on a hysterosalpingogram ( HSG ) because of cornual spasm , rather than because the tube is actually blocked. These patients will often get pregnant on their own, but if they happen to have taken Clear Passage therapy before their pregnancy , they will believe that it was the treatment which helped them to clear their blocked tubes ! These are how some of these myths and misconceptions are propagated.

The problem of adhesions is even more complex. Pelvic adhesions can only be diagnosed reliably by doing a laparoscopy. However, it's very easy for these therapists to diagnose adhesions in all women who come to them with pelvic pain. It's well known that adhesions can cause pain - but concluding that every woman with pelvic pain has adhesions is plainly ludicrous ! The great thing is that there's no way of confirming this diagnosis - or disputing it. Women with pelvic pain are miserable . Doctors have little to offer them , so they are often quite fed up and happy to grasp at straws. Clear Passage promises them relief - based on what seems to be a logical proposition at first blush, so they are happy to give it a trial.

Remember that when surgeons and companies such as Johnson & Johnson want to establish that their products ( such as Interceed) help to reduce adhesions, they have to document the severity and extent of adhesions prior to treatment with a laparoscopy ; and then follow up with a second look laparoscopy later on , to see what the effect of their treatment has been on the adhesions . Clear Passage Therapy does not bother to use any documentary evidence to establish the presence of adhesions , or to quantify their severity. Ideally , if they were serious, they would use exactly the same criteria which surgeons do. They would do a laparoscopy prior to starting treatment to assess the grade and severity of the adhesions; and then they would re-check with a second look laparoscopy after a few weeks, to see what has happened to these adhesions. Fortunately, they do not have to prove the efficacy of their therapy to the FDA. Instead, they prefer using patient testimonials, because these appeal to prospective patients who can identify easily with these. However, it's well known that simple tender loving care by a sympathetic doctor will also help patients with chronic pelvic pain to get better. How does one prove that Clear Passage is any better than a placebo in helping these women ? Patients with pelvic pain are understandably reluctant to undergo surgery. Not only is this expensive and scary, most good surgeons are honest and explain that the results of surgery are unpredictable as regards pain relief. The Clear Passage people have no qualms in making tall claims , because they can get away with these.

They claim that Clear Passage helps to improve circulation. This is easy to claim - but how can they possibly prove this ? They know they can't - so they can get away with making these preposterous claims.
I am not being cynical, but I am skeptical, because there is no sound biological sense behind this therapy. A healthy dose of skepticism can be good for health !

I'd like to offer Clear Passage a challenge. I do hope they will take this up, because if they can convince a sceptic like me, they will have proven their point much more effectively than buying all the google adwords in the world . I would like them to treat 5 patients with documented bilateral hydrosalpinges .( I will be happy to refer five of my patients to them. ) It is my hypothesis that Clear Passage will not be able to open these tubes, no matter how skilled the therapist. If they can get even one of these patients pregnant, I'll be very happy to endorse Clear Passage, free of cost !

It would also be interesting to do a controlled clinical trial . I'd like to compare patients who have spent 25 dollars on a Self Fertility Massage DVD , and learnt to do self fertility massage, versus those who spend US $ 4000 on Clear Passage - and see whether there is any difference in the outcome of the two groups !

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