British advise against one expensive fertility treatment used here


The British Fertility Society just released guidelines advising patients against Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), an expensive embryo screening procedure that doctors first hoped would increase the odds of fertility treatments. But, the society reports, it's turning out that there's no evidence PGD either improves pregnancy rates or decreases miscarriages. So lots of prospective parents may be paying the $2,500 to $5,000 the procedure costs even though it isn't helping them.

In the United States, we don't have any such society that oversees fertility treatments. We have the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, which tells its members what the official policy is, but decides what's ethical but doesn't ban procedures. At its conference last October, it decided the same thing about PGD.

"The use of preimplantation genetic screening for chromosomal problems may one day become an essential component of infertility therapy, but for now, available evidence does not support its effectiveness and common usage," Dr. Steven J. Ory, president of ASRM, said in the report.