BFS response to the scope of the NICE fertility review

Mr Tony Rutherford, Chairman of the British Fertility Society said:

“The 2004 NICE guideline on the assessment and treatment of fertility was a landmark development in the management of infertility, appreciated, not only in the UK, but around the world.  There have been significant developments in infertility practice since 2003 when the original document was finalized.

“Advances in reproductive medicine include new tests to assess the likely response of patients to treatment, and the evolution of controlled ovarian stimulation strategies, some using new medications, which provide patients with gentler, less invasive and safer treatments.  The place of intra uterine insemination in the management of infertility, one of the more controversial aspects of the original guideline, will be questioned in light of recent evidence.  We welcome the decision to review the effectiveness of different embryo transfer strategies to reduce the burden of multiple pregnancies.  It is also important that the revised guidelines will cover certain more specialized areas, such as those patients wishing to reserve fertility in the face of cancer, as new developments in embryology have made treatments more effective. 

“Of course, there are areas of infertility practice that have changed, which are not included in this review.  It is true to say that infertility is one area of medicine where today’s science is tomorrow’s practice.  The profession should endorse this timely review, which will address most of today’s relevant issues, but continue to strive to provide the evidence on which future practice will be based.”