Another week, another fertility industry scandal. Or so it seems. Of course this is not quite true, it isn’t every week but they do seem to be coming thick and fast these days. At the end of last year there was the ‘add ons’ saga – if you didn’t see the Panorama programme in which I played a small part, it’s still on catch up. And now the Daily Mail has accused certain fertility clinics of offering women cash for their eggs. It’s a complex issue and I wrote an Opinion piece on the story for the Guardian this week which has attracted lots of interesting comments.
It does feel like something’s happening though. As more and more people are leaving parenthood later – for a multitude of reasons – we’re seeing more and more people turning to IVF to facilitate their families. And with IVF decreasingly available on the NHS, there’s an increasing number of people going privately. As the industry grows, and gets more competitive and tries to find ways of bettering the success rates of a science that often doesn’t work, it’s becoming clear that discussion is urgently needed about how to protect the patients going through it. I don’t have the answers, but I will continue to ask the questions because that’s the only way things are going to change.