Experts quit fertility show over 'dubious therapies'

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Experts quit fertility show over ‘dubious therapies’ and criticism of ‘exorbitant’ products offered to couples

  • Society has said it will no longer attend the Fertility Show in London because of concerns over ‘non-medical treatments’
  • The Progress Educational Trust, which continues to attend the show, said it would warn people to be wary of products and prices 
  • Products sold by companies at the event next month include supplements costing up to £130

A major fertility show is facing criticism over ‘exorbitant’ products it showcases to couples after the British Fertility Society withdrew its support.

The society, which represents top IVF experts, has said it will no longer attend the Fertility Show in London because of concerns over ‘non-medical treatments’ sold to couples trying to have a baby.

Fertility charity the Progress Educational Trust, which continues to attend the show, said it would warn people to be wary of the ‘exorbitant’ prices of products and services, many of ‘dubious value’, which are on sale.

Products sold by companies at the two-day event next month at Olympia include supplements costing up to £130.

At the last in-person Fertility Show in 2019 visitors could pay £75 a month for royal jelly, made by bees, whose benefits, said the show website, included ‘promoting fertility’ and ‘enhancing libido’.

The society, which represents top IVF experts, has said it will no longer attend the Fertility Show in London because of concerns over'non-medical treatments' sold to couples trying to have a baby (stock image)

The society, which represents top IVF experts, has said it will no longer attend the Fertility Show in London because of concerns over ‘non-medical treatments’ sold to couples trying to have a baby (stock image)

Other products available from firms with stands in 2019 included a fertility ‘lifestyle’ box sent to people’s homes for £39 a month and a £47.50 pot of fish oil liquid.

Organisers of the show, which attracts around 2,000 visitors a year and features talks from experts advising on conceiving, say royal jelly will not be sold in future.

But Dr Raj Mathur, a consultant gynaecologist and chairman of the British Fertility Society, said that non-medical treatments on offer ‘have included alternative therapies, which have no evidence or minimal evidence they can improve fertility’.

He advised couples ‘to decide on fertility treatments and products by speaking to a clinic which knows them well’.

Fertility charity the Progress Educational Trust, which continues to attend the show, said it would warn people to be wary of the'exorbitant' prices of products and services, many of'dubious value', which are on sale (stock image)

Fertility charity the Progress Educational Trust, which continues to attend the show, said it would warn people to be wary of the ‘exorbitant’ prices of products and services, many of ‘dubious value’, which are on sale (stock image)

The Progress Educational Trust gives out sachets of salt to remind visitors to take everything they see and hear at the show ‘with a pinch of salt’.

Organisers, who include former fertility patients, said: ‘We listened to feedback from previous shows and can guarantee there will be no royal jelly at this show.

‘We agree with Dr Mathur that patients should make informed choices and understand the treatments on offer, which is the show’s ultimate aim.’

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will also attend the event.

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