Treatment add ons
Your clinic may offer you additional treatments on top of your main treatment such as IVF or ICSI. This page explains what some of the most common treatment add ons are and how effective they are. For more detailed information, you may want to contact a clinic to discuss this further with a specialist. Some of these add ons are also offered on the NHS.
What are add ons?
Add ons are optional extras that you may be offered on top of your normal fertility treatment, often at an additional cost. They’re typically emerging techniques that may have shown some promising results in initial studies but haven’t necessarily been proven to improve pregnancy or birth rates.
Some clinics may include certain add ons with their treatment packages as standard whilst others charge separately. To make it easier to identify which add ons have a lot of evidence supporting their effectiveness and safety and which have very little evidence, or should be considered experimental, look for these symbols:
What do the ratings mean?
The only way to be confident that a treatment is effective in humans is to carry out a randomised controlled trial (RCT). In an RCT, patients are assigned randomly to two groups: a treatment group, given the new treatment and a control group, given either a well-tried treatment or a placebo. The number of patients included is very important, with more patients giving more accurate results.
Ideally, several different groups of researchers or scientists should have performed high quality RCTs and follow up studies to be sure a new procedure is effective and safe. We have given a green symbol where there is more than one good quality study which shows that the procedure is effective and safe.
We have used a yellow symbol where there is a growing body of evidence which is showing promising results but where further research is still required. A treatment is red if there is no evidence to show that it is effective and safe.
Review date: 9 November 2020