A new study published in European Obstetrics & Gynaecology shows that the DuoFertility monitor and service used for six months gives the same chance of pregnancy as a cycle of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for many infertile couples. This study demonstrates that there is a viable non-invasive, drug-free alternative to IVF for thousands of couples, with the potential to save them (and the NHS) millions of pounds each year.
The study followed the first 500 couples using DuoFertility from launch in 2009, including 242 who qualified for IVF/ICSI treatment, of whom 90 had previously had the procedure. The one-year clinical pregnancy rate using DuoFertility for those who qualified for IVF was 39%, which is higher than either the UK or EU clinical pregnancy rates for a cycle of IVF (26% and 28% respectively), whilst the corresponding one-year DuoFertility pregnancy rate for those who had already been through a cycle of IVF/ICSI was 28%.
The impact of the study by Chausiaux et al is clear. For many couples, not only is IVF invasive for the woman and demeaning for the man, it is a procedure needlessly costing the NHS, or the couple themselves, thousands of pounds. Whilst a typical cycle of IVF costs the NHS around £4,500 including drugs and consultancy, the cost in the private sector (which accounts for 80% of IVF procedures performed in the UK) is typically £7,000. By comparison the DuoFertility programme offers a year of monitoring and support for £495 and has now been shown to be equally or more likely to achieve pregnancy. Not only this, but the company offers to refund those couples who have not achieved pregnancy after a year of using DuoFertility as directed.
The study authors caution that although non-invasive and drug-free, DuoFertility is not suitable for all couples. Dr. Husheer, inventor of DuoFertility explained "although DuoFertility is suitable for around 80% of infertile couples, there are some couples with medically identified conditions that prevent natural conception, such as a woman with two blocked fallopian tubes. In these cases IVF is absolutely the right thing to do, enabling conception where it was previously a physical impossibility."
European Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2011;6(2):92-4