The Fertility Scam
How to Spot a Fertility Scam
"Looking to get pregnant? All you need to do is take this supplement and you will get pregnant within two months, 100% guaranteed!" Fertility scams can be difficult to spot and when couples are stressed about their infertility they will stop at nothing to get pregnant. In order to ensure that you don’t get tricked by a fertility scam you should always question unbelievable claims, talk with industry professionals, and locate a reputable fertility clinic.
Questioning Unbelievable Claims
Look for references.Many fertility scams will advertise that “research” has proven that a certain treatment will help you get pregnant with no side effects. Whenever you see statements about proven research, you should always look into the actual studies behind the research to make sure that the claims are not false. For instance, check websites for direct references to medical studies. If the claims are true then the site will likely provide adequate referencing.
- Look to see if the study was published in a peer reviewed medical journal.
- If there is no reference to a study, it is probably false.
- Determine who published the study. For example, if the study was published by the company selling the product, it is likely a scam.
Avoid products that guarantee pregnancy.If you see a product that advertises a 100% guaranteed pregnancy, it is most likely a fertility scam. Even the best fertility physicians and clinics in the world cannot provide a guarantee that their patients will become pregnant. There are so many factors that can lead to infertility, and in some instances it is just not possible for a woman to get pregnant. As a result, you should never trust a product that comes with a money back guarantee on fertility treatments.
- Typically, these scams work because people will purchase the products and then forget or not bother to claim the refund.
Research all endorsements.Some fertility treatments will claim to be endorsed by a physician. In order to ensure that this endorsement is meaningful, you can conduct your own research. For instance, find out who the doctor is that has endorsed the product and see if they are a legitimate physician. You can also call the doctor listed and verify that they have actually endorsed this product. If the endorsements are fake then it is likely a fertility scam.
- Another way to avoid a scam is to seek out previous patients and ask them about their experiences using this treatment or clinic. Getting a first hand account can also help you avoid scams.
Understand that there is no cheap fix.Fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, are not cheap. As a result, many people will look to find cheaper alternatives. These alternatives can often be fertility scams. For instance, a book or supplement that is sold to help cure infertility is likely just a scam to make money off of individuals who are looking for a cheap fix. Be wary of all cost-saving alternatives.
Determining if a Fertility Clinic is Reputable
Check the success rate of the fertility clinic.One way to determine if a fertility clinic is reputable is to look into their success rates. Most legitimate fertility clinics will post their success rates on their website. The success rates should be clearly broken down by age and number of embryos transferred. If you cannot easily find the success rates, or they are not provided upon request, then you should look for another fertility clinic.
- The success rates themselves can, at times, be misleading. For instance, some clinics will not take on “hard” patients while others will. This means that success rates can be deceiving.
- As a general rule, if the success rates are not provided the clinic should be avoided.
Look into their treatment options.If IVF is the only type of treatment offered at the clinic, this is a red flag. IVF is the most expensive form of fertility treatment and is not always necessary. For instance, some people may just need advice on properly timed intercourse. If a clinic focuses solely on IVF treatment than they are likely more interested in making money than helping couples with fertility issues.
Make sure that the clinic is certified.Depending on where you live there will be different requirements and certifications necessary to operate a fertility clinic. Make sure that the clinic you use is properly certified. For instance, to obtain certification in the United States a physician must complete four years of training and two years of clinical practice. Additional training is required to gain special certification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Seeking Advice from Professionals
Ask your doctor to refer you to a reputable fertility clinic.When looking to find a reputable fertility clinic in your area, you should start by talking with your family doctor. Ask your doctor to refer you to a clinic with a known success rate. For instance, you could say “do you know of any other patients who have had successful results at this clinic?” By receiving a referral from your doctor, you are likely avoiding non-reputable clinics or scams.
- Even after receiving a recommendation, you should still do some research into the clinic before visiting.
Arrange for an egg donor or surrogacy through a fertility clinic.Do not purchase an egg or sperm donation or surrogate on a personal ad website. Many personal ad websites, such as Craigslist or Kijiji, will include people selling eggs or sperm to couples looking to get pregnant. In some instances people will even advertise surrogacy on these sites. If you are not using someone you know as a donor or surrogate then you should always use people vetted by a fertility clinic.
- Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
- Seek referrals from trusted friends and family.
- Do not purchase leftover fertility treatments from a third party. You have no way of telling what time of medication you will receive.
- Do not purchase fertility medications online that do not require a prescription.
Video: How Not to Get Ripped Off by Fertility Clinics
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