IVF clinics have been warned against “trading on hope” after the fertility watchdog said older women were being exploited.
Sally Cheshire, chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), told the Telegraph some private clinics were using “selective success rates” to target older women.
New figures published by the newspaper show that the number of women undergoing fertility treatment has doubled since 2004, to 10,835 cases in 2017.
Mrs Cheshire told the newspaper she had been offered IVF treatments by clinic staff who were not aware of her role when she visited a fertility show in Manchester.
She said: “We now see things like ‘guaranteed baby or your money back’.
“Some of the private sector clinics use very selective success rates in their sales tactics, which we are also trying to stop.
“Because they need to be honest about their results by age group, by category of patient – all of which is available on our website.”
She said she wanted clinics to be honest about success rates, adding: “What the clinics shouldn’t be doing is trading on that hope. That hope and vulnerability.
“They should be honest and transparent about a woman or a couple’s chances.”