Of couples trying for a baby, 84% will conceive naturally within the first year, others after a little more time, but the one in seven who continue to have problems are increasingly at the mercy of unproven “treatments” that promise to boost fertility for a hefty price tag.This week, intravenous wellness company Get A Drip was forced to withdraw a ￡250 “fertility boost” after the British Pregnancy Advisory Service highlighted the product’s lack of proven benefits. It accused the company of “causing real damage to women’s emotional wellbeing”.The UK fertility industry is estimated to be worth more than ￡320m, and is growing all the time. An expensive vitamin drip (that contains ingredients that are all available – and more easily absorbed – in a balanced diet) is just the tip of the commercial fertility iceberg.The age at which men and women have their first child keeps rising, and the older they are, the less fertile. As the demand for fertility assistance grows, the chances of accessing NHS treatments diminish due to long waiting lists, the rationing of treatment and ever-narrowing eligibility criteria.The intense pressure to boost chances of conceiving naturally or make the most of a single shot at NHS treatment provides many opportunities for companies to exploit. In addition to北京快三形态走势图一定牛 a range of diet supplements and alternative therapies, private fertility clinics have been accused of profiting from unproven “add-on” treatments that can increase by thousands of pounds an already hefty bill for assisted conception.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) found that 74% of private patients had bought add-on treatments. Its chair, Sally Cheshire, says: “The ‘fertility drip’ is just one more item on the list of myths that claim to increase or support fertility, targeting individuals who are often already going through emotional turmoil in their quest to conceive.”The HFEA is working with the British Fertility Society to provide guidance to fertility clinics on how unproven treatments should be ethically introduced and it already offers a traffic-light system that rates add-on therapies by efficacy. Yet many of these commercial enterprises fall outside any hope of regulation.Some alternative treatments (such as acupuncture) have proven benefits for some – and can boost wellbeing and a sense of control at a stressful time. Sadly, desperation – especially in such an emotive area – will always be met with exploitation as well as support. For many couples, cheap lifestyle and diet changes, time, medical support where necessary and a more equal offer of NHS treatments will be far more effective than expensive treatments – whether they are dispensed in a shopping centre or by a white-coated professional in a clinic.