Smokers should not be entitled to free infertility treatment on the NHS, according to the majority of IVF experts.
A survey conducted to mark the 30th birthday of the first test tube baby Louise Brown found that more than half of the 200 experts thought that lifestyle factors such as smoking should be taken into account when deciding whether patients should receive IVF.
Only 29 per cent thought that access to IVF should be offered regardless of lifestyle.
The survey was carried out by the British Fertility Society, the Science Media Centre and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, and it also revealed that 85 per cent of fertility experts want more clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new IVF techniques.
Dr Mark Hamilton, chair of the British Fertility Society, commented: "Obviously people who are desperate to have a child will want to pursue every avenue possible but this survey shows that experts themselves are keen not to exploit this vulnerability and want to ensure that we have the same standards of evidence-based clinical practice as we have with other routine medical treatments."
Clare Brown, chief executive of Infertility Network UK, said that new treatments can be "confusing" for patients.
"There needs to be more clinical trials to establish whether or not these interventions are of benefit," she claimed.
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Infertility treatment news : 28/07/2008