The HFEA or Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority have a traffic-light rated list of add-ons for treatments with limited evidence for increasing the chances of having a baby. They have examined whether the treatments are non-essential, if they are being charged for, whether there is evidence demonstrating the safety of the procedure, the likelihood of the treatment producing the desired outcome compared to standard fertility techniques and whether there is a lack of standardised procedure between other labs and limited implementation of the treatment in other sites.

For some treatment add-ons the evidence does not sufficiently demonstrate their efficacy at improving the changes of having a baby for most fertility clients. In general, optional add-ons claim to improve live birth rate and usually involve additional costs on top of routine fertility cycles. HFEA are keen to highlight that for most people, routine cycles of proven fertility treatments are effective in themselves without a need for add-ons. The HFEA endeavours to publish clear and reliable information about some of these treatments using a traffic-light rated system to facilitate understanding of the scientific evidence. Their website has just been updated and you can read the details on the following link. It is important to remember that your clinic should provide you with the evidence of effectiveness of any treatment they offer you and remember for most patients, having a routine cycle of proven fertility treatment is effective without using any treatment add-ons.

(c) PCOS Vitality

Not medical advice.



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Cervical cancer is among the most common types of cancer. It develops from persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Research has shown that participants who self-sampled were twice as likely to accept HPV screening and even more so if the kits were sent directly to their homes rather than on-demand. So there is strong evidence suggesting HPV self-sampling will increase cervical cancer screening uptake compared to standard care [1]

This week NHS England announced that more than 31,000 women/people with a cervix will be offered kits to carry out self-sampling at home in a trial. Swab tests will be posted to the women/people or given out by a GP. The home swab is a simple way to do the test themselves, rather than have one done for them by a general practice nurse. Self-sampling involves taking a swab sample from the vagina. This tests for HPV virus that causes almost all cervical cancers[2]

This is an important new way to make screening easier for thousands. There are several reasons for non-attendance at screening appointments with the added concerns about COVID. The trial, called YouScreen, is being run by NHS England, Public Health England and King’s College London. Once complete, women/people can post their completed swab directly to the NHS Cervical Screening Programme’s London laboratory. Results will be sent back in the post and to their GP surgeries. If the home test detects HPV, women/people will be invited to attend their GP practice for a standard cervical screening test as a follow-up. The simple and convenient swab test means it can be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home. As well as those who are 15 months overdue a check, women/people who attend a GP appointment for another reason and are at least six months overdue a test will also be offered a home kit. In total, 19,000 women/people will be posted a kit and 12,000 will be given one by their GP, with research showing that 99% of women/people are able to carry out a self-swab effectively.[2]

The easy to follow video to carrying out the self-sampling at home has been designed to assist with the launch of the kits which are being mailed directly to women and people with a cervix in the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Islington, Newham and Tower Hamlets who are overdue their cervical screening by 15 months [3]


[1] WHO | Self-sampling for human papillomavirus testing, WHO. (2019). (accessed February 25, 2021).

[2] Cancer Prevention Trials Unit, (n.d.). (accessed February 25, 2021).

[3] YouScreen instructions video - YouTube, (n.d.). (accessed February 25, 2021).

© PCOS Vitality 2021

Not medical advice. For medical advice please consult your doctor. Do not delay seeking medical advice due to information provided on this webpage. For general information only.

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  • PCOS Vitality (c)

Several mental health conditions have been associated with PCOS including anxiety and depression. These factors can have a negative impact on our quality of life. Studies suggest that women & people with PCOS report higher levels of depression than controls but not significant sexual dysfunction contrary to early research. Psychological health is just as important as physical health and it is important to seek help early if you do experience any problems.

Considering this link between Mental Health conditions & PCOS, we have created a Mental Health Glossary & Resources leaflet which can easily be downloaded from our website… simply go to the main menu and select it from the drop-down menu.

You can also join our Facebook Peer Support Group by following the link here

Whatever you need help with we are always happy to help in whatever way we can. Rest assured you are never alone!

© PCOS Vitality 2021

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