Recreational drip company accused of exploitation for offering ‘fertility’ treatment

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Recreational drip company accused of exploitation for offering 'fertility' treatment



Drip yourself skinny, happy and forever young. (Picture: Thomas Dolphin)Get A Drip, a company offering drips similar to those seen in hospital, has received criticism for ‘preying on women’s desperation’ by offering ‘unproven’ fertility help.
Several of the drip options (such as ‘slim drip’) have previously raised questions but the so-called ‘fertility’ drip has been roundly condemned.
The drips start at £75 and reach £850.
The company offers drips for hydration and can be purchased online or at shopping centres like Boxpark in east London or Westfield in Stratford or Shepherds Bush.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) criticised the company saying that the products were ‘unproven’.
We asked them whether there is any chance that a drip could help a woman who was trying to conceive:
‘The [government’s independent regulator] HFEA’s new guidance cautions IVF clinics about the sale of clinically unproven “add ons” to fertility treatment,’ a spokesperson told Metro.co.uk.
‘Unfortunately, it appears that unscrupulous practices designed to exploit vulnerable women have moved from clinics to our high street, with very little oversight or scrutiny.
‘It is unclear how these “treatments” are being regulated, if at all.
‘Women who are struggling to conceive often feel a huge amount of guilt, and NHS-funded fertility treatments are becoming increasingly difficult to access.
‘As a result, women are particularly vulnerable to snakeoil salesmen who seem to promise a quick fix at an extortionate cost’
BPAS was also clear about the lack of evidence of any clinical claims made by treatments like these:
‘There is no evidence that an IV drip of any combination of vitamins can improve a woman’s fertility,’ a spokesperson told us.
‘The fact that the advertising does not list any actual benefits for women’s reproductive health suggests Get A Drip know that there are none.
‘In promising hope to women at a very desperate time, we are concerned that aside from providing no real benefit, these drips may be causing real damage to women’s emotional wellbeing.
‘If Westfield and Boxpark care about their customers, they would not allow these practices to take place on their properties.’

Hi @getadrip can you please explain the clinically proven benefits of your £250 “Fertility Drip” at @westfieldlondon? Or is this just an attempt to prey on women’s desperation with the kind of unproven “add-ons” the @HFEA has cautioned IVF clinics against? Via @thomasdolphin pic.twitter.com/sKkz0e2d4y
— bpas (@bpas1968) July 1, 2019

Anaesthetist Thomas Dolphin, who took the picture, commented on the scheme, saying: ‘For the small proportion of the population whose gut can’t absorb vitamins, this might be useful but is already available on the NHS.
‘For everyone else, few people are actually vitamin-deficient these days and for those who are, dietary improvements are better than IV drips.
‘You have a gut precisely for the absorption of nutrients and water. Resorting to using your veins for very short term hydration (most of it will be passed out as urine by the kidneys very soon after the bag finishes anyway) is unnecessary and pointless.’
 

(Picture: Metro.co.uk screenshot)The drip has a long list of ingredients, but the BPAS states, there is no proven correlation between these vitamins and ‘fertility’.
The cocktail of vitamins is priced at £250. The basic ‘hydration’ drip starts at £75.
Other drips on offer are ‘mood booster’ (£300), ‘beauty’ (£175), and ‘limitless’ (£450-850).
We reached out to Get a Drip for comment and they told us: ‘A thorough medical consultation is completed before anyone can undergo a drip, this includes medical history, pulse check, blood pressure reading and temperature check.
‘We do not diagnose or treat medical conditions, our products are nutritional supplements which aim to increase overall wellness.
‘Get A Drip has two GMC (General Medical Council) registered doctors, seven NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) registered nurses, two registered paramedics, two qualified nutritionists and a Chief Medical Officer.
‘Every precaution is taken to ensure our customers have a the best experience in a safe environment with medical professionals.’
We also go in touch with Boxpark and Westfield to talk to them about hosting the franchise.
They did not return comment before time of publication. If any of them come back to us we will let you know.
If you are struggling with fertility issues, authorities recommended only accepting medical treatments from reputable and regulated professionals.
Fertility struggles are painful, and it’s easy to understand why you might be tempted to spend £200 on a drip, but as the BPAS says, there is no evidence to suggest that it will work.
If you are having fertility issues please make an appointment with your GP before spending any money.
The NHS says: ‘It’s a good idea to see your GP if you haven’t conceived after a year of trying. Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who’s already aware they may have fertility problems, should see their GP sooner.’
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