Some supplements on the market falsely claim to help cure infertility and other reproductive health issues, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.
In a news release, the FDA said most of the drugs in question are unapproved and sold online. Many are falsely labeled as “dietary supplements.” Officials say the claims presented on the supplements could prevent consumers from seeking out treatments that are actually effective.
"It is important to know that these products are not based on proven scientific information, and they have not been reviewed for safety and efficacy," the agency said.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it joined the FDA in sending warning letters to five companies for illegally selling dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent infertility and other reproductive health disorders. The warning letters were sent to: LeRoche Benicoeur/ConceiveEasy; EU Natural Inc.; Fertility Nutraceuticals LLC; SAL NATURE LLC/FertilHerb; and NS Products, Inc.
"These purported fertility aids seek to profit off of the vulnerability and frustration many may feel as they face difficulties in getting pregnant," the FDA said. "Relying on ineffective, unproven products can be a waste of time and money, and can possibly result in illness or serious injury."
Fake consumer testimonials
The FDA said claims that sound too good to be true probably are. False claims on some of the products include: "One product does it all" or "Miracle cure" or "scientific breakthrough" or "cure all." Some sellers even include fake consumer testimonials. Here are a few examples:
"You will get pregnant very fast and give birth to healthy children regardless of … how severe or chronic your infertility disorder."
" … a perfect natural alternative to infertility drugs or invasive treatments."
"best fertility supplements to boost your chance of pregnancy or improve your IVF success rate."
"… treat infertility… effectiveness in preventing recurrent miscarriages during early stage pregnancy."
The FDA advises consumers to talk to their doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider before deciding to purchase or use any dietary supplement or drug. Effective, science-based infertility treatments -- such as FDA-approved drugs or assisted reproductive technology -- are available to those struggling to get or stay pregnant.
"Women and families who face fertility issues deserve the best that science has to offer,” said Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC is proud to work with the FDA to ensure that when companies make claims about fertility treatments and cures, those claims are backed by solid scientific evidence.”