Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ovulex - clever marketing hype

One of the most frequent question patients ask me is – Should I be taking Ovulex ?
Ovulex is a treatment for infertility, which has been very cleverly marketed.
I quote verbatim from their website - " Ovulex™ will start to naturally increase your ovulation cycle. This increases the chances of one of your eggs being fertilized. Ovulex™ will start to relax your uterus and strengthen its walls to help avert miscarriage. Ovulex™ will help strengthen your immune system and reduce your reaction to stress. This results in a more natural menstrual cycle and creates a more stable and nurturing environment for your baby to develop in. Of all the women who have tried Ovulex™, we cannot tell you how many have called and written in with their stories of happiness and success. In fact, Ovulex™ has a 92.7% success rate. That's a cold hard fact!
Ovulex™ is like “fertilizer” for the female body. It gives you everything you need to be in perfect nutritional and hormonal balance. Just like the soil, your body needs to be in perfect harmony to germinate a seed. Not only does Ovulex™ create the perfect conditions, but it also aids in lengthening your ovulation cycle. Just like the earth needs sun and rain to germinate a seed, your body can utilize this extended opportunity for maximizing the success of conception. "
While this is all very poetic, if you look at it critically, you realise that these are all empty words which which mean nothing !
"Strengthen the uterus wall ?" How does one do this ? Is it like cement for a brick wall ?
" Balance the body ?" Are bodies imbalanced that they need to be "rebalanced" ? I have heard of people being mentally imbalanced, but I can't imagine a body which is not in perfect balance. Human physiology will always restore homeostasis !
" Naturally increase your ovulation cycle." What does this mean ? Does it improve ovulation ? How ? For everyone ? How will this help someone who's already ovulating ?
" 92.7% success rate". How did they come up with this figure ? Based on how many women ? What were their ages ? Their medical diagnosis ? How long did they take Ovulex for ? Were they taking other treatment too at the same time ?
"Fertiliser for the body". What does that mean ? Does it really mean anything at all ?
While I feel the product is useless ( it meets most of the criteria listed in
Quackwatch, I must admire their clever marketing.
They have :
1.Coined a smart name !
2.Used attractive baby pictures to sell their product
3.Cleverly displayed "testimonials"
4.Provided affordable pricing , so desperate patients are willing to "give it a shot" - what do I have to lose ?
5. Provided a money-back guarantee, so the customer feels safe
Since Ovulex is marketed as a healthcare supplement , no FDA rules apply, which means they are at liberty to say pretty much what they want to !
I dislike this , because they are preying on the desperation of infertile women
Just because the right treatment is expensive, this does not mean you should take the wrong treatment !
A certain number of women who take Ovulex will get pregnant, no matter what – and often this is inspite of the Ovulex, not because of it ! However, they tend to give the drug all the credit ( post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a common logical fallacy !). This offers powerful word of mouth publicity , but there's no way of verifying the authenticity of this.
Remember that anything which has good effects can have bad effects – it’s just the way we choose to label the effects ! Thus, the "side effect " of increased penile blood flow observed with Viagra led to a multi-billion dollar best seller !
Ovulex is priced just right . The costs are minimal, and because it's sold at a huge markup , the producer has a huge profit margin - which they use to publicise their product shamelessly.
Patients need to look for what is NOT there . The fact that there are no controlled clinical trials done by an independent doctor, and published in a reputed medical journal which prove the efficacy of Ovulex is a major black mark - as Sherlock Holmes pointed out , the fact that the dog did not bark is important !
The bottom line is simple - learn to evaluate critically !

27 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:56 AM

    You may be a Dr. but you are not a childless woman. At lease Ovulex gives families hope.

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    Replies
    1. I used this when I was to.d I had policy's tic ovarian and could not get pregnant. Well I got pregnant..I also got breast cancer at age 39 10 yrs later with zero risk factor!

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    2. It gave me breast cancer at age 39

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  2. False hope is the worst kind of hope. It is cruel; and wastes time, money and energy !

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  3. Anonymous12:41 PM

    I THINK YOUR RIGHT PEOPLE WILL DO ANY THING TO MAKE A PROFIT I THINK YOU SHOULD RESEARCH IT FIRST AND ALSO KEEP IN MIND WHAT WORKS FOR ONE PERSON MAY NOT WORK FOR OTHERS THE PRODUCT IS AVERTISED EVEN I SO WAS CONVINCED I THINK IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A CHILD YOU SHOULD GOD HE IS THE CREATURE OF ALL THINGS

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  4. Sorry doctor I disagree with you.
    I have tried everything by the books. Inseminations, clomid etc.
    You name it my fertility specialist tried it.
    Unfortunately we lost over $10,000 plus in fertility drugs and procedures and end up with nada.
    After six years of putting my body, marriage and mind through these procedures, I stopped seeing the specialist.
    A year later my husband stumbled on the site advertising ovulex, I was skeptic, thought it was a waste but eventually tried it.
    Two months later I was pregnant.
    While I refuse to give Ovulex the glory for my miracle child (he is a gift from God) I cannot deny the fact that it somehow played a role in my conception.
    Amazingly after all infertilty work up the found nothing wrong with me; except I had fibroids that WERE NOT interfering with my ability to conceive.

    No product can guarantee pregnancy even the FDA approved sophisticated methods. I've been there done that No Thanks.
    To all TTC try Ovulex you never It might just work for you.

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  5. Anonymous12:55 AM

    I have begun taking Ovulex and it has regulated my cycle which in and of itself will greatly increase my chances of conceiving. I'm sorry that you believe that nothing God-Given can work as well as your scientifically devised practices. Just the fact that "I am an IVF specialist" is enough to discredit your entire article as biased.

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  6. Anonymous8:34 PM

    I completely understand what they are trying to sell. Balanced body? Maybe they mean your hormones. Since Ive been taking ovulex my hormones are again back to normal. I have had cramping that I assume is from my " uterus strengthening." I also took my firt positive ovulation predictor test in a very long time. and unfortunately since I am not a doctor like you Ovulex is really not that inexpensive for me. My husband and I only make 7 75 an hour. So maybe its cheap to you but not to me. By the way ovulex is also in the process of being approved by the FDA they are changing it to a homeopathic.

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  7. Anonymous5:54 AM

    I just wanted to say that my husband and I tried for two years to have a baby and within six weeks of taking ovulex I was pregnant. I really believe that this product works and my body just felt "different" after I started taking it. But I truly believe that it works and I couldn't be happier that I tried it.

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  8. Anonymous7:50 PM

    I"ve also been taking ovulex. No I'm not pregnant yet but I have definetly seen a defference in my cycle. I used to have to take the day off, with sometime up two 12 pills for cramps. Right now I experience no cramps AT ALL. So pregnant or not I will take it just for the relief I get from periods every month.

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  9. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Dear all;

    First of all, let us understand that all couples are desperate. I have never heard patient education on living without children. True, you miss a lot. However, getting to desperatedness brings more frustration/reluctance to stick to spouse and perhaps broken marriage.

    Golden rule: If it is too good to be true, perhaps it is!!! tHIS IS MEANT FOR ADVERTISED DRUGS. LOT OF GOOD DRUGS ARE PUBLISHED IN JOURNALS ALONG WITH AD. IN THIS INTERNET ERA, ONE NEEDS TO BE SUSPECT NO MATTER WHAT THE THERAPY. Each methodolgy to address fertility is based on some targets in vivo. What matters is the relible clinical data for any pill which should include 1. efficacy 2.good randaomized control where patients take suger pill replacing the active ingredient of the drug 3. Multicenter studies comprising of atleast 1000 patients 4. double blind studies (the analyser wont know who is on the pill/who is not. 5. Full description of the toxicity at normal/high dose. 6. selectivity, specificity and accuracy of the data. If any body follows this protocol, results will definetely tell what it is worth for.

    Also, realistically the probability of conception can not be 100 %, not even 50% since that would imbalance the ecosystem. There are bound to be failures because statistically we are in 29 % conception efficiency vs 80-90% of the drug for other diseases.

    The nature of the beast: it is tough to design such drugs, expensive and low probability of success, still finite probability, better than normal conception attempts.

    problem here is not one dimensional o0f taking some fertility drugs. Some body should minitor so many issues on a daily/weekly basis. Otherwise, it may affect your overall health.

    Side effects: by defining the dosage, timing and corroborative drugs, one can minimize the side effect. However, please donot believe if any drugs say that they are no risk at all. Let us talk benefit/risk ratio.

    Mere testimony from some body is just so diffiucult to accept the authenticity. Neighbor talk is very dangerous in this kind of life problems.

    Creating false hope: is yet another dangerous attempt. How can anybody sells these kinds of drugs that seemingly alter the physiology without spending fortune to conduct clinical trials. It requires, on an average 800 million $$ to bring a drug to the market. why would other blockbuster drug makers have to spend that much? Bottom line: No FDA approval.

    In a counyrt where there is no lability on doctors, drug companies, it is easy to deseign drugs on humans straight away (remember the drugs discovered by Germans during world war II experimenting on jews, resulting in millions of death.

    Again, I am not proposing all drugs are safe or only good drugs come to the market or only good drugs are approved by FDA (e.g Viox).

    Here is the case, where one puts a great faith on doctor. In the absence of so called identifying good doctos, all hell may break loose and back to testmony from neighbours.

    Alright!!jUST DONT STOP WITH ONE OR TWO QUESTIONS. KEEP ASKING MORE. COMPARE WITH ALL OTHER MODALITIES. VERIFY FROM MANY DOCTORS. MAKE A TABLE SO THAT YOU ARE NOT MISSING ANYTHING. THIS WILL BE BIGGEST JOB OF YOUR LIFE, IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL. PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY. STOP WORRYING. RELAX AND THINK THAT IT WORKS. Or think that if it does not work, we still can have a quality life. SOMETIMES, THAT MENTAL MAKE UP MAY ITSELF MAY WORK WITH NO DRUGS. ACQURING KNOWLEDGE, FOCUSSING ON THE PROBLEM ARE THE KEY.

    AT THE END, OUR EXPERIENCE IS SPENDING $ 100, 000 (ALMOST 50 LAKS, 14 YEARS OF INFERTILITY, REGULAR FAILURES ON IVF. ONE ECTOPIC PREGNANCY TO BE ABORTED, TRIALS IN USA AND IN INDIA.

    FINALLY, GOD GIVEN GIFT OF MY "SARASWATI" WITH A DOUBLE INCREMENT OF "lAKSHMI" AFTER 2 YEARS FROM FROZEN EMBRYO.

    THE KEY of success may NOT TOTALLY OF DRUGS, DOCTORS, MONEY, BUT THE PERSISTANCE VARYING ONE PARAMTER AT A TIME AND STRIKING OUT THE FAILURE.

    "KARMANYEVA ADHIKARAHA" AND "NAHI JNENENA SADRUSHAM.

    GOOD LUCK ALL COUPLES.

    ANAMIKA

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Hello to you all. I am sorry to say, Doctor, that you are wrong. To balance my body, is to balance my hormones. I have PCOS, this causes and immence imbalance of my hormones, which causes many different things to go wrong in my body. So far I have been taking Ovulex for over a month, Mycylces are usually from 3 to 6 months in between, but I have now had a regular cycle. I have skin tags caused by my "imbalanced body". Sice taking this, they have started to actually just fall off. I feel better. I can actually tell a difference in my female body. My husband takes ambedoze. I've seen a significant change in an important part of ttc. ((which for his same I won't mention in full)) But Ovulex does work. Even if I don't get pregnant, to actually have a regular cycle every month, with out a birth control pill , which, may I add, may cause canser and blood clot. I'd much rather taked an asian herb mixed pill.

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  11. Anonymous2:26 PM

    I just orderd ovulex and the other for my husband and I have heard good about this but can any one tell me has it workedf for you or does it evan really actually work like they say it does?

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  12. Anonymous12:41 AM

    Ok i understand that Many women have gotten pregnant from Ovulex but has anyone actually had a baby from ovulex. And are the babies healthy normal babies?

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  13. Anonymous9:35 PM

    SORRY Doc, But With How Many Of You Are SCREWING Up Now A Days, I Would TRUST This Without A Second Glimpse At What You Say, Your Stuff Has Been Known To Cause Cancer & Other Life Threatening Problems!
    I DONT TRUST A ONE Of You ANYMORE!
    I Belive You Are ALL Out Just For The Money Now & I DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING You Guys Have To Say Or Practice.
    Tell Me Doc If You Guys Are SOOOO GOOODDDD, Then Why Did I Lose My mom To Cancer At Age 55, When She Had A Yearly Physical & Was ONLY Diagnoised Once It Was TOOOO LATEEEE?
    And Tell Me Doc Why My Friend Whose Dad Has Cancer, Found Out That 6 Months Previous The Cancer Had Been Found, But Put IN Technically Terms To Cover Up It Was Cancer?
    YES! Its TRUE!
    They Have A Law Suit Going Now.
    & Tell Me Doctor Why WHen I Went To The Hospital Over Tooth Pain, The Damn Doctor Wanted To Do An EKG?
    To ALL Who Read This, Do Your Reasearch, Trust Your Instinct & DONT Give Doctors ANY CREDIT For ANYTHING! Because They DONT Care If You Live Or Die!
    I Personally Got SUCH A GREAT! Feeling About This Product After ALL The Research I Have Done On Here & I WIll Definately Try It.
    & By The Way I HAve Been To 3 OB/GYN's (When I Trusted Doctors)& I Went Through Fertility Drugs, NOOOOOO Pregnancy After Trying EVERY Chance, EVERY Ovulation & Now I Find Out That Something I Am ALLREADY HIGH RISK For, Cancer.
    The Pills That I Was ON That Was SUPPOSE To Be SAFEEEEEEEEE, May Be A Leading Factor In me Possiably Being Diagnoised With Cancer In The Future, So In PLAIN WORDS That Doctor INCREASED My Chances Of ALLREADY HIGH RISK Chances Of Getting A Deadly Disease!
    Also My Mom Had Had A Hysterectomy & Now The Word Is Out That ALOT Of The Drugs That These QUACKS Are Providing For Hormonal Therapy Can ALSO Increase Your ODDS Of Getting CANCER!
    SO To Sum This Up, ALL LADIES, PLEASE Be On ALERT, ALWAYS Try To Get A Second Opinion & DONT TRUST The QUACKS!
    Oh & I Will BE Sure To Let You Know When I Become Pregnant!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous3:06 AM

    For those of us who cannot afford the invasive treatments of IUI and IVF etc. Ovulex is a Godsend! For under $80 it gives couples the hope that maybe, just maybe, they will be able to conceive within 3 months. I did a lot of research on Ovulex before taking it (I've been on it for 3 weeks now with no side-effects whatsoever) and I would like to try it out for another two months before rejecting it. $80 in comparison to $20,000 (which is what IVF approxiamtely costs) is a comforting solution for people like me...of which there are many. I agree with some of the comments that people have written about doctors just wanting to make money. Doctors are clueless sometimes, lack sympathy and simply don't care about the individuals so desperately trying to conceive. Perhaps you should do some research on why the general public thinks so poorly of doctors instead of slating a product that may or may not work despite its very clever marketing. Good luck to all of us ttc!!

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  15. Anonymous3:09 AM

    I think the doctor is just trying to make a name for himself out there on the world wide web!

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  16. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some will believe what I'm about to say, and some will not. All I can do is spread the word for those cysters (and sisters) who are in dire need of help from infertility.

    My husband has male factor infertility. I have PCOS. I NEVER have a period on my own (ever!), and was taking Clomid for 4 medically induced cycles with no pregnancy. I started taking Ovulex (starting day 1 and stopping after confirmed ovulation) and fell pregnant on my 4th cycle. I didn't change anything in my lifestyle other than adding Ovulex.

    Also, as mentioned before, my periods do not exist without medicine, but Ovulex gave me VERY regular cycles.

    I am going to order more because my husband and I want another child (our Ovulex daughter is a beautiful, healthy, normal, perfect 16-month-old).

    Good Luck to you all, and trust your instincts.

    Amanda H (my email address has been supplied for anyone who wishes to find out more about our struggles with infertility) amandah@sc.rr.com

    P.S. - Also, after sharing my story with a fellow Cyster (friend), she too had tried for over a year to get pregnant, she tried it and ALSO became pregnant (and carried a beautiful, healthy, baby boy to term) within 4 cycles.

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  17. I forgot to mention, I tried for over a year (temping and charting, progesterone lotions, provera, infertility medicine, etc.) before falling pregnant with Ovulex.

    Amanda H amandah@sc.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dupped Again9:21 AM

    I wonder how many of these so called ANONYMOUS comments are actually made by an Ovulex Rep. Iv'e been on the product for 14 months- Doesn't work any better than multi vitamins

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  19. Jen G9:52 AM

    I don't think it's fair to discredit herbal medicines I feel they play a role in our healthcare as much as any precribed drug.

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  20. Shanay5:04 PM

    Shanay asks Doc...
    Well my hubby and I have been trying to fall pregnant since last year November and since the time of coming off contraceptive I have picked up quite a bit of weight and finally after 3 months of not menstruating at all I went to go and see my Gynae where they explained I had a serious hormonal imbalance, hence me not menstruating where he gave me Provera which let me tell you made me as moody as hell and irritable.

    My question to you though is:
    If you have taken Ovulex, does it by any chance stabilize your hormones and help you to loose the weight gained from hormonal imbalance???

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  21. Anonymous7:07 PM

    how does it works..tell me so simple n realistic

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  22. Anonymous2:07 AM

    I don't know about whether Ovulex works, but I will say that this very doctor claims to answer emails regarding infertility for free, just out of the goodness of his heart, within 48 hours. I emailed him 3 days ago and have heard nothing. It is no wonder then that our faith in the medical profession is shot and we turn to natural, unapproved remedies.
    Hormones can definitely be 'out of balance' - otherwise, why would the standard infertility workup include testing the levels of so many hormones?

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  23. Anonymous9:43 PM

    I just turned 34 and last year I was diagnosed with PCOS. I have not had a natural cycle for 13 years as a teenager I was told by my doctor that I had an irregular cycle and that that would correct it self once I became sexually active but in the mean time I was placed on birth control to regulate my cycle. I got married at the early age of 19 and was not interested in starting a family yet so I remained on the pill. Three years ago my husband and I decided it was time to have a child and stopped taking the pill. My doctors told me that it could take up to a year to get pregnant since I was on the pill for so long so I waited but the strange thing was I would never get a cycle. After the second year I want to a different doctor at that time I was told I had PCOS.

    I have been seen by many doctors and it is just test after test with no results (just more money). I have a friend that was trying to get pregnant for over a year and she has no physical problems but the doctors could not explain why she was not conceiving, she tried Ovulex and within 2 months she was pregnant and her daughter is now 5 months, beautiful and healthy. She had ordered the 6 month supply and had 4 bottles left over and gave them to me. I’ve had them for about 8 months but was skeptical and did not take them. Last month I was getting really down and I noticed them in my medicine cabinet and realized that they will expire in April so I figured let me just try them and see.

    No, I am not pregnant but I just finished my 1st natural cycle in over 13 years. I was on birth control for 14 years do to my irregular cycle and I have been trying to conceive for about 3 years now. I truly believe these pills are working. I will continue to take them and I hope to post again soon to let you all know when I get pregnant...
    Knowing there is hope is a great feeling. Even if I do not get pregnant right away getting my body on track naturally is a nice conciliation prize.

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  24. Anonymous3:46 AM

    To the angry anonymous blogger who posted at 9:35PM. It is hard to take any thing you say seriously because you make doctors seem worse than the devil. Which is just not the case. Most doctors go into their profession because they genuinely care about helping patients. Unfortunately, they do not have the same capabilities as GOD. So not every cancer or disease will be diagnosed the exact second it occurs. Doctors are limited by the tools at hand. Scientists and doctors work very hard doing research to develop new tests and treatments for their patients. And in good faith they CAN NOT recommend any treatment or procedure that has not been proven to be effective by accepted scientific research. Does this mean that things like Ovulex do not work, no. But there have not been any studies to show that it does definitely work. Now, having said all that, I have used Ovulex myself, and it did work. Had been trying to get preg for close to a year than started ovulex and got preg 1 1/2 months later. Was it the Ovulex or was it coincidence? There's just no say to tell for sure right now.

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  25. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Please what's ambedoze & does it work for male infertility, I've had 4 failed ivf treatment, 3 conceivex cycles which did not work, please I need advice on ambedoz & ovulex cos of menstrual cramping. Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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