IVF is offered on the NHS as a last resort for many couples trying for a baby. But some areas have became under threat.
The process of IVF involves a woman’s egg being fertilized outside her body and then put back inside the womb a short time after to grow into a baby.
The average cost of treatment in the UK can range between £4000 and £8000 per IVF treatment cycle including consultations and prescription charges.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have stated that if a woman is under 40, who have not become pregnant after two years of trying, should be offered three full cycles of IVF.
But both Bristol and south Gloucestershire have proposed that they want to reduce the age women to between 30 and 35.
Following four areas including Croydon, Basildon and Brentwood who now refuse to fund IVF treatment, while another 125 fund just one.
Another example, London borough of Camden covers three whole cycles of IVF, although Croydon no longer has funds for treatment at all.
A spokesperson from the Department of Health said:
“Fertility problems can have a serious and lasting impact on families and the NHS should provide access to services, including IVF, for all patients that meet the criteria set out by independent experts at NICE.”
A spokesperson for the three CCGs told The Independent:
“We know how hard it can be for couples who are struggling to conceive and will continue to offer fertility treatment to hundreds of people every year.
“Clinical evidence shows that treatment between the ages of 30-35 offers the highest possible chance of success.”
It’s been estimated that 3.5 million (one in six couples) are affected by fertility issues within the UK alone.
IVF is a last resort for many couples trying for a baby. It’s a painful experience, with daily injections and medication. Many woman have endured three rounds of IVF, still unable to conceive. This isn’t something that should be stopped.
This only applies to England, as uniform policies apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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