For couples struggling to conceive after several try, IVF May seem the only option. No treatment plan is easy and to decide to take the leap is to choose to hope and to dream that one will become a parent at the end. To get there, first couples have to meet several rigorous health checks.
The national institute for health care makes recommendation as to who should get funding on the NHS.
Women under 40
NICE recommends 3 IVFs cycle to these group of women on the NHS. Provided
- They have been trying to have regular unprotected sex for 2 years.
- And they’ve not been able to get pregnant after 12 cycles of artificial insemination
women who are 40 – 42 are given 1 cycle of IVF in the NHS.
Provided that they have been
- Trying to conceive for 2 years
- have not been able to get pregnant after 12 cycles of artificial insemination.
- They have never had IVF before and
- Test do not indicate low levels of ovaries or low in quality.
The provision of IVF treatment varies across the country. Although NHS trust across the country are working to provide the same service this often depends on the local CCG. (Clinical commission group).
The CCG may have additional criteria before you can have IVF on the NHS, such as:
- Not having any children already, from both your current and any previous relationships
- Being a healthy weight
- A non smoker.
- falling into a certain age range (for example, some CCGs only fund treatment for women under 35)
- In some cases, only 1 cycle of IVF may be routinely offered, instead of the 3 recommended by NICE
- (from NHS UK).
The process of being accepted and rejected can be daunting. Having to be rejected based on age is like being punished for not trying early.
The decision for most older women is not that easy, they may not have met the right guy early enough and for those who did they might just fall outside of the recommended age by a year. Some CCG offers treatment to those below 35.
The over 35s may have secondary infertility. This leaves the only option available which is to go the private route.
Regardless, the NHS is trying to help first timers and cases which are not as complicated. This surely is a good thing, but no consolation to those who are unable to have funded for their treatment.
Weight check is important as Research have show that a healthy weight is beneficial in many ways.
My advice to anyone seeking IVF on the NHS is this:
Ask your GP or contact your local CCG to find out what the criteria for NHS-funded IVF treatment are in your area.
Private option is your only choice If you do not meet the funding criteria, you can contact the clinics directly or get a referral from your GP.
Going private comes at a huge cost with average cost at £5,000 or more per cycle.
There maybe additional cost of consultation fees, blood test and other adds on..
Find out exactly what is included in the cost before embarking on treatment.
Finally have faith in your body, be positive and keep hope alive.
Your Partner in Hope.
NHS choice, HFEA (Human Fertility and Embryology Authority.