We’ve put together the following guide to help individuals understand how best to access fertility treatment on the NHS.
IVF is only offered on the NHS if certain criteria, set by The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Individual NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will, however, make the final decision about who can access fertility treatment on the NHS in the areas that they cover.
Funding in England has decreased over the last 5 years – while funding in Scotland and Wales has increased.
The NHS outlines the following criteria that must be met prior to offering NHS-funded IVF treatment:
Women under the age of 40 should be offered 3 cycles of IVF treatment if:
If you turn 40 during treatment, the current cycle will be completed, but further cycles won’t be offered.
If tests show IVF is the only treatment likely to help you get pregnant, you should be referred straight away.
Women aged 40 to 42 should be offered 1 cycle of IVF on the NHS if all of the following criteria are met:
Again, if tests show IVF is the only treatment likely to help you get pregnant, you should be referred straight away.
NHS trusts across England and Wales are working to provide the same levels of service but the provision of IVF treatment varies across the country, and often depends on local CCG policies.
CCGs may have additional criteria you need to meet before you can have IVF on the NHS, such as:
Although NICE recommend that 3 cycles of IVF should be offered on the NHS, some CCGs only offer 1 cycle, or only offer NHS-funded IVF in exceptional circumstances.
The NHS generally only funds fertility treatment for couples and not for single women. Wales offers some treatment for single women, but the individual CCGs set their own criteria across England.
Egg freezing is also not normally available on the NHS unless you are having medical treatment which could affect your fertility (for example, treatment for cancer).
Again, this is decided by the individual CCGs who you should contact in the first instance.
We’ve partnered with CP Nursing to support your fertility journey on the NHS
CP Nurses are fully qualified, registered and regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). They provide our patients with professional, independent, practical advice and emotional support that is confidential, to help them cope with their experience of their fertility journey.
CP Nurses have extensive clinical knowledge and experience and are equipped to help patients navigate the NHS fertility provision.
With direct access to the nursing team, patients can expect personalised, holistic care. CP Nurses strive to develop a ‘therapeutic’ relationship with patients, with the primary goal of empowering them to make informed decisions in their fertility health and wellbeing journey.
In partnership with Fertifa, they can:
Speak to us today to find out more.
The NHS website provides contact details of every CCG.
You can find out what each CCG offers by clicking the link below.
Read more about their campaign to increase NHS funding allocated to fertiltiy services.
For over 20 years, Fertility Fairness have been campaigning for equal access to a full range of appropriate NHS investigations and treatments for infertility.