Fertility :: Access to IVF fertility care on the NHS is a lottery

A British MP Grant Shapps says “Access to IVF on the NHS is a lottery, with different areas adopting different rules”, reported by BBC.

Grant Shapps MP obtained data under the Freedom of Information Act showing inequitable IVF provision across England’s Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Guidelines say all eligible women aged 23-39 should get one free cycle of IVF. But some areas have introduced restrictions such as age limits, with some saying a woman over 35 is too old, with others saying that is too young. Other PCTs, like North Staffordshire, are so cash-strapped they have put a freeze on all forms of fertility treatment.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which eggs (ova) from a woman’s ovary are removed, they are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is returned to the woman’s uterus.

IVF is one of several assisted reproductive techniques (ART) used to help infertile couples to conceive a child. If after one year of having sexual intercourse without the use of birth control a woman is unable to get pregnant, infertility is suspected. Some of the reasons for infertility are damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, hormonal imbalance, or endometriosis in the woman. In the man, low sperm count or poor quality sperm can cause infertility.

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