03.01.18

The NHS IVF Postcode Lottery

When seeking IVF treatment through the NHS you could very well find yourself a victim of the ‘postcode lottery’. Find out what can you do to overcome this.

The NHS IVF Postcode Lottery
The World Health Organisation officially classifies infertility as a ‘disease’, a category that many who have been through the heartbreak of infertility will agree with. However, in the UK, access to NHS funded treatment for those suffering from infertility is both patchy and, in some cases, completely absent. 

When seeking IVF treatment through the NHS you could very well find yourself a victim of the ‘postcode lottery’. This is caused by the fact that the decision on whether to fund IVF treatment falls entirely to individual Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs), of which there are currently 207 in the UK. NICE guidelines recommend that those suffering from infertility should be offered at least 3 cycles of IVF, yet currently only 12% of CCGs offer 3 cycles, and a growing number have completely suspended all funding for NHS IVF. The fundamental cause of this is IVF costs. Faced with NHS funding pressure, many CCGs are cutting IVF funding and as a result couples may be denied treatment simply by virtue of where they live.

In addition, even if your CCG does offer funding, there are often stringent criteria that all those applying must meet. You can be denied funding if you or your partner already have a child, if you haven’t been trying for over 2 years, if you don’t meet the age limitations, or if you are a single woman looking to fall pregnant alone.

This means that many women and couples must turn to the private IVF industry, which can be daunting. There are many clinics in the UK that offer a range of different approaches and treatment types – but what most have in common is that costs can quickly spiral up to £10,000 plus for one cycle of IVF. For many women and couples this cost can simply mean that IVF isn’t a feasible option.

This is where we are working to make a difference. We have brought a transformative new method of IVF treatment to the UK, often called ‘shoebox IVF’, which utilises Simplified Culture System technology and enables us to vastly reduce the cost of one cycle of IVF. The SCS technology reduces lab costs and is coupled with a simplified patient pathway, where you only have meetings you really need and so save time and money visiting the clinic, and reduced medical protocols.

At other IVF clinics, the initial quoted cost can quickly inflate, thanks to additional tests and treatments added on throughout the process. At abc ivf you can trust that our pricing is completely transparent, without compromising on quality of treatment. Our complete IVF package costs £2,500, and includes absolutely everything you will need. All unnecessary blood tests and medication are removed, and you can be sure that there will be absolutely no expensive and unexpected “add-ons”.

No one should be denied the chance to have a baby simply because of cost, and our aim is to help as many of those as possible that may have lost out due to the ‘postcode lottery’.

More from

What to do when you think you might be infertile
What to do when you think you might be infertile

We’ve probably all heard the age-old quip that “trying to get pregnant is the fun part”, but for anyone who thinks they might be infertile, that’s sadly not always the case, as my husband and I found out on the journey to our son.

10 things Chrissy Teigen taught society about IVF
10 things Chrissy Teigen taught society about IVF

She’s a meme, a supermodel, a foodie and a hilariously candid breath of fresh air; she trolls politicians on Twitter; pulls pranks on her superstar husband and talks openly about everything from adult diapers to feminism; she’s one half of Instagram’s favourite couple AND she’s an IVF warrior.

Questions to ask a private fertility clinic
Questions to ask a private fertility clinic

During our first cycle of IVF, my husband and I were incredibly naïve. We didn’t realise that we were actually allowed to ask questions, raise concerns, or that we’d need to become our own advocates. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of seven questions to ask a private fertility clinic; questions I wish we’d asked before embarking upon our treatment.

Book your appointment

Book your appointment

The first step to starting treatment with us is to book an Initial Consultation & Scan

Book appointment
Speak to <br/>our team

Speak to
our team

Weekdays 8am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Call 0330 058 0800