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’.
The situation we are currently in is a cause of concern for everyone, but particularly those who have had to have their fertility treatments put on hold. If you are in this situation and found that to access the things that would normally help you cope is restricted, practicing positive thinking and mindfulness could help with managing any concerns or stress you are currently dealing with.
I know that this is a frustrating time for our patients who have been waiting to start treatment, but we are here to support you as much as possible during this time. Here are a few suggestions that you can do during lockdown so that you are as prepared as possible for when you begin your treatment.
Trying for a baby can be a hugely emotional journey, especially if you are struggling to fall pregnant as quickly as you had hoped. However, there are a number of lifestyle choices you can make to positively impact your fertility.