This is a good question with a complicated answer. The short answer is that whether the NHS will fund your IVF depends on the local eligibility criteria.
You may have heard the term “postcode lottery” when it comes to accessing IVF in the UK, as the eligibility criteria depends on where you live. Scotland and Northern Ireland make their own decisions regarding who is eligible for NHS-funded fertility treatment, whilst in England and Wales, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out guidelines for individual NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) who then set the criteria for their local catchment area.
Some CCGs have additional criteria such as not already having any children, even if they are not from your current relationship, do not live with you and/or are grown up. Some CCGs may fund your treatment if one partner of a couple has no children.
If you are looking into whether you might be eligible for NHS funding, we recommend asking your GP or contacting your local CCG to check the criteria for your area.
Gynii Me Tip: Click here to visit our article on NHS funding criteria https://www.gyniime.co.uk/learn/do-i-meet-nhs-fertility-funding-criteria/
You can also find out more about NHS-funded IVF treatment here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ivf/availability/ and the latest NICE guidelines here https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg156/chapter/Recommendations#access-criteria-for-ivf
Even if you can’t get NHS-funded IVF treatment, you can still receive treatment privately. It is important to remember that private clinics can charge whatever they like and set their own price for treatment. So, make sure to do some research and compare prices (and the small print as to what is actually included in those prices) when deciding if private treatment is right for you.
Patients can also check and compare private fertility clinics and prices with Gynii Search:
If you need further help and advice, you can also get in touch with Gynii Me at firstname.lastname@example.org.