There has been a lot of press recently regarding whether or not the NHS should fund IVF.
Many CCGs have cut all funding and all but 3 of those that do provide IVF do not provide the recommended 3 cycles.
Funded IVF has become dependant on postcode. The ability to access IVF is now wealth based, not need based.
Ive been following articles regarding this subject on facebook. Reading the comments has either made my blood boil or made me weep…
‘Infertility isnt life threatening’. No, but the side effects (depression being a big one) are.
‘Infertility isnt an illness.’ Yes it is. Something doesnt work that should meaning a baby cannot be made the traditional way.
‘Having a child is a choice’. Nope. I NEEDED to be a Mummy. I NEEDED a biological child.
‘IVF shouldnt be funded as fostering/adoption is a better alternative.’ No. Simply not true. As above, for some, if not most, having a biological child isnt just a want, its a need.
‘If you cant afford IVF you shouldnt have children. Plain and simple’. By that logic there should be no child benefit, no child/working tax credits. If you lose your job your child should be taken away and given to a family who can afford them. In fact, unless you earn £X amount you shouldnt be allowed to concieve.
The majority of these arguments have been argued by couples able to concieve by the way.
Many of the arguments against funding revolve around it not being a medical need…tummy tucks, boob jobs, lipo, all provided on the NHS due to the mental health impact of not having these surgeries on a patient.
How is IVF different? A couple are not awarded funding willy nilly. There are so many hoops. Length of time trying, length of time living together, years of investigations, years of other treatments, smoker status, BMI. Its not an easy option.
I totally agree that once you have a living child, the funding stops. However if that child is from a previous relationship i do think 1 cycle of IVF should be funded. At the moment, people are being punished for having step children, which doesnt allay the NEED for a biological child.
The other problem people have is, IVF doesnt guarantee a couple a child. Hate to break this to you, but nor does the tradtional method. Otherwise every time a couple had unprotected sex during ovulation, a woman would be pregnant.
There does need to be a national standard on how much a CCG is charged per cycle of IVF. That would help enormously as some areas are charged 3 times more than others. However, that issue should affect the patient. Ever.
The widespread cutting of funding means thousands of couples are left without any options. I was lucky. I was awarded 2 cycles. Used 1 and then borrowed money to go abroad, the rest of my IVF was funded by inheritance. I opted out of my second cycle to access better treatment abroad. That was my choice. Choice being the key word. No funding means no choice.
Alcoholics, smokers and over eaters all have a choice. And whichever choice they make, the NHS is there to help. So why are infertile couples any different?
Love, Little Miss PMA xxx