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New Fertility Guidelines published
The NICE guidelines have been updated for Fertility, the new guidelines have attracted a lot of press attention especially as it has now included women over the age of 40 into the recommendations. In addition to this couples will qualify for IVF sooner than the previously published guidelines.
We have looked at the highlights of the new NHS guidance published by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
1. Investigations after just one year of trying to conceive, sooner if you are 36 or over.
2. Treatment after two years, previously it was set at three years.
3. IVF should be offered to 40-42 year olds as long as they have a reasonable ovarian reserve
4. One embryo should be replaced in all patients under 37yrs and two embryos in older patients and younger patients within their subsequent cycles where top quality embryos are not present.
At the Herts and Essex Fertility Centre we welcome the new guidelines as it opens access to treatment to more couples and possibly with access sooner than they previously had. It is right to give increased access to couples where the woman is 40-42 yrs old as these patients are constantly improving in success.
However we are very much aware that these are just guidelines which have been published. We have been very lucky in the East of England as the Strategic Health Authority for the East of England was very generous and implemented the last guidance fully with a very generous provision for all counties within the region. As from April 2013 the funding decisions move from Primary Care Trusts to GP’s through the new clinical commissioning Groups and we can only hope that the level of funding remains, but the burden on an already tight budget may affect the continuation of the local level of the provision.
Infertility Network UK supports these new guidelines and their website has some very useful information including a national map of current NHS provision.