IVF

The process involves removing eggs from the woman’s ovaries and allowing sperm to fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg is then transferred back into the patient’s uterus in hopes to establish a successful pregnancy.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the mainframe body that decides which treatments are available on the NHS. NICE guidelines state that females aged between 23 and 29 should be offered up to 3 cycles of treatment. However, how your Primary Care Trust operates can often affect the type of treatment that is offered.

Although IVF is partially funded by the NHS, unless you are exempt from paying prescription charges, the payment for fertility drugs can cost between £800 and £1,600 per course of treatment.

However, in some instances, it can cost from £2,000 to £7,000, depending on the clinic. IVF can sometimes come with drawbacks. For example, babies can be born too early and weigh a little less than a baby that was conceived naturally.

This problem may occur more with IVF births, as they are more likely to result in multiple babies, which in turn are at a greater risk of being premature and low in birth weight.

Technically, current law discriminates against same-sex couples wishing to undergo IVF treatment. Despite this, many lesbian couples have already benefited from it. Furthermore, recent developments in Parliament would suggest that the situation might soon be put right. However, at the time of going to print, this is still being debated.