Soaring living costs and rising IVF fees are pricing fertility patients out of the chance to become parents

Trending 7 months ago
  • Fertility Network says cost-of-living situation is stopping group from pursuing IVF
  • Charity added patients are having to waste homes and cancel weddings to effort IVF
  • 95% of 200 patients surveyed said they had knowledgeable financial worries

By Colin Fernandez Environment Correspondent

Published: 20:34 EDT, 29 October 2023 | Updated: 04:53 EDT, 30 October 2023

Soaring surviving costs and rising curen fees are pricing fertility patients retired of nan chance to go parents.

Patients are cashing successful connected pensions, trading homes and cancelling weddings to money curen for infertility, investigation by Fertility Network UK shows.

The kindness is calling for an extremity to nan postcode lottery of backing for fertility curen successful England and for nan NHS to perpetrate to backing 3 IVF cycles, arsenic recommended by nan wellness watchdog NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

The study of astir 200 UK fertility patients reveals 95 per cent of respondents had knowledgeable financial worries successful narration to fertility treatment, and 92 per cent said these problems were exacerbated by nan cost-of-living crisis.

One diligent responded: 'We person thing to show for nan 10.5K we've spent. We don't person capable savings near for different information and can't prevention for it because everything has changeable up successful price.'

95 per cent retired of 200 respondents to a study conducted by Fertility Network had knowledgeable financial worries successful narration to their IVF treatment

Half of respondents said nan cost-of-living crisis, deficiency of NHS-funded support and nan precocious backstage attraction costs meant they were incapable to move guardant pinch fertility curen - jeopardising their chances of becoming parents.

Nearly 1 successful 4 of those surveyed are delaying aliases cancelling treatment; astir 1 successful 5 (17 per cent) are pausing curen indefinitely, while 2 per cent person stopped fertility curen permanently and 6 per cent are incapable to spend embryo retention fees.

Comments included: 'We person 1 stiff embryo near that we spent 2 years redeeming for. We now cannot spend to person that embryo transferred. Next period nan year's freezing expires truthful we will person to effort and find nan money to salary for different year's freezing aliases our embryo will beryllium destroyed.'

'Sadly we cannot do thing more, we are broke'

Another said: 'We are not capable to effort again yet because we don't person nan spare money because everything other is truthful costly and soon I will property retired and beryllium excessively old, truthful nan likelihood of it moving will beryllium truthful debased it would hardly beryllium worthy it.'

To trim costs, immoderate patients said they were having a double embryo transportation alternatively than nan recommended azygous embryo transfer, opting retired of familial testing which could item an inheritable familial condition.

The study besides investigated nan financial actions fertility patients are being forced to return to spend their basal aesculapian care.

Fertility Network warned that patients were trading homes, cancelling weddings, and cashing successful connected pensions to money IVF treatment

To salary for curen patients are utilizing life savings (28 per cent), getting financial thief from family and friends (19 per cent), utilizing in installments cards (16 per cent), trading individual belongings (14 per cent). Others were securing slope loans (7 per cent), and remortgaging location (4 per cent)

One responsive commented: 'Private fertility clinics conscionable want your money. They want to complaint you ridiculous amounts for tests you don't request and do not tailor curen based connected your wellness aliases your history. Just a money-making scheme.'

Commenting connected nan survey's findings, Dr Catherine Hill, Fertility Network UK's Head of Policy & Public Affairs, said: 'As nan nationalist charity, we are appalled astatine nan findings of our study assessing nan effect of nan cost-of-living situation connected fertility patients and profoundly concerned astatine nan short and semipermanent effect connected patients – physically, mentally and financially.'

Fertility Network UK said it was besides 'calling connected nan authorities to dismantle nan IVF postcode lottery and, arsenic a first step, to honour nan committedness it made successful nan Women's Health strategy successful July 2022 to region non-clinical barriers to entree NHS-funded fertility treatment.'

Dr Raj Mathur, Chair of nan British Fertility Society said: 'The study by Fertility Network UK reveals nan grade to which fertility patients having to salary for their curen are struggling to spend nan curen they need. '

He added: 'NICE guidance is clear – 3 afloat cycles of IVF should beryllium funded wherever needed. The government's Women's Health Strategy made a clear committedness to improving entree to NHS-funded fertility treatment. It is clip for NHS commissioners and ministers to present connected these promises.'


In-vitro fertilisation, known arsenic IVF, is simply a aesculapian process successful which a female has an already-fertilised ovum inserted into her womb to go pregnant.

It is utilized erstwhile couples are incapable to conceive naturally, and a sperm and ovum are removed from their bodies and mixed successful a laboratory earlier nan embryo is inserted into nan woman.

Once nan embryo is successful nan womb, nan gestation should proceed arsenic normal.

The process tin beryllium done utilizing eggs and sperm from a mates aliases those from donors. 

Guidelines from nan National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that IVF should beryllium offered connected nan NHS to women nether 43 who person been trying to conceive done regular unprotected activity for 2 years.

People tin besides salary for IVF privately, which costs an mean of £3,348 for a azygous cycle, according to figures published successful January 2018, and location is nary guarantee of success.

The NHS says occurrence rates for women nether 35 are astir 29 per cent, pinch nan chance of a successful rhythm reducing arsenic they age.

Around 8 cardinal babies are thought to person been calved owed to IVF since nan first ever case, British female Louise Brown, was calved successful 1978.

Chances of success

The occurrence complaint of IVF depends connected nan property of nan female undergoing treatment, arsenic good arsenic nan origin of nan infertility (if it's known).

Younger women are much apt to person a successful pregnancy. 

IVF isn't usually recommended for women complete nan property of 42 because nan chances of a successful gestation are thought to beryllium excessively low.

Between 2014 and 2016 nan percent of IVF treatments that resulted successful a unrecorded commencement was:

29 per cent for women nether 35

23 per cent for women aged 35 to 37

15 per cent for women aged 38 to 39

9 per cent for women aged 40 to 42

3 per cent for women aged 43 to 44

2 per cent for women aged complete 44

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