Following an extensive consultation period, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published new guidelines dealing with the treatment of fertility problems.
The guidelines, which are intended to reflect recent medical advances in the treatment of infertility, offer advice on the management and care of those individuals experiencing problems conceiving.
Amongst other things, the guidelines recommend that:
– The current IVF age limit is raised from 39 to 42 years of age
– Couples having difficulty conceiving are offered treatment after two years (rather than three)
– NHS fertility treatment should be offered to same sex couples
However, some experts have expressed concerns that the recommendations will not be fully implemented due to financial constraints. Claire Lewis-Jones (Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK) is reported to have stated that although the guidance should give new hope to individuals with fertility problems, it would be “pointless if the recommendations are not put into practice.” Whether this will be the case remains to be seen.
The full guideline is available on the NICE website.