Devon couples among biggest losers in IVF postcode lottery

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Couples in parts of Devon are some of the biggest losers in the NHS IVF postcode lottery.

North, East, West Devon CCG offer just one cycle of IVF to couples struggling to conceive and only for women aged up to 40.

Couples will only be allowed a maximum of one fresh and one frozen embryo transfer during the NHS cycle. The NICE recommendation is that all fresh and viable frozen embryos should be transferred, meaning that cycles that produce a number of embryos will have as many chances as possible of achieving a pregnancy.

Research by campaign group Fertility Fairness found, only four out of

209 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England were meeting all the national guidelines on IVF treatment.

The four CCGs were all in Greater Manchester, while CCGs in Essex and South Yorkshire have cut all NHS IVF services.

NICE guidance is that women aged under 40 who have not conceived in two years should be offered three cycles of IVF, where all resultant fresh and frozen embryos are transferred. Women aged 40 to 42 should be offered one cycle if they have never previously had IVF and do not have evidence of low ovarian reserve.

The campaign group found that only one in six CCGs in England offers three rounds of IVF, with the majority (60%) offering just one. In Scotland three cycles were offered, while the NHS in Wales and Northern Ireland offered two and one respectively.