UK may allow IVF for older women, same-sex couples

(AP) -- A powerful health advisory agency says Britain should extend free fertility treatments to women up to age 42 as well as same-sex couples, recommendations likely to be followed by many of the U.K.'s medical centers.

The British generally pays for up to three cycles of in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, for couples who have been trying to get pregnant for at least three years. Previously, women had to be under age 40 to qualify. Many government-funded clinics already treat gay and lesbian couples, but the recommendations now make that explicit, though they are not binding.

The guidelines are likely to affect only a minority of patients and it will be up to hospitals to decide whether to pay for IVF treatments. Britain's health service is being forced to trim >20 billion ($31 billion) from its budget by 2015 and many hospitals often ration who gets IVF and deny the treatment to eligible patients. One IVF cycle typically costs about >3,000 ($4,730).

Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said the new recognized the importance of treating , citing the it can cause. "No one who stands a reasonable chance at conception should be denied the opportunity," he said in a statement. "These (new) guidelines outline how that can be achieved."

The draft guidelines issued Tuesday also say the government should pay for IVF in people with diseases such as HIV who request it or patients facing , who want to preserve their fertility. About one in four results in a baby; that drops to about one in 10 for women over 40.

Elsewhere in Europe, many countries including France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland ban gay and lesbian couples from receiving IVF and often impose similar age limits for eligible women, cutting off treatment to women over 40.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IVF proven unnecessary for many infertile couples

Nov 03, 2011

A new study published in European Obstetrics & Gynaecology shows that the DuoFertility monitor and service used for six months gives the same chance of pregnancy as a cycle of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for many infert ...

Mind/body program increases pregnancy rates in IVF treatment

May 09, 2011

There is no doubt that undergoing infertility treatment is stressful, with high rates of anxiety and depression reported by many patients. Mind/body therapies designed to help women reduce stress earlier in the treatment ...

Recommended for you

Prolonged, heavy bleeding during menopause is common

17 hours ago

Women going through menopause most likely think of it as the time for an end to predictable monthly periods. Researchers at the University of Michigan say it's normal, however, for the majority of them to experience an increase ...

Italy IVF patient pregnant with wrong embryos

Apr 13, 2014

A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up, press reports said Sunday.

Abuse not tied to pain severity in chronic pelvic pain

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—A history of adolescent or adult abuse is not associated with pain severity, but is linked to pain-related disability and depression in women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP), according to a study ...

User comments