UK gives free IVF to women up to 42 years old.

IVF for the over 40s (Image courtesy of Graur Codrin/


The current guidelines in the UK state that women up to the age of 39 years should be offered up to three attempts at IVF at the state’s cost (ie public funding). That however, has been seen to discriminate against women above 40 and there has been intense lobbying over the years to allow older women access to this free treatment.

Well, at last the pleas have been noted and acted upon. The NICE guidelines, which are drafted by the Govt, and which all healthcare providers are meant to abide by, now has upwardly revised the age criteria for ivf to 42 years. So in theory, all women under 42 years can avail themselves of free ivf on the Govt’s account. In reality however, there are funding restrictions on the healthcare system, so it remains to be seen how many of the over 40s will actually benefit from this move. My guess is that unfortunately, in this time of recession and economic downturn, there is simply not going to be enough money in the NHS (UKs National Healthcare Service) to fund this. As it is, women below 40 are complaining that they are not getting their ivf entitlement.

Sadly even in the Government sector, money plays a part in whether you have a chance at parenthood.

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The writer is a fertility specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. This site is intended to provide up to date fertility information for the interested.
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