Couples who suffer with infertility problems have a variety of options these days to have children.
And as if infertility itself wasn’t enough of a problem to deal with, one couple recently stumbled upon an entirely new dilemma when they applied for a funded round of IVF through their primary care trust NHS Portsmouth.
NHS Portsmouth denied Andrea Heywood and her husband Aaron for fertility treatments because Andrea is only 24 years old.
As a young girl, Andrea’s appendix burst scarring her fallopian tubes and rendering her forever infertile.
Knowing of her infertility, Andrea and her husband applied three separate times for the free IVF treatment offered by NHS.
But NHS stands by its qualification for funding saying only women age 30 to 34 will be accepted. The Heywood’s are subject to postcode lottery, which means the NHS trust does not have to follow national guidelines for fertility treatments.
Three denied applications later the Heywood’s believe they are victims of age discrimination.
Andrea remarks how “It is bad enough not be able to have children naturally, but this is like someone is saying, No, you can’t have children- you have got to wait.”
The NICE, or National Institute for Clinical Excellence, believes that women should qualify for funded treatments when between the ages of 23 and 39, while others say there should be no lower age limit at all as IVF success declines with age.
And while the NICE recommendations seem nice, they are still not regulation.
Louisa Ghevaert, the Heywood’s lawyer, points out that “NICE guidance is not mandatory and it remains to be seen whether the new draft proposals will bring greater recognition of IVF as a legitimate clinical need.”
Meanwhile Andrea and Aaron wait on hoping that by the time the do qualify for funded IVF through NHS Portsmouth, it won’t be too late.
Contact fertility specialists nearest you.Sources
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