Cost of Living Crisis impact on infertility treatment
For many couples the road to having children can be a difficult one, involving miscarriages, loss and trauma. To then proceed with fertility treatment and pursue that dream of having a family can add extra stress and worry to an already stressful journey.
Fertility treatment is offered on the NHS but the criteria differs by each trust and is often so restrictive, the only option is to go private with a fertility clinic. The costs and vary greatly but it is more often than not in the tens of thousands of pounds. It is also common to need more than one cycle so it is easy to see how the costs can quickly spiral out of control. Add to that the additional costs for surrogacy journeys it can become a barrier to starting a family.
With the cost of living crisis hitting everyone hard, especially those on lower incomes, the decision to start a family via IVF is an even harder decision to justify. It is also making it difficult to keep embryos already created in storage as this also carries additional costs. It is hitting everyone in the process hard.
There is often no help from the NHS, government or clinics as it is not deemed to be critical enough to warrant funding. A survey by the Fertility Network UK of almost 200 patients found a staggering 95% were experiencing or had financial worries relating to fertility treatment. This is adding undue stress and worry onto an already stressful journey.
The Fertility Network UK is calling on the government to stop the difference in NHS offerings by each trust and to instead provide guidance to a single, common, guidance to who qualifies and for how many cycles. They are also calling on clinics to pause raising prices which typically happens at the beginning of each year to help support their patients