Health Experts Have Called For Full Government Funding Of IVF Treatment

EMBRYO-TRANSFER

by Georgia Aspinall |
Published on

The current state of IVF treatment in the UK is problematic, at best. The availability of the procedure, which still only has a 30% success rate, is very much down to your postcode. We looked into the cheapest and most expensive places to receive IVF just last month, finding that the options to have IVF funded by the NHS are limited depending on where you live.

While some clinics offer the recommended three cycles of IVF readily, the majority – 184 clinics out of 208 that offer IVF – only fund one or two cycles. There are also further limiting conditions, such as age and the how long you’ve been trying to get pregnant. All of this results in six out of 10 IVF cycles being funded by patients themselves.

It’s not just the inequality and financial burden that is concerning, it’s the health risks that come with the costs of IVF being so high for patients. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (RCOG) found that patients are undergoing double embryo transfer in order to increase chances of success and avoid paying for another cycle in future. The result of this can be multiple pregnancies, which are a leading cause of infant mortality and long-term mental and physical disabilities, also increasing the risk for mothers with higher chances of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and hemorrhage after birth.

Multiple pregnancies are widely known as an adverse side effect to double embryo transfer, however the practice continues with one in five IVF deliveries in the UK involving multiple birth in 2011.

The RCOG paper has therefore called for the NHS to fully fund IVF treatment in order to prevent this from happening, stating it’s the ‘greatest avoidable risk of IVF’.

Not only would it reduce the health concerns for women and children born through IVF, it reduces the cost of neonatal care and long-term fertility problems on the NHS.

Keith Reed, chief executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association, told the BBC:

‘There is a growing body of evidence that good care and following multiple birth guidance during maternity reduces the poor outcomes and need for neonatal care which put pressure on NHS services.’

Whether or not the NHS will take this report on board is yet to be known, however a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care told the BBC:

‘We know fertility problems can have a serious and lasting impact on families—and the government has been clear that the NHS should provide access to IVF for all patients that meet the criteria set out in NICE guidance.’

NICE advises that all clinics offering IVF give three cycles of treatment, however, these guidelines are not enforceable and individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are entitled to create stricter rules.

It is therefore up to the government to decide whether or not these guidelines should become enforceable or remain as they are, which would continue to allow IVF to be a postcode lottery and further permit the problem of multiple births for patients who can’t afford multiple cycles and choose double embryo transfer.

If you’re currently struggling with IVF treatments, check out our IVF warriors providing support online within the community.

Click through to see Blake Lively's best maternity style moments...

Gallery

Blake Lively Maternity Style grazia

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blake lively the shallows premiere

Red carpet fashion is Blake's strong suite, and this black and white dress by Carolina Herrera (complete with floral detailing and semi-sheer skirt) doesn't disappoint (June 2016)

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blake lively the shallows premiere

For 'The Shallows' after-party, Black chose an asymmetric look from David Koma's most recent collection, layering a cold-shoulder black body under a skirt with cut-out detail (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Another sartorial triumph for Blake, who stuck close to her winning maternity style formula of a form-fitting midi dress in a bold block colour (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

For her red carpet 'princess' moment, Blake chose pale blue Louis Vuitton - and looked like she'd stepped straight out of a fairytale (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Denim jacket + embellished ball gown = surprisingly cool. Blake went full Noughties when promoting 'The Shallows' in New York, layering a Madewell jacket over a Jenny Packham dress (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Cinderella who? Blake chose another fairytale gown for the Cannes screening of The BFG, this time by Atelier Versace (May 2015)

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blake lively maternity fashion

The pale peach shade of this heavily embellished Elie Saab gown compliments Blake's skin tone perfectly (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Teaming a grey hoodie with a feathered mini-dress and towering Louboutins is certainly unchartered style territory - a move worthy of Gossip Girl's Serena? (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Promoting her new film 'The Shallows' on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,' Blake channelled this season's off-the-shoulder trend in a royal blue midi style from Cushnie Et Ochs, complete with crossover neckline and cut-out detailling (June 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Promoting 'The Shallows' at the Cannes Film Festival, Blake appeared to take inspiration from her role in the surfer horror flick, choosing a cut-out midi dress fashioned from scuba material (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Could anyone apart from Blake pull off this sequinned coat (heavily embellished with flowers, natch) and this striped red minidress (both by Chanel)? Probably not (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Can anyone else pull off tricky shades of yellow with as much panache as Ms. Lively? We don't think so. Golden girl Blake chose velvet Valentino for the Café Society luncheon in Cannes (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Sheer panels? Check. Skin tight? Check. Sparkle? Check. Blake's fashion formula certainly isn't for the faint-hearted, but the actress certainly looked the part at the opening gala for her film, Café Society (May 2015)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Coat dresses aren't usually part of Blake's sartorial vocabulary, but she pulls off this chic feathered number by Salvatore Ferragamo with aplomb (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

For the Café Society photocall in Cannes, Blake channelled the dancing lady emoji (you know the one) in this scarlet jumpsuit by Juan Carlos Obando (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

So Blake's pale pink Burberry gown for this year's Met Gala didn't exactly tie in to the event's 'Manus x Machina' theme, but when she looks as great as this, we aren't exactly complaining... (May 2016)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Lemon yellow isn’t the easiest shade to pull off, but Blake made light work of it in this V-neck Gucci style at the Angel Ball in New York, while pregnant with her first child (October 2014)

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blake lively maternity fashion

The 2014 Golden Hearts Awards called for another pitch-perfect evening look from Blake – this time, a delicately embellished pale pink dress in a simple, A-line style from Michael Kors Resort. Straight out of Serena van der Woodsen’s wardrobe, don’t you think? (October 2014)

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blake lively maternity fashion

Proving she can pull off ‘bronde’ just as well as her trademark California blonde, Blake looked effortlessly stylish in a form-fitting, one shouldered black gown by Kaufmanfranco at L’Oreal’s Women of Worth dinner in New York (December 2014)

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blake lively maternity style pregnant

Wave print Versace? So appropriate for another The Shallows promo appearance - complete with gloriously corkscrew curls (June 2016)

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blake lively pregnancy style

For the press conference for her latest film 'Café Society,' Blake chose a patterned pink dress by Jonathan Simkhai, teamed with heels by Brit designer Sophia Webster (July 2016)

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blake lively pregnancy style

For a night out with friends in New York, Blake wore a blue wrap dress with graphic stripes by Diane von Furstenberg (July 2016)

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blake lively maternity style

For her appearance on the Tonight Show to promote new film 'Café Society,' Blake wore a dramatic cut out style with floral embellishment by Emanuel Ungaro. Who said maternity style had to play it safe? (July 2016)

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blake lively maternity style

Summer in the city calls for a fashion-forward take on the bohemian trend. Blake's patterned midi dress with mesh panels is giving us serious Serena van der Woodsen vibes, too (July 2016)

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blake lively maternity style

Continuing her spot-on maternity style spree for the 'Café Society' promo trail, the actress opted for pale grey Carolina Herrera - complete with white pom-pom detailing (July 2016)

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