Since 2010, Wales has offered women under 40, two rounds of IVF/ICSI treatment. Women aged between 40 and 42 years who meet the access criteria are entitled to one cycle of IVF/ICSI (in line with NICE guidance) provided that they meet the following criteria:
- The patient has never previously had IVF treatment
- There is no evidence of low ovarian reserve
- There has been a discussion of the additional implications of IVF and pregnancy at this age.
Wales offers a full cycle of IVF treatment as defined by national guidelines – comprising of one episode of ovarian stimulation and the transfer of any resultant fresh and frozen embryo(s).
Previous cycles, whether NHS or privately funded, will be taken into account and will determine the level of treatment offered.
IVF on the NHS in Wales is available for couples who do not have any living children (biological or adopted) or where one of the partners does not have any living children (biological or adopted).
Patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of 19 to 30 (inclusive).
Single women and men are also able to access treatment provided that they meet the same criteria.
Provision in Wales is set by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) – the body responsible for commissioning all specialist tertiary NHS services in Wales. Further details can be found by accessing the IVF access policy hosted on their website, available here.
The above criteria is up for review in Sepetember 2014. Although provision is better than many parts of England, it is not yet at the level recommended by NICE. Fertility Fairness will therefore continue to lobby members of the Welsh Assembly and senior policy makers to impress upon them the importance of offering patients up to three full cycles of IVF.