Two-thirds of women would move house to beat the NHS postcode lottery for IVF funding
What would you do to conceive? Improve your diet? Cut back on alcohol? It looks like a lot of you would consider moving house to get pregnant, according to a new survey by SHE magazine. More than 1,000 women were questioned about their experiences of infertility and a whopping 66% said they would uproot their life to move to an area that offered free IVF cycles if the services were not available in their catchment area. A Department of Health survey from 2009 showed 30% of health trusts offer three free IVF cycles, 23% offer two and 47% offer one to couples struggling to conceive. Even though less than half of couples currently have access to free IVF, many trusts have begun slashing this funding with more cuts expected this year.
ZEST says: With 80% of people saying they know at least one couple who has struggled with infertility, cutting funding for IVF in certain areas is not fair or acceptable. Each cycle of IVF costs upwards of £6,000 in private facilities, making it well beyond the reach of many families. Although nearly half of people do have access to at least one cycle of IVF, the other 53% are left with some unappealing options: move or pay up. And with upcoming cuts, moving house may not be the answer as some facilities could end up losing their funding anyway. We hope SHE's survey will show MPs how important fair access to fertility treatment is to women. And if you want to do more, write directly to your local MP and demand funding in your area be preserved or initiated.
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