IVF access in nations and regions | Stonewall
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IVF access in nations and regions

View policies on IVF access in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland below. If you live in Birmingham, Erdington or Southend West, you can also view the policies in your area below.

Scotland

In Scotland, all couples can access funded fertility treatments if they meet the nationally agreed NHS access criteria (introduced 1 April 2017). Fertility Network UK have set out the criteria. This should be applied consistently across all NHS Boards, regardless of where in Scotland you live.

According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), 70% of donor insemination (DI) cycles and 40% of IVF cycles for female same-sex couples in Scotland are funded by the NHS.

NHS Scotland provides donor insemination treatment to same-sex couples, patients with genetic diseases and those with poor quality sperm. Patients can receive up to 6 cycles of DI treatment followed by 1 to 3 cycles of IVF treatment, depending on age and providing that they meet the NHS IVF access criteria.

If you have had a negative experience accessing fertility treatment in Scotland, you can email your MSPs to let them know. Find your MSPs, and their contact details.

In the rest of the UK, access to IVF is not equal for LGBTQ+ couples. In some areas of England, LGBTQ+ couples may have to pay up to £25,000 before accessing NHS-funded IVF. Share your support for equal access to IVF for everyone on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Wales

The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) states that people in same sex couples have to prove infertility through six non-stimulated cycles of artificial insemination before accessing NHS-funded IVF. These cycles may be achieved through a private arrangement or through NHS-provided intra-uterine insemination (IUI) with donor sperm. IUI is not funded by WHSSC, but may be funded by the Health Boards.

If you have had a negative experience accessing fertility treatment in Wales, you can email your MS to let them know. Find your MS, and their contact details. Across the UK, access to IVF is not equal for LGBTQ+ couples. Share your support for equal access to IVF for everyone on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland healthcare, including assisted conception, is devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

In Northern Ireland the regulations to access funded fertility treatments are the same for all couples. This should be applied consistently across all Health Trusts, regardless of where in Northern Ireland you live. However, the Regional Fertility Clinic does not have the resources to provide treatment to everyone. The eligibility criteria are available online.

While on paper access appears to be equal, in practise it is not. In order to access treatment where there is no diagnosed fertility condition, those in same sex couples must have a number of cycles of unsuccessful insemination – either with a known donor, which has legal and health implications, or through a private clinic at great personal cost.

While there is a commitment to 3 funded rounds of IVF in the New Decade New Approach – the agreement which restored devolution in 2020 - this has not yet been delivered and patients in Northern Ireland only receive 1 round of treatment.

If you have had a negative experience accessing fertility treatment in Northern Ireland, you can contact your MLAs to let them know. Find your MLAs, and their contact details.

In the rest of the UK, access to IVF is not equal for LGBTQ+ couples. In some areas of England, LGBTQ+ couples may have to pay up to £25,000 before accessing NHS-funded IVF. Share your support for equal access to IVF for everyone on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Birmingham, Erdington

Birmingham, Erdington is covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, which states that people in same sex couples have to prove infertility by self-funding 6 cycles of artificial insemination before they can access NHS-funded IVF. This means that many LGBTQ+ couples in this constituency have to pay up to £9,600 before they can access NHS services, while those in different sex couples do not have to pay anything. This creates significant practical and financial barriers for prospective LGBTQ+ parents. For many, this cost prevents them from starting a family.

Due to the sad death of Jack Dromey MP in January 2022, Birmingham Erdington does not currently have a sitting MP. If you would like to share your support for equal access to IVF for everyone, you can share on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Southend West

Southend West is covered by NHS Southend CCG, which states that people in same sex couples have to prove infertility by self-funding 12 cycles of artificial insemination before they can access NHS-funded IVF. This means that many LGBTQ+ couples in this constituency have to pay up to £19,200 before they can access NHS services, while those in different sex couples do not have to pay anything. This creates significant practical and financial barriers for prospective LGBTQ+ parents. For many, this cost prevents them from starting a family.

Due to the sad death of David Amess MP in October 2021, Southend West does not currently have a sitting MP. If you would like to share your support for equal access to IVF for everyone, you can share on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.