Have you paid for extras when having NHS fertility treatment?

images-6Access to NHS-funded fertility treatment in the UK is still a postcode lottery, and what you get depends entirely on where you live. What’s also becoming more apparent is that in some areas people are paying for additional tests and treatment when they are having NHS-funded IVF or ICSI, but this doesn’t happen everywhere.

Some fertility patients are paying for time-lapse imaging, for endometrial scratch or for embryo glue for example – and others are reporting being asked to cough up for tests before treatment such as AMH tests or even sperm freezing and storage.

Your experience of extras for NHS-funded IVF 

The patient support charity Infertility Network UK is trying to build up a picture of what people are currently experiencing, so if you’ve paid for any additional tests or treatments on top of your NHS-funded IVF or ICSI, it would be really useful if you could let them know. All responses will be totally confidential, and you can email katebrian@infertilitynetworkuk.com.  If you have paid and are able to give a rough idea of how much you have paid this would be helpful, and they would also like to hear from you if you would have liked to pay for some extras but this was not permitted.

What should you give up – or take up – to get pregnant?

images-12Yet more new advice about what to do to improve your fertility… We know that too much caffeine isn’t good for us, but should you give it up entirely if you are trying to have a baby? It’s often women who try to cut back but a new study from the States suggests that male caffeine consumption has an impact on the chances of IVF success – those who drank more coffee (and what constitutes more I’ve seen described as three cups in one place and one mug in another!) were only half as likely to have a positive outcome. Perhaps slightly unexpectedly, when it came to alcohol, drinking seemed to improve rather than reduce the chances of success for men. The study results suggest that men who drink around three units are more likely to have a successful outcome than those who don’t drink at all. Meanwhile, another group of researchers looking at diet and male fertility found that being vegan or vegetarian was linked with lower sperm counts.

So, yet more advice – yet more to do, or not to do. What makes it difficult is that it can seem that the advice changes from week to week – and is often contradictory. At the end of the day, perhaps it’s best to think along the lines of moderation in all things…