Should children from a previous relationship stop you having IVF?

Home-gridbox01I’ve posted about this before, but the rules in some areas about having an existing child from a previous  relationship poses a real problem. Some couples discover that they can’t access NHS-funded fertility treatment because one of them has a child or children from a previous relationship. I think most people would find it reasonably fair if a couple who already had a child themselves didn’t qualify for funded treatment – but is it fair to include children from previous relationships?

Most often, these cases arise when a man has had a child in a previous relationship, and then can’t access treatment with a new partner. Often the child or children are in their teens or even young adults and have never lived with the couple in question. So a woman can’t get the fertility treatment she needs because her partner has had a child in the past. Is that really fair or right?

What makes it even more difficult is that this only applies in some parts of the country. Sharon, who has personal experience of this, has started a petition to try to change the situation in her local area – if you’d like to support her, you can find it here If you’re interested in helping to end the postcode lottery for fertility treatment, you can find more information about lobbying your MP and local Healthwatch at Fertility Fairness 


Funding at last in Vale of York

Some good news on the fertility funding front – finally fertility patients in Vale of York will be able to access some NHS-funded IVF treatment.  For the last five years, those living in the area have not been able to have any funded treatment at all.

Today, commissioners in Vale of York made the decision to fund one cycle of IVF for eligible women under the age of 39.  Of course, this is still some way from the NICE guideline which recommends three full cycles for eligible women under the age of 39, but it is a big step in the right direction for an area which hasn’t been funding at all.

You can find full details about the new policy at