Paying for private fertility treatment is a luxury (and I use that word lightly) that not everyone can afford. On the flip side, access to free fertility treatment on the NHS is a luxury that not everyone can take advantage of.
The “postcode lottery” in the UK means that, essentially, the street you live on will play a role in the treatments you’ll be offered funding for on the NHS and it’s largely for this reason that people are emptying their bank accounts in order to pay for IVF privately. I recently decided to open my own IVF saving fund in case, like many, we end up exhausting our options with the NHS and still don’t have a baby to show for it. I currently have enough saved for half a uterine scan and about 3 of the several hundred injections I’ll need …but it’s a start.
The simplicity (another word to take lightly) of having IVF on the NHS can be both frustrating and blissful. It does limit the options available, thus creating the occasional unnecessary obstacle, but it also limits the possibility of becoming completely overwhelmed by unbelievably odd decisions. Paying for private fertility treatment opens up a whole new world of weird and wonderful possibilities when it comes to making babies and some of the questions that have cropped up from my initial investigations are:
– Should we have IVF in the Ukraine? Or Russia? Or Cyprus?
– Should we get all the embryo’s genetically screened for abnormalities before they’re transferred?
– Should we select just one super-sperm and inject it straight into the egg or do it “the old fashioned way” and chuck them all in a petri dish and let them fight amongst themselves?
– How many embryos should we transfer back?
– How do we really feel about the possibility of having triplets?
– What if we transferred 3 embryos and they all take and then split in half and suddenly there are SIX in there?
– And the all-important question: will paying for any of this increase our odds of a successful pregnancy?
In my latest post for abc ivf, I talk about our experience with fertility treatment on the NHS and what I believe to be the main benefit of choosing a private clinic– if you can afford it.