Obese women restricted in NHS IVF treatments
New NHS IVF treatment rules have been drawn up in Scotland.
Couples who need help conceiving will be guaranteed two free infertility treatments from 1 July, however the treatments will only be available to those under 40, and it will not be offered to women who are obese.
In addition, couples need to have been in a stable relationship for two years and neither partner can smoke for three months before treatment begins.
Both partners also need to be methadone-free for a year before IVF starts
If either partner smokes they will need to have stopped before treatment is commenced
Women aged between 40 and 42 will be eligible for one cycle of fertility treatment if they have never previously undergone the procedure.
The new IVF criteria has been approved by the Scottish government.
The guarantees came as the National Infertility Group published a report with recommendations on new criteria.
The eligibility criteria for free fertility treatment in Scotland currently includes a female age limit of 39; the patient must not already have a child living at home; and they must have had less than three previous funded embryo transfers.
Scotland’s Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said the government was committed to “providing fair, reliable and faster access to IVF treatment”.
He insisted that it was important to end the different approaches across the country and to offer “equity”.
“We are investing £12 million over three years to help drive down waiting times for IVF treatments, and waiting times are already reducing in a number of NHS board areas.
“We also have to be responsible about the effects of smoking and obesity on pregnancy and beyond. Smoking not only reduces the effectiveness of IVF, but also doubles the risk of pregnancy loss.
“NHS boards will offer patients the support needed to make the lifestyle changes demanded of the new criteria.
“The safety of mother and baby is of utmost importance and the recommendations will ensure healthier outcomes for both families and babies born as a result of IVF treatment.”
Tags: Doctors, IVF, maternity, nhs cash shortages, obese, pregnancy, Sexual health, weight loss