Selected news stories from the international press relating to Asian (In)Fertilities:
Infertile couples to be guaranteed three IVF cycles in East of England - Telegraph
(28 April 2009)
Infertile couples are to be guaranteed up to three full cycles of IVF in one area of Britain, in an effort to tackle a "postcode lottery" in access.
From the start of May all eligible patients in the region covered by the East of England Strategic Health Authority will receive the treatment free on the NHS. The move comes four years after guidance said that eligible couples should receive three full cycles of IVF treatment on the health service. #Official figures show that there are wide variations across the country but most local healthcare trusts still offer couples only one full cycle. Experts have warned that limiting the number of cycles can place mother and child in danger by encouraging the implantation of two embryos instead of one, increasing the chance of a more risky multiple birth. Almost 45,000 cycles of IVF are performed in Britain every year. Although most couples will conceive naturally within two years of starting to try for a baby between one in six and one in seven couples will suffer from fertility problems. The East of England, which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, is the first Strategic Health Authority to offer three full IVF cycles across its area. With technology to freeze eggs three cycles can include up to six implantations. Thomas Mathews, medical director of Bourn Hall Clinic, in Cambridge, said it would make a "great deal of difference" to his patients to be offered three cycles on the NHS. He added: "Of course, this is something that should be done across the country. I think the rest of the regions will follow the East of England very quickly. "I am very glad that they have been trailblazers in this but I would think that everyone else would east to follow soon for fear of being left behind. "Or else all patients will be moving to East Anglia." To qualify for treatment, women must be aged between 23 and 39 and have no children from their current relationship. The East of England SHA had debts of £260 million four years ago but has since managed to reduce that figure substantially.