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In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

In December 2014 the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to implement a policy of immediate access to one cycle of IVF for couples who met the agreed criteria.

Following a review of its Access to Infertility Treatment Policy in July 2020, the CCG, alongside a number of clinical commissioning groups in the north of England, have adopted the Yorkshire and Humber Access to Infertility Treatment Policy rather than holding individual policies to ensure consistency across the region.

The changes to the NHS Vale of York CCG policy makes:

  • An age extension to include a minimum age of 18 to maximum age of 43 yrs.  No new cycle should start after the woman’s 43rd birthday. Referrers should be mindful of the woman’s age at the point of referral and the age limit for new cycles.

All previously agreed criteria remains the same.


Frequently Asked Questions

Careful consideration will be given to previously eligible couples currently seeking IVF services.  To ensure this process is fair and as effective as possible, the CCG is working closely with local Assisted Conception Units to develop a pathway into services.


Access criteria

Female age – years at the time of treatment

An age extension to include a minimum age of 18 to maximum age of 43 yrs.  No new cycle should start after the woman’s 43rd birthday. Referrers should be mindful of the woman’s age at the point of referral and the age limit for new cycles.

Female BMI 19 to 29 for 6 months prior to a referral

Body Mass Index within the range 19 to 29 kg/m2 (this means that a BMI of 29.1 is outside the criteria).  GPs should advise patients regarding weight loss support if they meet all other criteria.  Assisted conception treatments will only be provided when BMI is within the range stipulated and has been maintained within 19 to 29 kg/m2 for the previous 6 months.

Partners: both must be:-

Non-smokers for 6 months prior to a referral

Both partners must be non-smokers for 6 months prior to a referral.  Non-smoking status for both partners will be tested with a carbon monoxide breath test prior to commencement of any treatment.  GPs should refer any smokers who meet all other criteria, to a smoking cessation programme to support their efforts in stopping smoking.  Previous smokers must be non smoking for 6 months prior to being put forward for assisted conception treatment and register below 5 on the Carbon Monoxide test.

Existing children

Neither partner should have any living children from either current or any previous relationships.  The adoption of children confers the legal status of parent to the adoptive parents; this will apply to both adoptions in and out of the family.
If any fertility treatment results in a live birth (and the child is still alive), then the couple will not be eligible for further fertility treatments, including the implantation of any stored frozen embryos.

Stable 2 year relationship

To be in a stable relationship for at least two years (including same sex couples) and currently cohabiting.

Having regular unprotected intercourse for the 2 years prior to referral within the same stable relationship

Couples must have been having regular unprotected intercourse for a 2 year period, reported to and documented by GP. Attempts to conceive should be based upon using recognised ovulation indicators at the appropriate time in the cycle.
Couples who conceive naturally and who subsequently miscarry up to twice within 2 years will be investigated for recurrent miscarriages.  These women will not automatically received assisted conception treatment unless clinically appropriate as they are able to conceive naturally.

Previous treatment history

Any previous NHS funded IVF treatment will be an exclusion criterion.  Couples who have previously self-funded treatment are eligible for 1 NHS funded cycle as long as they have not received more than 2 self-funded cycles.

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