Assisted Conception

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Assisted Conception

NHS England has updated their commissioning policy for Armed Forces families outlining the pathway and criteria for you to access assisted reproduction methods such as IVF and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Read more

This new policy will prevent some of the issues that couples were facing due to mobility and accessing treatment. The policy states that:

  • Women aged under 40 years should be offered three full cycles of NHS funded IVF
  • Women aged 40–42 years should be offered one full cycle of NHS funded IVF

The IVF treatment criteria are as follows:

  • One partner should be serving and registered with a Defence Medical Services (DMS) practice
  • The female partner must be under 43 years
  • The female Body Mass Index (BMI) should be over 19 but under 30
  • The male BMI should be under 30
  • No living children from the current relationship including adopted children but excluding fostered children
  • No children from previous relationships
  • Non-smokers
  • Written consent is required from both partners
  • Neither partner should have been sterilised.

For more information or to download a copy of the new commissioning policy, click here. 

For a copy of the application form click here. 

Northern Ireland

NHS-funded IVF is limited to those who have a medical cause of infertility. You need to have been trying to conceive for a year to be diagnosed or infertile without a recognised cause for three years.

Couples who meet the treatment criteria are entitled to one cycle of IVF/ICSI treatment and one cycle of frozen embryo transfer (FET), if appropriate, for patients referred to the Regional Fertility Centre after 1 April 2012.The treatment criteria are:

  • Female partner using her own eggs must be no older than 40 years or 49 years if donor eggs are being used (dependent on other criteria)
  • Couples who have children living with them (in any capacity) have access to services. This means that if you have your own child or child form a former relationship you may still be eligible for funded treatment
  • If someone has undergone voluntary sterilisation, treatment can be provided at clinical discretion.

For more information, click here.


Eligible patients may be offered up to two cycles of IVF/ICSI where there is a reasonable expectation of a live birth. There will be a review held in early 2015 to consider moving to 3 cycles.

Couples are diagnosed as infertile if:

  • there is infertility with an appropriate cause of any duration,
  • in heterosexual couples there is an unexplained infertility of two years
  • in same sex couples there is unexplained infertility following six to eight cycles of donor insemination.

NHS funded treatment will not be given if you have already received two NHS funded cycles regardless of where in the UK you received treatment, even if you are in a new relationship.

The treatment criteria are:

  • Fresh treatment cycles must commence before the female partner is 40 years. All frozen transfers must be completed before she is 41 years.
  • Non-smokers for at least three months before and during treatment
  • Neither partner should drink alcohol prior to or during treatment this will be explained further by your GP or fertility specialist
  • BMI of female partner must be above 18.5 but below 30
  • Neither partner should have undergone voluntary sterilisation even if a reversal has been self-funded.

For more information, click here.


All women who meet the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) access criteria are entitled to two full cycles of IVF; a cycle includes one fresh and one frozen embryo transfer.

Couples (either partner) who have had three or more IVF cycles will be excluded from any further NHS IVF Treatment; previous cycles whether NHS or privately funded will be taken into account.

The treatment criteria are:

  • Women under 40 years (who meet the access criteria) are entitled to two cycles of IVF. However, if the woman reaches the age of 40 during the first cycle of treatment she will not be entitled to a second cycle of IVF
  • Women aged 40-42 years (who meet the access criteria) are entitled to one cycle of IVF provided they have never previously had IVF, there is no evidence of low ovarian reserve and there has been a discussion of the additional implications of IVF and pregnancy at this age
  • No children (biological or adopted) living with the couple and one of the partners has never had a biological or adopted child
  • Both partners must have a BMI of between 19-30
  • Neither partner should have undergone sterilisation (this does not include sterilisation as a result of another medical problem). If sterilisation has been reversed couples should not be referred for treatment
  • Non-smokers.