Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant, despite having regular unprotected sex. Around one in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving.
You can read more about infertility at nhs.uk.
If you think you may need help conceiving, make an appointment with your GP to discuss your options.
Investigations, diagnosis and conservative treatments for infertility are routinely available on the NHS. Types of fertility treatment available in primary or secondary care include:
- Advice on lifestyle changes to aid a natural conception, such as weight loss and smoking cessation
- Medical treatment for lack of regular ovulation
- Surgical procedures, such as treatment for endometriosis
If infertility is diagnosed, or after all treatments and recommended lifestyle changes have been tried and infertility remains unexplained, a referral for assisted conception treatment may be made.
The following assisted conception treatments are available on the NHS:
Not everyone is eligible for assisted conception treatment. Read section 6 of our policy to find out more about eligibility.
Where the eligibility criteria are not met but clinicians feel there are exceptional clinical reasons, cases can be referred to the Individual Funding Requests (IFR) panel for consideration.
Fertility preservation usually involves the harvesting and freezing of eggs or sperm that may be thawed for use in future assisted conception treatment.
It can also involve the creation of embryos for freezing that may be implanted in the womb later.
Fertility preservation is only available on the NHS to patients whose ongoing medical condition or treatment is causing, or is likely to cause, permanent harmful effects on sperm or egg production.