Official guidelines say couples who are struggling to conceive should be offered three cycles of IVF on the NHS. However, it's been revealed that the majority of healthcare trusts are not following these guidelines.
Thirty-nine per cent of trusts offer just one cycle, 26 do not give any treatment at all.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence also suggests all women aged between 26 and 39 should be offered IVF treatment, even if the father in the couple has already had children.
But it's been found some trusts impose their own age limits, and add rules on weight, alcohol and coffee intake.
Some providers say they cannot afford the rising demand for treatment, which rose from 6,148 patients in 1991 to a massive 39,879 in 2008.
One of the trusts which currently doesn't offer any IVF treatment on the NHS, NHS West Sussex, defended the decision to cut funding for it, adding they were now reviewing their stand on it: 'In line with NHS trusts across the country, we did have to face some tough decisions last year to ensure that we met our legal duty to break even financially,' said a spokesperson.
'Now we are in the new financial year, the decision we made last year on fertility treatment has been reviewed and funding has been reinstated for all eligible cases.'
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