NEW claims have revealed that Greater Manchester is the best place for fertility treatment (IVF) on the NHS.
The Fertility Fairness campaigners express that multiple services have been scrapped across the UK – with only four clinics offering all three stages of IVF as part of their treatment.
Out of 209 clinical centres nationally, it was found that Manchester was the only district which met the national guidelines on IVF treatment and offered more than the minimum.
Fertility Fairness co-chair, Susan Seenan, said: “This is cruel and unethical, and a national disgrace for the country that pioneered IVF.
“Infertility is a disease, and women and men who cannot become parents without medical help are as deserving of healthcare as people with other medical conditions.”
Francesca Leivers, 28, explained her story with St Mary’s Hospital: “I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome at 17, and after trying to conceive for around 6 years, we decided to seek help.
“I was referred to a gynaecologist who did numerous tests and a surgical procedure to try and help me ovulate through ovarian drilling. After 12 months with no success, she referred me too St Mary’s IVF clinic for the help we needed.
“We started treatment in December 2013 and it was a problematic process because I responded to the drugs a little too well. I ended up with my ovaries swelling to three times the original size. We were told anymore than 10 eggs retrieved and the cycle would have too be cancelled until a later date – lucky for us, the transfer went ahead as planned.
“We were among the lucky few who had embryos left to freeze – and with one transferred – we froze 6 for use at a later date. Our first transfer ended in an early miscarriage and my world came crashing down. ‘Why me?’ I asked myself. In May 2014, we began the injections again to get prepared for one of our frozen embryos to be transferred. We had one embryo transferred in July 2014 – which turned out to be my beautiful, now almost turned-2-year-old!
“We were also one of the few couples to be offered three cycles funded – which to be honest makes me mad. Not for me, but for the other couples longing for families and given only one attempt. In the IVF community, we call it the ‘postcode lottery’ – everyone should be given the same opportunity and funding after all.”
With South Norfolk and Essex cutting down their NHS fertility treatments completely, it has been noted that the next best service is offered in Wales and Northern Ireland with two or one chances respectively.
Francesca continued: “Pregnancy after IVF was a hard enough process itself at seven weeks – I began to bleed; I was sure I was miscarrying but to our surprise all was well. Twenty-one weeks pregnant; I woke up in the middle of the night with what seemed to be appendicitis – but turned out to be a cyst due to all the medication during IVF.
“It was the hardest but most amazing decision I have ever made, she really is my whole world and more.”