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To think that IVF funding should only got to people who have never had children

(260 Posts)
Mrsdavidcaruso Thu 04-Apr-13 09:07:07

My Sister has been turned down by her PCT for IVF and we are looking t ways to help her raise the money for private treatment.

Her situation is that she has a new partner and they have not been able to conceive, she has 2 dcs from a previous relationship and her partner has 1 dc but they want to have a child together, I can understand it I suppose and am supportive but.

AIBU to think that scarce funding should be used for people who have
NEVER had the chance to be parents not for people who already have children even if not with their current partner.

I suppose if I was in her situation I might think differently but I cant help feeling that if she got funding someone who never had children may lose out.

Prepares to be flamed

Trills Thu 04-Apr-13 09:09:17

That's not a wholly unreasonable attitude.

Everything that is funded by the NHS means that something else is not funded.

We don't see the whole picture so I think it is difficult for us to say "this should get funding and this should not" - it's a very complex question and we don't have all of the evidence.

I do feel very strongly that the decisions on what is worth spending NHS money on and what is not should be made centrally, and apply equally in all parts of the UK, rather than being different in different areas.

Mrneedy Thu 04-Apr-13 09:09:21

yabu, I think

FeckOffCup Thu 04-Apr-13 09:10:52

I think you are right in this case, both of them are already parents so no I don't think they should get state funded IVF they should pay for their own. I have more sympathy for couples where only one has a child and that disqualifies them, but still there isn't endless money in the NHS and they have to draw a line somewhere as to who is entitled to it.

Suzieismyname Thu 04-Apr-13 09:13:23

Where I live you couldn't get funding if you already have a child.

janey68 Thu 04-Apr-13 09:14:14

YANBU; there is a limited pot of money and therefore some cases need to be prioritised. All other things being equal I would prioritise a childless couple over people who are already parents

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 04-Apr-13 09:14:53

Makes sense to me, is age a factor as well?

Panzee Thu 04-Apr-13 09:17:27

What would you do in the situation where one partner had children but the other didn't? Genuine question. I do think I agree with you but am trying to think about all the people who might miss out.

AnaisB Thu 04-Apr-13 09:17:45

i see your point. a friend couldn't get funding because her partner has previously had a child, which i felt was unfair.

AnaisB Thu 04-Apr-13 09:18:16

x post

flatpackhamster Thu 04-Apr-13 09:20:57

I would go further and suggest that it might be something that we should remove from state provision altogether. I was always puzzled as to why IVF was state funded in any circumstances. I never considered infertility to be a medical need in the same way that, say, cancer or heart disease is. And given the financial pressures the public sector will come under over the next few decades, it may be something that has to go.

MissAnnersley Thu 04-Apr-13 09:31:35

I see your point in your situation.

However, in the case of one partner having a child from a previous relationship and the other not I think it should be available.

I have two friends who have been in this situation and have had to fund themselves. They both went through a number of cycles and it was enormously expensive.

Neither were successful and I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say it has nearly destroyed them financially and emotionally.

It has been horrendous and I genuinely can't think of either situation without wanting to put my head down and cry. One of my friends in particular has been changed immeasurably.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Apr-13 09:35:05


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 04-Apr-13 09:38:11

Agree with you, OP. It's not an endless pot of money.

Theicingontop Thu 04-Apr-13 09:40:27

You don't get funding here if you have a child. You don't get funding if you have a STEP-CHILD, because you're considered to have children in your life that you can parent.

I thought this was nationwide tbh.

Bananapickle Thu 04-Apr-13 09:47:35

I agree with Flappackhamster. I work for the NHS and there are life saving services that a struggling financially and in a time where money is tight treatments like IVF need to be sidelined. It is a really difficult and emotive area but the reality is the NHS is struggling and tough decisions need to be made.
I doubt IVF will ever be dropped but people who already have kids should not get help to have more.

Samu2 Thu 04-Apr-13 09:51:53

My ex husband is infertile due to cancer treatments but he saved some of his sperm before hand.

He and his wife went for IVF just to be told that they couldn't have it on the NHS because he has children already.

It really sucks for them to have to go private, but I kind of understand their decision as well. I can't imagine how awfully heartbreaking infertility is, I really can't, but with the way the NHS is at the moment I am not entirely convinced that they should be covering IVF anyway.

FourArms Thu 04-Apr-13 09:53:01

What about situations where IVF is used to avoid a genetic condition being passed on? Should this be NHS funded? For first child or all? If IVF actually saves money long term due to treatment the condition requires?

Branleuse Thu 04-Apr-13 09:59:59

I dont think it should even be funded for people with no children tbh

NameThatTuna Thu 04-Apr-13 10:02:16

I have a DD from a previous relationship, DP has none. We're TTC but I have fertility issues that came about after I had DD.

We have both discussed this, we have both agreed not to go down the IVF route due to finances. Even if we could get it on the NHS, we wouldn't.

I work for the NHS, in a clinical/admin role. My area is Geriatric Medicine, it is massively underfunded and getting worse.

As heart wrenching as it is for DP not to be able to have a child of his own, he adores DD and is a wonderful step father. We count our blessings.

If we don't conceive naturally in the next 2 years, we're looking into adoption instead.

I agree YANBU

DragonMamma Thu 04-Apr-13 10:02:32


A relative of mine had her first dc with her dh and then couldn't conceive a second and needed IVF. Her family were outraged that she couldn't have at least one round on the NHS but I disagreed - they'd already experienced pregnancy and birth once and had a healthy dc so the money should be focused elsewhere.

They did have IVF and could get a few bits done via the NHS - blood tests and some meds like progesterone when she fell pregnant

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 04-Apr-13 10:03:34

I was one of those excluded by that rule - DH had a son, I had no children.

I felt it was fair, scarce resources and all that. I understand that situations can be more complex though.

EuroShaggleton Thu 04-Apr-13 10:11:00

It is already the case in most PCTs that you can't get funding for IVF if either party already has a child. IMHO that's right where both parties have a child but harsh on the non-parent where only one half of a couple is already a parent, but those are the current rules in most areas.

For those of you saying that you don't think it should be funded by the NHS at all, do you realise that in most cases infertility is caused by a medical problem - ovaries or testes that don't work as they should, tubes blocked from an infection, etc. All IVF is doing in these cases is providing a means of addressing that problem. Is that less of a medical need than e.g. providing a prescription for a mild case of eczema or removing an ingrowing toenail? It's not equitable to alway compare IVF to cancer funding or something else lifesaving. The NHS deals with plenty of medical issues that are not lifesaving. It is fairer to compare IVF to those.

DoTheStrand Thu 04-Apr-13 10:23:33

I don't think that in a couple where each person already has one or more children they should be funded for IVF.

I can also see why they also won't fund it for couples where one is already a parent and the other isn't. Those couples are never going to be a priority in an over stretched NHS. The problem is if you are a step parent without DC of your own it often already feels as if the world wants to treat you as a parent when it suits and not at other times - you often are expected to take a lot of responsibility for step children (emotional, practical and financial) but are not 'allowed' much authority. There are plenty of step parents who - even if they have good relationships with their step children - would struggle to maintain these if their marriage to the parent broke up. 

I am a step mum (can you guess grin) and luckily DH and I have two small DC in addition to his two DC (pretty much grown up now). If I hadn't been able to conceive I doubt we'd have been eligible for funded IVF anyway as we are too ancient, but I can see how devastating it would be, being turned down if you don't have children but your DP does. 

There's no easy answer is there, as another poster said the line has to be dawn somewhere. Completely agree with Trills too that this is decision that should be made nationally not locally.

Sorry for the long post - as a stepmum it is something I have thought about a lot (as you can see!)

Pigsmummy Thu 04-Apr-13 10:25:06

Your sister has been turned down funding but you don't say why? Is it due to the fact that she and her new partner already have children? because most PCT's will not fund in that case exception very rare cases (death of dc or extreme genetic issue for example may be considered by the trust) it's one of the first questions that come up in the process so I am surprised that they even tried for funding, I thought that this was fairly well known and it isn't a new policy.

I would recommend going to a decent fertility clinic and discussing their options including IUI (which is a lot cheaper than IVF).

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