NHS funding when one partner has a child?

(22 Posts)
FlourArranger Thu 05-Mar-15 13:00:41

I have a child from a previous relationship, but DH & I have been trying to conceive for nearly 2 years. We have had investigations on the NHS which have determined that DH's sperm is not brilliant and the consultant told us that we are 'unlikely to conceive without some help'. The consultant told us that we would not be entitled to IVF on the NHS, but that he would expect that we wouldn't need to go 'that far'. He was to write a letter to the GP, asking the GP to refer us to the fertility clinic. We were left with the impression that at least the initial stages would be NHS funded.

However, the GP now believes that we are not entitled to any NHS funding at all and that anything we do from here will have to be privately funded. Is this correct? If we have to find the money I suppose we will, but at almost £200 for an initial consultation, it's a blow!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give smile

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mistletoeprickles Thu 05-Mar-15 15:53:55

I've had/having help on the nhs. It's my pcos causing problems so have been given clomid. I have a DC, unfortunately I don't know fully what help is available and I'm sure an expert will be a long soon.

I know I wont be able to have ivf on nhs but up until that point I can have some help.

Sorry it doesn't answer you very well but hopefully its a slightly help bump smile

FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 09:42:20

That's interesting, thank you. What you've said basically tallies with what my initial understanding was, but is now being contradicted by the GP! I'm reassured to know that I didn't totally imagine things, at least... Thanks for the reply smile

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Marmot75 Fri 06-Mar-15 09:45:37

I don't believe IVF is available if either partner has a child already. It may vary by area. We have a son and my GP told me at my first visit to discuss difficult conceiving a sibling that we would not be entitled to IVF on the NHS but we did have investigations - blood tests and semen analysis, follicle tracking, a laparoscopy. We had to pay privately for IVF treatment.

Marmot75 Fri 06-Mar-15 09:48:09

Sorry, I slightly misread your original post. I am not sure where the line is drawn between whether treatment is funded or not. I'd be surprised if interventions designed to help you get pregnant (beyond drugs like clomid) such as IUI would be funded by the NHS. Can you ask the consultant again if what they told you contradicts the GP?

FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 10:08:22

I'm not sure how we would get another appointment with the consultant at this point? I think he's done with us.

We have had blood tests and semen analysis, but that's all.

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victoria401 Fri 06-Mar-15 10:51:18


There is a link from fertility fairness website that allows you to download a file with all of the areas in the UK and what the criteria they have for NHS funding. I'm in Bristol and they do allow one cycle of IVF (plus one frozen) if one of the couple (but not both) have a child from a previous.

I would have thought that all the tests would be on the NHS. I might be wrong. So let me get this right... you are fine and it's just dh's sperm? So you wouldn't be prescribed Clomid as there is no problems with ovulation. IUI is another fertility treatment that needs to be either funded of privately paid for i'm afraid Marmot. If you don't qualify for free IVF you won't qualify for free IUI.

Have you had the tests done by the GP or a fertility clinic? I would have thought you can get further tests such as an ultrasound and a HSG on the NHS. I would go back and ask for these. Can I ask what the semen analysis showed was wrong? We suffer from male factor ourselves so I have researched tons of stuff about semen!


FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 11:05:40

Ah, that website's helpful - I didn't know it existed, thank you. It lists 'no living children'. My CCG seems particularly harsh compared to many others on the list, based on the smoking criteria, etc. (I have never smoked so that's irrelevant, but just as an observation overall).

The thing that has been diagnosed has been poor sperm, but I have strange hormonal issues too. My mum had secondary infertility and required clomid (became pregnant second cycle) and I have followed in the same pattern of symptoms. Neither my mum, nor I, had anything identified through bloodtests.

I didn't know that IUI would immediately fall under the same umbrella as IVF for funding criteria. That's helpful to know, but obviously very disappointing as it seems that we are going to have to pay.

On this note, then, how do you choose a clinic? We have been referred to one which is nearly 30 miles away and there is at least one closer. Is there a reason for this?

I don't have the most recent semen results (which were worse) to hand, but the ones I do have were:

Appearance - Hyperviscid
Volume - 4.5ml ('normal' = 1.5ml)
pH - 8.0 (should be 7.2 or above)
Sperm conc'n - 5.0 x10^6/ml (should be 15mil)
Motility - 26% (40%, of which 32% should be progressive)
Progressive - 12%
Nonprogressive - 14%
Immotile - 74%

Vitality & normal forms both insufficient sample for testing.

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victoria401 Fri 06-Mar-15 11:43:13

Is your hubby on any vitamins or anything? Does he smoke? Drink loads of coffee? Overweight? Cycle, wear tight pants?!

FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 11:46:46

Since the first test (which I think is the one above), he has been taking vitamins. The results since that are actually worse!

He has never smoked, doesn't drink coffee, is not overweight, doesn't own a bike and his pants are fairly normal, I think! smile Basically he's doing everything right, but things aren't as they should be.

OP’s posts: |
FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 13:42:06

I've just found the latest results:

Appearance - Hyperviscid
Volume - 4.5ml
pH - 8.0
Sperm density - 6.0 x10/ml
27 x10^6/ejac
Rapid - 22%
Slow - 3%
Non-progressive - 19%

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FlourArranger Fri 06-Mar-15 13:46:53

Looking at it right now, I can't see how it's actually worse than the previous one, although the consultant said it was confused I'm beginning to lose my mind...

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Naty1 Fri 06-Mar-15 23:04:35

We certainly had to pay for the consultation for ttc2.
Nhs did pay for meds like metformin and thyroxine by prescription when requested by clinic but we had to fund the ivf and stim drugs, freezing where applicable.
Oh and they charged dp for the infectious disease blood test at gps £100.
Im surprised the consultant wouldnt just say what treatment was recommended.
It is a little strange people can get clomid but not iui.

Fairylea Fri 06-Mar-15 23:12:28

We were on the waiting list for ivf when we found out after 18 months that we had conceived naturally - I already had dd then aged 10. I think it is somewhat of a postcode lottery.

In our case it was a combination of extremely low sperm count and myself having a pituitary tumour which secreted prolactin. I had medication via the endocrinologist to reduce the amount of prolactin and dh cut out all sugar and fizzy drinks and we used a LOT or ovulation sticks... and had sex twice a day, every day for 18 months. ...!

The doctors were so surprised. They didn't think we would have conceived naturally at all, ever.

Good luck x

FlourArranger Mon 09-Mar-15 12:00:20

Ah, it's interesting to know that the meds were covered although the consultation / procedures weren't. Thank you for that. I agree about clomid / IUI though - I imagine there must be a difference in cost, but it does feel a lot like being penalised for the type of infertility!

As for twice a day every day for 18 months... Argh! We do have a fair bit of sex and so far have avoided it feeling clinical (mostly I let DH remain oblivious to dates so he can at least maintain the illusion of it being purely down to lust wink), but I don't know if we could ever manage that anyway! I'd not really thought about the sugar / fizzy drinks before. I don't really drink fizzy drinks, but DH does quite a lot. I wonder if that's a factor... I will have to look into it.

Thank you to everyone for your replies - there's a lot to think about smile

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purplemeggie Fri 27-Mar-15 18:50:48

Do you have any health insurance through work? I discovered that mine covered fertility investigations (but not fertility treatment), so I got all of the testing, including a hycosy, funded - saved me about £7k in all...

Kelly38 Sat 10-Nov-18 05:22:49

Hi ,
Need some advice and some guidance really. I am in a same sex marriage, my wife and I 2 years ago decided to both try and conceive a child. Some people said we was mental but thought it would be an amazing experience and we both wanted to experience the most natural thing for a women.. we found our donor, not know and just through a reportable website who agreed to donate until we fell pregnant.. my wife fell and we now have a beautiful daughter of 16 months, I have been trying for 2 years and it hasn’t worked. Had tests, 2 operations and apparently I’m all working good.. would I be considered for free IVF on NHS?

Lauren83 Sat 10-Nov-18 07:11:53

Every CCG is different and some fund if one of you has a child to an ex partner but not a child together, are you both the legal parents of the child? Most CCGs don't fund if there's any child at all but for those that do you have to 'prove' infertility by self funding your own IUI through a HFEA registering clinic and if no pregnancy occurs you can sometimes access IVF, they put that rule in to make it fair all round as a heterosexual couple need to try at home usually for a year or two to access funding

Kelly38 Sat 10-Nov-18 08:06:27

Thanks for your reply. I have been trying for 2 years with AI but not IUI.. we obviously know our donor is ok as he has a big history of success with other couples.
Where would I go to be refered to a HFEA clinic?..
I surved 13 years in the army and was so dedicated to it the thought of having a family was always there, just thinking I’ve left it too late☹️... how much is IUI?

Lauren83 Sat 10-Nov-18 08:14:39

It has to be done through a clinic so unfortunately they wouldn't take into account any home insem, all UK IVF clinics are registered with the HFEA you can self refer to any, you would be looking at around 2k for a cycle of IUI with donor sperm through a clinic, a lot of clinics do 3 cycle packages now that makes it a bit cheaper although a lot of people prefer to go straight to IVF as the success rates for IUI are only 10-12% each cycle so you need to consider whether it's worth it when IVF could be 5k for a 40% chance. If you google your CCG and 'assisted conception policy' you should be able to find a copy online and it will have a bit on same sex couples in it

Cherries101 Sat 10-Nov-18 10:01:21

Try Access Fertility. They do give huge discounts on IVF cycles if you qualify.

thethoughtfox Sat 10-Nov-18 10:06:19

This was on a TV programme a while back about how much different procedures cost and questioning how NHS should be spending their money. A couple were denied it for this reason. However, my friend and her partner got it despite him having a daughter from a previous relationship. I think it's the old postcode lottery.

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