NHS announce ban in fertility treatment for women whose husbands are obese as they ‘find it harder to conceive’

Women with overweight husbands are to be denied IVF on the NHS.

Individuals living in south-west England are set to be affected after health bosses approved plans proposed by the Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this month.

Under the new rules, women whose partners have a body mass index of over 30 will no longer have access to funded fertility treatment.

The NHS website lists the criteria couples need to meet to qualify for IVF and goes on to outline the recommendations set out by NICE, the National Institute For Health And Care Excellence.

They state that women under the age of 40 should be offered 3 rounds of IVF if:

  • They’ve been unable to conceive following two years of regular unprotected sex
  • They’ve failed to fall pregnant following 12 cycles of artificial insemination

And women over the aged between 40 and 42 should be offered one cycle of IVF if:

  • They had no success after two years of trying for a baby¬†
  • They show no evidence of low ovarian reserve
  • They’ve been informed of the additional implications of IVF and pregnancy at this age

Local CCG policies, however, play a role in the provision of treatment and may have other criteria that couples need to meet – such as candidates being a healthy weight.

Dr Ruth Grabham, medical director at the Bath and North East Somerset CCG, spoke out about the reasons behind the proposed plans last month.

‘We’re proposing to change our fertility policy so that men need to be a healthy weight in order to get NHS-funded fertility treatment with their partners,’ she said.

‘I’m a GP and I want to help my patients live healthy lifestyles so they get the best health outcomes possible. We already ask women to be a healthy weight before fertility treatment, and we want to be fair about the way we share out NHS services.’

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