Question over NHS funding. - Fertility Network UK

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Question over NHS funding.

Hi ladies and gents.

I hope my post dosent offend anyone-it's not designed to.

I have an 18 year old son from a previous relationship and I know how lucky I am to have him. And believe me I am grateful.

My question is over NHS funding for IVF . As my child is over 18 would he still be seen as a child within the relationship? Or is that wishful thinking on my behalf? My husband hasn't got any children and I feel so bad for him. TTC 6 years in August.

We have an appointment end of the month with our consultant-but I wanted to know what our options are. Many thanks.


34 Replies

Im not too sure Jess but i have a feeling they will count your son even with his age.

I think the NHS may have relaxed the rules a bit in relation to previous children.

I think the wording is also if you have a child living with you. Does your son still stay at home?


in reply to

Thank you. Technically he does-all correspondence goes to our address-but spends a lot of time at my parents-mainly coz there is much space there. X

The Leeds clinic told us a child over 16 didn't count. But that was a few years ago and I know there's constant policy tweaks so it might be different now. X

in reply to misswinky34

Thank you. That is interesting to know. I might contact my ccg and ask. X

I thought it was a child living at home but they changed this rule in Scotland recently to if one of you doesn't have a biological child you're now entitled. It's so much more muddied in England and each area seems to have different rules. Defo worth an ask though!!xx

in reply to Cinderella5

Thank you-I wish England were that laid back. England rules are ridiculous. I have read the ccg guidelines and it states no "living children" from relationship. and I'm going to ask my ccg. knowing them his age won't make a difference.X

Hiya don't apologise for having a child and wanting another!I've got an 11 yr old daughter from precious relationship. Ttc with current partner for 2 yrs. Unexplained. We live in Wales and we did quality for IVF NHS. However after the initial consultation we passed all the tests but fell at last hurdle as my partner is slightly over weight and his BMI a little too high so he had to loose weight. This he finds very hard so we ended up not bothering and ended up going privately .

All the best xx

in reply to Buffy21

Thank you. It's such a crappy rule not to fund IVF just because one of you has a child-it's everyone's human right to have a child. I think I will ask my ccg as it states "no living children". I reckon knowing my ccg it will be a big fat no. X

Buffy21 profile image
Buffy21 in reply to

Move to Wales!💚xx

postcode lottery strikes again. What's the point of having NICE guidelines if then individual CCG make their own rules? It's ridiculous.

I'm not sure what the NICE guidelines are in respect to children from previous relationships or what the appeal process would be?

in reply to emmab178

I agree it is stupid! It should be one rule for every county. At least it would feel fair.

Do you know what annoys me-is I have two county's within 3 miles either side would fund our IVF treatment and it wouldn't matter I have a child as my husband doesnt. My mum thinks I should appeal because of that.


emmab178 profile image
emmab178 in reply to

what? this is very simple then. Ccg catchment depends on your gps postcode not your home postcode. Change your gp to one 3 miles away!

I know this as we are living in hants NW (age limit 34!) and don't qualify for funding but gp is in surrey Heath and we have funding (age limit 39)

Cyantist profile image
Cyantist in reply to emmab178

Only problem with this is you have to have been registered with your gp for at least a year before they can refer you (at least that's the rules where we are). We moved house and got caught out by this. Even though we'd been referred before we moved and had been trying for 10 years we had to wait 8 months until we'd been with our gp for long enough to actually have further tests and eventually get treatment.

in reply to Cyantist

That's rubbish-you'd think if you'd been trying that long you could be referred straight away. It's another example of how unfair ccgs can be. That's awful. It makes what is already a stressful situation so much worse. I can't believe what these ccgs can get away with.

I hope things are now going better for you.


Cyantist profile image
Cyantist in reply to

Things are much better now thanks, but when you have a consultant telling you you need treatment NOW to stand any chance of it working, but you can't access any funding for 8 months and can't afford private at the time it's super stressful. I hate the postcode lottery part of it all.

I guess you can understand as it's to prevent people moving to an area where the criteria are more lenient - but if every ccg treated everyone fairly no one would ever want to move house or gp for that reason in the first place!

in reply to Cyantist

Very good point you make they should learn to recongize that. I think it should be the same criteria in each area. At least we would all feel it was more fair then.

For most people IVF is out of their budget. We work hard but there's no way we could afford it. I suppose we will have to look at loans if they won't help. My mum has also offered to help us if we need it.

I'm glad things are going better for you now.That must be really stressful for you both-like going through infertility isn't hard enough. X

Cyantist profile image
Cyantist in reply to

You said you were near Wiltshire,so I had a look at their policy and it specifically say it's fine if only one of you had a child (as you know). But, unlike my area, it says you just need to be registered with a go there - no time limit. It actually specifies that if you move then everything should be done to ensure continuity of treatment. So it might work with you just changing gp!

I always thought it was home address -I'll have to look into that. Thank you. X

Very interesting question Jess. I'm sorry I can't shed any definitive light on the subject, but I am in Suffolk and we were told "no living children". Not that it mattered as neither of us have and I missed the cut off for funded treatment, which is 39 here.

The ladies have brought up some valid points...perhaps they will help.

Hope you are feeling better xx

in reply to CountryCat

Thank you countycat for your supportive words.

These ccg rules are rubbish-my area will treat ladies up to 42 years. The rules should be the same in each area-at least it'd be fair.Sorry you couldn't get funded it sucks adds another stress to it.

How they get to play god with our lives? How would they like it if it was them that needed treatment and couldn't access it?

It's not any of us would choose to have IVF to have a child-it's out of our control.

It's been a great response-I'm over welmed by the support. There's been some great advice.

I've emailed my ccg and I put the question forward to them.

A little sore but I'm resting in bed-hubbys been very hands on.

How are things your end?


CountryCat profile image
CountryCat in reply to

I have to wholeheartedly should be the same set of rules for everyone, no matter where you live. I can't comprehend the logic that dictates one approach in one postcode and the complete opposite in another...I mean, come on, it even sounds daft!

I sincerely hope there is a silver lining for you and that you are allowed to proceed with a funded cycle. Let us know how you get on.

Glad to hear you are taking it easy...resting is the best solution.

I am doing alright thanks. Starting to worry a bit about all the potential minefields that IVF throws up, but we are staying calm and going one day at a time. Not sure what the future holds for us but we are ever hopeful.

Take it easy xx

in reply to CountryCat

One of the MPs or someone should take this to parliament. 👊🏻

It's difficult but we must be so strong the way we keep ploughing on-we are heroic! Hope is the only thing that keeps us any of us going. I haven't thought about fertility stuff for a while but with appointment approaching it makes you wonder what the plan of action will be! I get where you're coming from completely-it brings it into focus. Hope your cycle goes well and brings you your much wanted postive 🔮💫✨💫✨💫✨💝

Hi Jess I have a child of 17 from a previous relationship, we did receive funding for 2 IVF cycles on the NHS I think it al depends on where you live which I think is ridiculous. My consultant said that if we were turned down we could appeal it as he had treated other couples in the same situation.

Hope this helps


in reply to Catybr

Thanks-did you get funded coz your child was over 16? Or is your area one that allows funding if one of you hasn't got a child?

It's terrible different rules apply to different county's-when will the NHS address this?

Two county's within a few miles both would grant us funding-even tho I have a child.

I have contacted my ccg over it 😩

No my child was 14 at the time when we received the funding. If it's any help we are in Somerset. Why they have to have so many different rules for different counties is beyond me they should keep it the same for everywhere. We were told that if we were turned down to appeal. Good luck xxx

in reply to Catybr

I'm Dorset but live a few miles from Somerset and Wiltshire and both these ccgs would fund us.

Yeah ill look into appealing-Thanks.


Hi Jess, my husband had a child from a previous relationship and we were told we couldn't get funding from the NHS it's so frustrating. We've had to pay privately , hopefully your area will be different xxxx

in reply to Smithha

I'm sorry you've been subjected to this cruel and unfair rule. Huge congratulations on your pregnancy -wishing you the best with it.

It's unfair that the ccg feel it's their right to deny couples treatment if one of you has a child-what about the other persons right to be a parent? It's not like any of us want to have IVF-it's not how we'd chose to have our children but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.


West surrey Heath says nothing about being with a gp for a year so again I think this made up rule depends on the ccg. It does say no children from previous relationships.

If you do appeal infertility network UK and fertility fairness websites seem to have a lot of info. Say you need your gp and MP on your side.

My god if we were appeal to Hampshire the decision is made by Michael Gove!

By the way, we do get a say about changes to the guidelines. Any change goes through public consultation process where you can object. Problem is the consultation is on their website and if you don't look you don't know. Also you need enough people to object.

Can't help with this one I'm afraid but don't be apologetic for wanting another child.u have a new partner now & it's something u want to share with him, that's normal!! I know my friend couldn't get funding as her partner had a child and he was over 18 but that was about 2 years ago so that could have changed!! Best of luck xxx

in reply to 72cloud9

Wow this ccgs can really do what they like! It seems so wrong. should be same criteria throughout-that is what makes it feel so unfair. I live within a few miles of two county's both would fund us but our county won't.

Thanks for the supportive words I really appreciate it. X

72cloud9 profile image
72cloud9 in reply to

It really is an unfair system!! I never got any help as they took so long to do the fertility tests that I went over age thresh hold mid tests.dropped me like a tonne of bricks so I'm not the biggest fan!! Hope u can find a way round it x

in reply to 72cloud9

I'm sorry the NHS screwed you over. None of these are NICE guidelines either that's what gets me. It's not like any of us want to struggle to have a child-it's an under valued illness.

I doubt there is much of a loop hole- my best bet is to be given medication and hope I can fall on that. Clomid didn't agree with me so I'm hoping consultant will give me something else to try as he thinks Im not ovulating regularly.🤔

Our babies are definitely worth fighting for. X

I have no children but my husband has a 21 year old from a previous and it was made clear to me that I would get no help from my first appointment. It seemed rather unfair as I never knew her as a child only as an adult but that was that!

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