Chance of NHS funded IVF nearly snatched away

Lucie is delighted that couples in Cambridgeshire will again be able to have NHS funded IVF, as for her and husband Ben access to funding has been life changing.

The couple nearly had their chance snatched away as the decision to withdraw funding came just before they were due to start IVF treatment at Bourn Hall Cambridge.

“I was desperate for children and the thought of not ever becoming a parent was unbearable, I was determined I would become a mum,” she says.

Lucie is a hairdresser and Ben runs his own plumbing and heating business. The couple met when they were teenagers and always wanted children.

“It got to the point when I was doing everything – temperature, everything that you have to do, I’d got the app on my phone, so you know about your body discharge and things like that. I got used to working out what it was telling me and I always used to get ovulation cramps as well so I sort of knew when the time should have been right.

“My periods were very regular – every 28 days.  I wasn’t taken seriously to begin with as I was so regular.”

All seemed fine and then a HyCoSy test, which uses a dye to check the tubes leading from the ovaries to the womb are all clear, revealed Lucie had a blocked fallopian tube. She had an operation to see if it could be unblocked and it was removed.

“So, I came round from operation to be told I was minus a fallopian tube, that was that a bit of a shock.  I thought ‘I am never going to be able to have children’.”

Fortunately, the timing of Lucie’s operation made it possible for them to have NHS funded IVF.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG has agreed to reinstate one cycle of NHS funded NHS treatment. Contact your GP to see if you meet its eligibility criteria.

Just in time for NHS funded IVF

“I heard about the NHS funding cuts and panic hit – we had a meeting at the hospital to discuss next steps. We only just qualified because the date of the operation meant that we were already ‘in the system’,” she says.

“It was a really stressful time. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

The couple’s first round of IVF at Bourn Hall Cambridge was successful, and the couple’s first daughter Alice-Mai was born: “It felt amazing to finally be a mum,” says Lucie. “We were in a bubble. She was finally here and she was ours.”

“It took us 4 or 5 years and everything I had to do to. But now I think ‘Oh I am so lucky’ and forget what I have been through.

“I am so pleased that NHS funding for IVF treatment is coming back,

NHS IVF Funding in Cambridgeshire
Lucie with Alice-Mai

Lucie and Ben know of family and friends that haven’t been so lucky with IVF and also have had to pay privately because of the cut funding: “We now hope the NHS will give them their chance at another shot they deserve,” she says.

More information

Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) has slightly different criteria for deciding if a couple are eligible for NHS funding more about Cambridgeshire here

Each GP surgery is part of a CCG – check our map to see what your CCG offers.

If you have been trying to conceive for over two years (or less if you are over 35) then the first step is to contact your GP, if you required fertility tests these will be done by a local hospital or Bourn Hall if you live in Norfolk.  This is called Level 2 and support at this stage may help you to conceive naturally. 

If you are diagnosed with infertility and referred for IVF you can choose to come to Bourn Hall, we have full service clinics in Cambridge, Norwich, Wickford that provide NHS IVF (including egg collection and embryo transfer) This is called Level 3.

If you are unable to access NHS funding then do still come and have a chat, our friendly Patient Support Team will discuss with you other options that will help to make treatment accessible.


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