April 2013

IVF On The NHS, You're Better Off Abroad Getting IVF on the NHS is tougher than ever. This blog is a regular critic of the poor provision of IVF services on the NHS. Over 60% of IVF applications are refused by the NHS. So patients pay over the odds for rip-off private treatment. We're now seeing fees of £8,000 and upwards for a single IVF cycle at some UK clinics.

Blastocysts have an image problem – and not just because they sound like a bad day at NASA. Should IVF patients transfer one or more? Is it a good idea to culture embryos for five days, not three? Are multiple births more or less likely? Here’s our round-up of the top 10 things you need to know about blastocysts – based on the most trusted research.

  Woman Having Eggs Removed As Part Of IVF Treatment In its recent report on donor conception, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics talks about 'information sharing'. That means when and how to tell your child she was donor conceived. It makes some good points. But ethical arguments don't always take account of the real world. Where, in that 200-page paper, does it actually celebrate the wonderful altruism of donors? In the UK, egg and sperm donors face barriers. Their impulse to donate is knocked back by ethical over-thinking and distrustful attitudes.

Safe text on hand design concept Legal protection for IVF patients in Europe is impressive. It's in a different league, for example, to cosmetic surgery, which still attracts some cowboy operators. Not so for IVF. Strict EU laws on fertility treatment, plus well-regulated industry practice, have been evolving for 30 years. If you choose to have an IVF cycle at a licensed fertility clinic in Europe, you'll get fair and safe treatment.

  PGD (now known as PGT-M) is a godsend for couples with known medical conditions that could be passed on to their offspring. And it's getting better all the time. 1 in 100 babies inherit a serious parental disorder, but PGD/PGT-M is playing its part in tackling this. And in a new study of IVF embryonic DNA a way has been found to extract genetic material from a developing embryo without the need for a cell biopsy.