Illustration depicting a sign with an infertility concept. Fertility problems affect around 1 in 6 UK couples of reproductive age. Many will be offered limited treatment at NHS fertility clinics. Or, more likely, no treatment at all: read all about the NHS postcode lottery here. Instead of getting help in their hour of need, desperate fertility patients face crippling costs at private UK clinics. But there’s no need to get nobbled. Just show these clinics the door.

Read any fertility forum and you’ll find sex and IVF don’t get along too well. ‘I felt so unsexy’, writes one woman. ‘After my umpteenth trans-vaginal scan, sex was the last thing on my mind’. And: ‘We deliberately didn’t have sex before or after our IVF treatment – now we’ve forgotten what it’s like’.

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.

Preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS, is a viable option for certain IVF patients. Available, for an additional fee, to IVF couples anxious about the chromosomal health of their embryos, PGS takes place before your embryo transfer (and delays it until the results are back). Due to its pre-transfer timing, it has to be better than chorionic villus sampling or an amniocentesis, which look for fetal problems several weeks into a pregnancy.

  Donor Anonymity, Best For Birth Parents Or Children Donor anonymity is a contentious issue. Should donor-conceived children have the right to trace their donor parents? In the UK, the law says yes. The result? Many egg and sperm donors are discouraged from coming forward. Supply is still dwarfed by demand, so patients go abroad. You'll be waiting for a donor for at least six months in the UK, and probably 12.