Wednesday 27th July 2022
NHS England has written a specific Clinical Commissioning Policy: Assisted Conception for Armed Forces Personnel. This is to ensure that Armed Forces couples receive consistent treatment wherever they are posted in England. The policy has been written in accordance with the NICE clinical guidelines to help prevent some of the issues that couples can face due to mobility and regional differentiation.
Assisted Conception Eligibility
To be eligible for assisted reproduction methods such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI) at least one of the couple must be registered with a Defence Medical Services (DMS) practice in England. There are a lot of other criteria that couples will need to conform to in order to be entitled for the process to be funded. The commissioning policy outlines both the criteria and the pathway to access care.
The whole process can be lengthy, and with additional time pressures due to age, it can be a physical and emotional rollercoaster. Each case is viewed individually which can sometimes cause further stress to the situation.
Where to go for information and support
The Defence Instruction Notices (DIN) named ‘Assisted Conception Services and Fertility Preservation – 2021DIN01-020’ can be accessed via the MoD Intranet system. This provides information for Armed Forces personnel who are contemplating or accessing Assisted Conception Services or Fertility Preservation.
Please view here for the application form N-SC037 to be completed by the GP or the fertility clinic clinician.
The Service Fertility Peer Support Network Facebook group is a great platform to access for discussions and questions to other Armed Forces couples that are, or have previously gone through the process.
IVF in England
England – eligible patients may be offered up to 3 cycles of IVF. Find out more at NHS Fertility – Funding in England
IVF in the devolved Administrations
Scotland- eligible patients may be offered up to 3 cycles of IVF. Find out more at NHS Fertility Funding in Scotland
Wales – eligible patients may be offered up to 3 cycles of IVF. Find out more at NHS Fertility Funding in Wales
Northern Ireland- eligible patients may be offered 1 cycle of IVF. Find out more at NHS Fertility Funding in Northern Ireland
Generally, if you are overseas you will not receive funding for assisted conception treatment. However, there is support for fertility investigations to entitled couples. Couples will be advised to return to the UK for treatment. Fertility treatment is not recommended during overseas postings as quality assurances cannot be regulated in line with UK guidelines.
How the RAF Families federation can help
Our subject matter expert can provide advice specific to your circumstances. To enable us to provide you with the appropriate information you will need to complete the ‘report an issue’ form, accessible from the page header.