Fertility preservation has gained momentum in recent years. As cancer survival rates improve, late effects of loss of gonadal function have increased the need to consider fertility preservation. NICE recommends offering cryopreservation of gametes or embryos to patients undergoing gonadotoxic therapy, highlighting that this should be extrapolated to those with non-malignant conditions that pose a risk to fertility. We investigated whether variation in fertility preservation provision exists across the United Kingdom, with a view to identifying equitable models of provision. In England, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos is funded for all patients undergoing treatment for cancer, but eligibility criteria and duration of storage funding vary widely. In Scotland, a national policy is applied, with health boards equitably providing funding for cryopreservation of gametes, embryos, and ovarian and testicular tissue for those undergoing treatment for benign and malignant conditions which impair fertility, including gender incongruence. In Wales and Northern Ireland, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos is funded for those undergoing treatment likely to make them infertile, but ovarian tissue cryopreservation is not funded. Funding criteria for fertility preservation in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland deviates from NICE guidance. Standardization of fertility preservation policies is needed to provide equity of access for patients.
|Number of pages||6|
|Early online date||10 Apr 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2022|
- embryo cryopreservation
- Fertility preservation
- health policy
- oocyte cryopreservation
- ovarian tissue cryopreservation
- sperm cryopreservation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Reproductive Medicine
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Fertility Preservation Provision in the NHS: A National Assessment of Care Policies
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