Increasing access to IVF

Number of treatment cycles to increase from two to three.

From 1 April, new patients referred for IVF treatment on the NHS in Scotland may be eligible for three full cycles rather than two, increasing their chances of conceiving a baby.

The change was recommended by the National Infertility Group in its report to Ministers last summer, with the ‘refreshed’ Group reaffirming the increase and start date at its first meeting last month.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell announced the move at the Assisted Conception Centre in Edinburgh, where she met new parents who conceived through IVF.

She said:

“Scotland continues to lead the way in the provision of NHS IVF treatment and I’m really pleased that we’re ready to implement the second main recommendation from the National Infertility Group.

“For couples struggling to conceive it can be a very difficult time and IVF can provide an opportunity to help them have that longed-for baby.

“We want to make access to treatment on the NHS as fair as possible - giving more people the opportunity to conceive. Over the last five years we have invested around £24 million to reduce IVF waiting times and improve the outcomes for couples.

“These changes make NHS IVF access in Scotland by far the fairest and most generous in the UK.”



The National Infertility Group report was published in June 2016 and made two main recommendations, of which this is the second.

From 1 September 2016, couples with children in the home, but where one partner does not have a biological child, are eligible for IVF access.

One full cycle of IVF includes a fresh cycle followed by the transfer of any viable embryos which have been frozen and stored, where available.


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