IVF is cost effective up to age 43, says NICE

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 23 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3656
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Some women aged 40, 41, or 42 should be able to undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment on the NHS, says draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.1 The previous upper age limit for IVF funded by the NHS was 39.

The new draft guidance on fertility treatment for NHS bodies in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland updates guidance issued in 2004. It says that women aged 40 to 42 who have not tried fertility treatment before and for whom IVF is the only chance of conceiving should be offered one full cycle of treatment.

The change in the age limit comes after NICE developed a new economic analysis that for the first time took into account quality adjusted life years (QALYs), cumulative IVF success rates in different clinical settings, single (fresh and frozen) and double embryo transfers, and a …

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