An investigation has found women over the age of 34 are being automatically refused IVF treatment on the National Health Service (NHS) in a dozen areas of England.
UK guidelines say women should be offered IVF until the age of 42, but new statistics show roughly 80 per cent of areas in the UK are failing to do that.
The Victoria Derbyshire current affairs program on the BBC spoke to a 38-year-old woman named Charlotte who was told she was too old for IVF in Southampton, where the cut off age for IVF is 34.
“It’s just unfair, because I am not over the hill. To say that 35 and over is the end of having children is ridiculous,” said Charlotte, who was most upset about not having been told the age limit sooner. “I would have liked to know when I was younger.”
According to the BBC, advocacy group Fertility Fairness said the cut off age “penalises women who take longer to find a partner or who wish to put themselves on a secure financial footing before trying to conceive.”
England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Victoria Derbyshire blanket bans were “not acceptable,” adding, “There is a reason we have guidelines in the first place – and that’s to provide the standard a country should expect.”
In Australia, there is no age limit legislation for IVF, but South Australia recommends 50 years as the maximum age, reports The Conversation.