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Sexual Orientation Is Stopping Identical-Intercourse {Couples} Entry To IVF In England

“Sexual orientation should not be a factor in access to IVF,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock in 2019. But almost two years later, same-sex couples in England are still being told by doctors that they qualify for IVF treatment would be NHS if only they were watching.

Stacey, Danielle and their daughter

Delivered

In vitro fertilization, which combines an egg cell with sperm outside the body, has long been a “zip code lottery” in the UK

One with differences for all couples in different nations and even between different NHS trusts.

In this perspective, the current picture across the UK means that in Wales all women receive two IVF attempts with the NHS; In Scotland all women paid three shots. And in Northern Ireland – only one.

In England it is even more complex. This may depend on your zip code or NHS trust. In fact, same-sex couples are noticeably more difficult to get NHS treatment in England because of guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Last updated in 2017, it states that if you are in a same-sex relationship, the only way to get help is if you “don’t get pregnant after 6 cycles of artificial insemination”.

For same-sex couples like Stacey Pearson and Danielle Beazer, it means they paid big bucks just to be blessed with a gorgeous IVF daughter, Willow Blue Pearson-Beazer.

Treatment for straight and same-sex couples receive free of charge.

“It’s discrimination against LBGTQ people,” says Stacey Pearson. “We have to pay more than £ 10,000 before we even try to get NHS funding. Heterosexual couples don’t have to pay that much.

“It makes me sad and disappointing that there are so many same-sex couples who don’t get the financial help to start a family. It could be a real barrier for some people who would make great parents but can’t afford to cash out multiple rounds. “

This is why the couple from Bristol in the south of the UK have seen more than 30,000 people trying to get the NHS in England to treat same-sex couples as if they were straight and same-sex couples. This along with calls from the same-sex YouTube super couple Wegan, whose high-profile campaign captured this topic in the news.

“The requirement for heterosexual couples is two years of unprotected sex,” said Wegan’s Megan Bacon-Evans on the IVF podcast The Big Fat Negative this week. “I immediately realized that there is a huge financial barrier for same-sex couples to getting exactly the same treatment.

“And we’ve had a lot of followers who tried and said this barrier is the reason they can’t have a family. Some have even been told that if you were straight you would qualify for funding. It’s amazing what’s there. “

Influential YouTube couple Wegan are campaigning for Britain to change its rules that prevent equality … [+] Access to IVF for same-sex ouples

What Wegan did next

What are the problems with IVF access in the UK?

“The system is not good for anyone,” says The Big Fat Negative podcast host Emma Haslett.

“If your partner has children, you won’t get IVF. If you are overweight or your BMI is too high (even if you are ripped or like “too healthy”) you will not be given IVF. There are a million reasons. “

And especially in England this is so difficult to manage as different NHS trusts decide who should receive IVF treatment.

In short, different bodies, Clinical Commissioning Groups, are responsible for deciding what treatment people will have based on available budgets and local needs. This is the case, to some extent, with all health needs, not just IVF.

“Clinical mission groups shouldn’t be responsible for deciding who can reproduce,” says Haslett. “Why can you make decisions about IVF funding, why can you choose?”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised to review the system, telling LGBTQ media PinkNews that sexual orientation should not be a factor in access to IVF in 2019.

Two years later, the system remains unchanged, with Reps Stacey and Danielle pointing out the pandemic for taking no action. While the Department of Health and Welfare says it is “a matter for the local health commissioners,” a spokesman blames the Clinical Commissioning Groups for the inequality:

“We understand that there should be equal access across England and that clinical contracting groups should commission fertility services in accordance with the NICE Fertility Guidelines, which state that same-sex female couples are eligible for NHS IVF services when they have demonstrated their clinical infertility. “

Globally, infertility is recognized as a disability by the World Health Organization. Many people trying to get access to IVF wonder why their disability is not worth treating in the NHS.

“Disabled people deserve health care,” says Haslett. “And in a broader sense, we have an aging population and a falling birthrate. If we don’t address that, it will create problems for adult social care and pensions. We need new young people to come into the industry Government interest in providing IVF.

“Everyone deserves to have a baby, I don’t think it’s a privilege.”

Stacey, Danielle and their baby daughter

Stacey, Danielle and their baby daughter

Delivered

What do the guidelines mean for LGBTQ people looking to raise a family?

Amid the discussion of guidelines and zip code lotteries – it’s easy to lose the fragility of what this means for couples looking to build something we all want – a happy family.

“Let’s be clear, it’s a clock ticking problem,” says IVF podcaster Emma Haslett. “If people show up asking for help and it takes a long time for a group of people to decide if you can seek treatment, your fertility could be lost.”

And that’s another driving reason Stacey and Danielle made it their business to advocate for British LGBTQ people who want to raise a family.

“We want people to understand how hard it is to have a child in a same-sex relationship,” says Stacey.

“So many people I speak to fail to see the process or the hurdles we have to go through.”

And because fertility is a time-limited window, the couple urges anyone thinking about raising a family where they can to start as early as possible.

“Same sex couples need to know they should start earlier (if they can). Just in case your trip is unsuccessful and you have to pay more.

“It’s too late for a system change that will help us, but hopefully we can help same-sex couples get more support on their IVF journey.”

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