Is it RIP to IVF?
This week Croydon became the first Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in London to cut funding for all IVF treatment, other than in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
The decision is part of an effort to plug a £36 million financial deficit and comes despite strong opposition from the public – with 77 percent of people who responded to a public consultation earlier this year preferring the option to make ‘no change’ to the existing service.
So, with the prospect of conceiving, as well as the dream of becoming a parent already difficult enough for some couples, are these new restrictions a step too far for some? And is there anything else that could be done to enhance a couple’s chance of conceiving?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that women under 40 are offered up to three free cycles of NHS-funded IVF, but it is up to individual CCGs to decide how NHS funding is spent in their region. And provision varies widely across the UK
In addition to reducing the number of cycles on offer, it is reported that medical exemptions such as BMI and being non-smokers are also now being taken into account in some areas. Whilst several CCGs also look at age and whether there are any children already from current or past relationships.
Founded over 300 years ago in China, acupuncture was developed to help maintain the body’s overall balance. After careful examination of their patients, Chinese practitioners observed that there are passages within the body known as meridians through which energy, or Chi, flows and they believed that disruption of these paths causes physical and emotional imbalance.
Stimulating physical wellness
According to acupuncture theory, the insertion of acupuncture needles works to restore mental and physical wellness by stimulating certain pressure points within the body. This stimulation releases endorphins and allows the free flow of energy, which could be beneficial to fertility treatments.
As a proud mother of two healthy daughters, I understand what it means to have children and have a great deal of sympathy for women who are unable to conceive. When I heard about the success stories associated with acupuncture and fertility, I began training with the renowned Zita West fertility clinic in London to learn how I could help hopeful women with my skills.