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Media statement from the HFEA in response to new BPAS Fertility report

We welcome this new report from BPAS Fertility. Our data confirms that fertility treatment is enabling more female same-sex couples to have a genetically linked family. We have published similar findings which show that it is harder to access NHS funding if you are not in a heterosexual couple.

In our 2019 report, Family Formations, we found that across the UK 39% of IVF cycles were funded by the NHS where patients had a male partner.  This dropped to an average of 14% for those with female partners.  36% of patients in England with a male partner had NHS funding, while only 11% of those with a female partner did.  In Scotland, which has the highest level of NHS funding at 61% of patients with a male partner, it was 40% of patients with a female partner.

We know that an increasing number of cycles involve patients in female same-sex relationships or with no partner. In 2019, 2,435 IVF cycles (4% of all cycles) involved a female partner, a four-fold increase compared to 489 cycles in 2009 (1%). We want to do all we can to ensure equality of access to NHS funding for all IVF patients.

Review date: 8 September 2023