February 19, 2024
5 Minutes

Can I freeze my eggs through the NHS?

Can I freeze my eggs through the NHS?
Written by
Navya Muralidhar
MSc Clinical Embryology & Embryologist
Amilis makes fertility digestible, accessible, and affordable to help you take charge of your reproductive health and live on your own timeline.

In an eggshell...

  1. It can be quite tricky to get NHS to fund your egg-freezing cycle, unless you meet their guidelines
  2. However, there are resources such as NICE guides and local ICBs that you can contact to get additional information on reducing egg-freezing costs
  3. There are also options such as egg sharing and Amilis- where you get options to save on your egg freezing cycle costs, at different stages!

Will NHS cover my egg freezing costs?

“Egg freezing, and in this economy!?”

This is probably your first thought after coming across a multitude of articles that talk about the expense, and the cost of egg freezing cycles. 

But here’s the thing: If you're planning for a fertility treatment, and if egg freezing is on the charts, then there are ways out there to help you cut down on the costs. 

And if your first pit stop is the NHS, we’ve prepared this guide for you to understand how NHS coverage works, the eligibility criteria, and alternative routes that you can take. 

So, read on to find out!

Can I freeze my eggs on the NHS?

💊 here's a little honesty pill. Maybe. 

Your egg freezing cycle is only covered by the NHS if you are under the age of 42, and are undergoing medical treatment that affects your fertility, such as chemotherapy, gender reassignment surgery, etc. 

This is because, in the UK, coverage for fertility preservation ultimately comes down to your local area and what its fertility policy is.

How do I know if my egg freezing is covered by NHS?

This dates back to the guidelines set by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence set some guidelines in 2013. While these guidelines are in place, they are not mandatory

This means that locally, Integrated Care Systems, or ICS can set their own funding level and eligibility criteria. So essentially even if you meet the guidelines that NICE sets, you may not meet the local requirements and guidelines set by the ICS.

Is egg freezing available on the NHS?

There are two ways to go about answering this- depending on whether you’re in the eligibility criteria or not.

If you’re in the eligibility criteria:

  1. We recommend checking the NICE guide for recommendations on egg freezing before starting chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  2. You can then check for your local ICB and contact them directly on how to get started with the process.

If you’re not in the eligibility criteria:

  1. If you are eligible to be covered under the NICE guidelines, but don’t fall under the guidelines of the ICS, you can then appeal in the ICS using the NHS funding page
  2. Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have a central criteria for funding, which you can check on this regional NHS page.

If you do not fall under the NICE guidelines either, you can search for your local ICB and either call directly or request a copy of their fertility policy via email. Post-checking your eligibility, you can write a letter to your ICS requesting coverage, using these template letters. You can also refer to this page for additional documents to help with coverage requests.

What do I do if NHS doesn’t cover my egg freezing?

🫠We get it, it’s unfair.

With the costs of egg freezing already in your basket, it can be harder knowing that your access to treatment via NHS is denied or limited due to postal codes and the eligibility criteria. Despite national guidance, the NHS works on local policies that benefit few, but leave many devoid of having their egg freezing cycles covered. 

If you’re not covered under the NHS for your egg freezing, the only option is to go for self-funded cycles. So, if you’re worried that this may just be on the pricier side of things, there are options that you can still avail that help with cutting costs. 

One is compensated egg sharing. In this program, you get to undergo egg freezing at a reduced or compensated price, given that you donate half the eggs retrieved, and you keep the other half. 

An egg-sharing program helps reduce costs if you’re not covered under the NHS, by sponsoring costs of the egg-freezing cycle, or by reducing them to a minimum, based on the clinic.

How Amilis can help reduce your egg-freezing costs

If you aren’t too keen on an egg-sharing cycle, Amilis can help you reduce the cost of your egg-freezing cycle. For instance, a typical egg-freezing cycle costs around £5000-7000 including medication, tests, and storage.

But with Amilis, you can get free consultations and save up to £250 in the initial stages of egg freezing. On the other hand, you can also test your AMH with Amilis at £50 only, compared to the average cost of £100 - £150 for AMH tests at fertility clinics.

Along with saving on cost, with Amilis, you get a personalised quiz to start your egg-freezing journey, a stellar support group (that’s us 👋) to answer all your queries, and the ability to choose a clinic as per cost and convenience, making it a win-win over searching for clinics from scratch.

So, if you’re worried about the lack of being covered by the NHS funding, Amilis can be your choice for sourcing budget-friendly clinics, at your convenience. Here at Amilis, we’re focused on providing the right resources, from answering your smallest queries to supporting you on your egg-freezing journey.

You’ve got this!

References
Written by
Navya Muralidhar
MSc Clinical Embryology & Embryologist

An embryologist by degree, and an educator by heart, Navya has completed her Bachelors in Genetics, and her Masters in Embryology and now strives to deconstruct the complex, into educational and informative articles surrounding her field of interest. She's specifically focused on time-lapse technology, IVM, and pre-implantation genetics. When not writing, you can find her at her favourite or newest coffee shop in town, sketching away, or listening to a podcast.