There’s A ‘Gay Tax’ On NHS Fertility Treatment. This Is The Impact

The NHS needs to end the “gay tax” imposed on same-sex couples seeking fertility treatment. That’s the message from Whitney Bacon-Evans and her wife Megan – plus other couples interviewed by HuffPost UK – who are calling for an end to the “discrimination” LGBTQ+ couples face in starting a family.

Whitney, 33, and Megan, 34, decided to pursue fertility treatment in 2020. They thought they understood the NHS system as Megan’s sister had recently had IVF with her husband, but they were “shocked and disappointed” to learn of the restrictions imposed on lesbian couples.

While heterosexual couples are expected to try to conceive for two years before accessing NHS-funded treatment, NICE guidance states that female same-sex couples must undergo six rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) from a licensed fertility unit before they’re considered. They’ll then be offered NHS IUI (usually another six rounds), before being offered IVF. The restrictions are even more complex for male same-sex couples where a surrogate is needed.

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