Ethnic disparities in fertility treatment
Patient access to fertility treatment and their chance of a successful outcome from treatment varies according to their ethnic group. The HFEA report on ethnic disparities in fertility treatment can be found here.
Data from the HFEA shows that Black and Asian patients have poorer access to fertility treatment
and are less likely to have a baby when they do access treatment. This is likely due to several
reasons, including biological, social and cultural factors. The British Fertility Society calls for action
from all stakeholders to improve timely access to appropriate treatment for all patients, with early
recognition and treatment of co-incident gynaecological problems.
Dr Raj Mathur, Chair of the BFS said ‘Professionals looking after fertility patients are only too aware
of the difficulties many patients face in accessing NHS-funded fertility treatment. These difficulties
appear to be larger for some ethnic groups, and we call upon commissioners of healthcare to be
conscious of this in making funding decisions. Funding IVF in accordance with NICE guidance would
help to reduce this inequality and should be a priority as was recognised in the government’s
Women’s Health Strategy. It is key to develop awareness among clinicians of ethnic disparities in
fertility outcomes, and we urgently call for research into this subject.’
Note to editors:
The British Fertility Society (BFS) is a membership body for professionals working in all disciplines of
reproductive medicine. The BFS is dedicated to raising the standards of practice, and actively
promotes the sharing of knowledge, mentorship and research. It welcomes clinicians and scientists,
(including doctors, nurses, counsellors, embryologists and andrologists) and other professional
groups working in fertility, into its membership. It provides a voice for professionals in matters
relating to regulation and funding of fertility treatment.
A pdf version of this response is here.