BFS Statement on Fertility, Obesity and Social Values

The British Fertility Society is concerned that press coverage of the Society’s statement on NHS funding of assisted conception has given the impression that the Society wishes to restrict access of obese patients to fertility treatment.

The Society was surprised that the press gave this emphasis to our statement. In fact, we are suggesting that, subject to safety considerations, fertility treatment should be made available to all patients with a BMI of up to 36. Patients who have a BMI of more than 36 would not normally be treated in a fertility clinic anyway, because of safety concerns. In reality, our proposals should lead to an increase in the number of obese patients treated.

The BFS statement on social criteria for NHS funding of fertility treatment covers 11 points, only one of which relates to obesity. This is a general statement of the social values which the Society would like to see applied, to enable more equitable access to NHS fertility treatment. The BFS has a stated aim to ensure that greater access to fertility treatment is available through the National Health Service.

A more comprehensive background statement can be found at: http://www.fertility.org.uk/news/documents/NICEImplementationfollowup.pdf

Note that Obesity is normally defined as having a BMI of >30.