Guidance for Service personnel seeking assisted conception
NHS England has written a specific commissioning policy for Armed Forces families living in England. This is a really comprehensive source of information that outlines the pathway and criteria for eligible service personnel and their partners to access assisted reproduction together with various methods of treatment available such as IVF and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). It aims to ensure that armed forces couples receive consistent NHS treatment wherever they are posted in England. The policy has been written in accordance with the NICE clinical guidelines to help prevent some of the issues that couples can face due to mobility and regional differentiation.
Guidance and policy
The Defence Instruction Notices (DIN) Assisted Conception Services and Fertility Preservation – 2021DIN01-020 and can be accessed via the MoD Intranet system. It gives policy guidance to those seeking geographical stability when undergoing assisted conception treatment, guidance on assisted conception overseas and for those requiring fertility preservation.
Couples looking to access assisted conception treatment will need one partner to be registered with DMS and will need to make an application for funding. You can download a copy of the armed forces specific application form here: application form N-SC037 to be completed by the GP or the fertility clinic clinician.
If you are experiencing issues accessing fertility treatment, or have any questions relating to assisted conception and need support please contact us at the RAF Families Federation via the ‘Report an Issue’ red button on our website.
The Defence Fertility Network
The Defence Fertility Network is a growing online social media group with over 400 members. It exists to provide individuals, couples and their civilian partners across Defence (Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Servants) who are considering, are on or have been on a fertility journey a welcoming, rankless and confidential support group. It functions primarily as a private Facebook group where members can provide and receive peer support, signposting to relevant resources and the benefit of collective experience when navigating National Health Service and Ministry of Defence policies.
IVF in the devolved Administrations:
Scotland- eligible patients may be offered up to 3 cycles of IVF. Find out more here NHS Fertility Funding in Scotland
Wales eligible patients may be offered up to 3 cycles of IVF. Find out more here- NHS Fertility Funding in Wales
Northern Ireland- eligible patients may be offered 1 cycle of IVF. Find out more here: NHS Fertility Funding in Northern Ireland
What to do if you are overseas
Generally if you are overseas, you will not receive funding for assisted conception treatment. Sometimes however, there is support for fertility investigations to entitled couples. Couples will be advised to return to the UK for treatment. Fertility treatment is not recommended during overseas postings as quality assurances cannot be regulated in line with UK guidelines.