The majority of couples who are having trouble conceiving seek private infertility treatment because they are unable to get treatment on the NHS, it has been revealed.
Nearly 45,000 cycles of IVF are performed every year in Britain, but 75 per cent of these are carried out privately because of limited NHS provision.
The Expert Group on Commissioning NHS Infertility Provision has now published an interim report which proposes several measures designed to make NHS infertility treatment more widely and consistently available.
According to the Times, the report is expected to say: "The provision of infertility treatment has not been seen as a traditional NHS service and, therefore, is often viewed as a relatively low priority compared to more visible conditions whose impact is well established.
"The group's final report will seek to consider the often unseen consequences of infertility, including the impact on mental health and general wellbeing, which may draw on other NHS services for treatment, as well as the positive benefits of IVF."
At least 20 to 25 per cent of couples of reproductive age are affected by infertility.
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?