Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 12:21 UK

County lowers IVF treatment age

The upper age limit for receiving IVF treatment on the NHS in Oxfordshire is to be lowered, the country's primary care trust (PCT) has said.

From December, the PCT said it would only offer IVF to women aged between 30 and 34. Currently women have to be between 35 and 38 to be considered.

The PCT said lowering the age range would increase the chances of success by about 14 births a year.

The trust said its decision was based on the clinical effectiveness and cost.

Exceptions considered

These factors were weighed up against other local health care priorities, the PCT said.

It said there would be a transitional period from December to allow women aged 35 and 36 to request IVF - provided their treatment begins within a year.

The PCT said in the long term it would consider IVF for women outside of the new age range, but only in exceptional cases.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) recommends that women with fertility problems aged between 23 and 39 should be given three cycles of IVF treatment to help them conceive.

Richard McKenzie, from Oxfordshire, who has been campaigning to widen the NHS age range eligibility in the county, said: "I am not going to stop until the people of Oxfordshire get the healthcare they deserve."

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