The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has announced its upcoming release of a new fertility treatment reference and information guide, entitled 'Getting started: Your guide to fertility treatment', aimed to assist people at the outset of considering fertility treatment options.
The HFEA describes the publication as a step-by-step introduction that explains the different fertility treatments available, what to think about before beginning treatment, what to expect when visiting a clinic, funding options, potential risks and various resources for support throughout the process.
The guide is available and a free copy can be ordered directly from the HFEA website, or a leaflet with a pre-paid order form may be obtained at a GP surgery.
Tens of thousands of people reportedly undergo fertility treatment each year in the UK. The HFEA states that the 'Getting Started' guide is intended to help individuals access the necessary information they will need when beginning to explore fertility treatment, in order to ultimately feel confident they have reached the right decisions in their circumstances.
The guide reflects important changes in fertility laws since 2008. It also updates evolved clinical practices and treatment options, including the advantages of selecting to transfer only one embryo for uterine transfer during any single cycle of IVF treatment to minimise risky multiple birth pregnancies.
The HFEA, as the governing body responsible for the provision of licensed fertility services throughout the UK, is therefore a reliable and important public resource for information relating to fertility treatment. The new guide encourages people to access the HFEA website for further detailed information and updated data relating to licensed clinics, fertility information and practices.
Infertility refers to the failure to become pregnant after two years of regular unprotected sex as defined by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). It is estimated that approximately one in seven UK couples - approximately 3.5 million people - at some point experience infertility, according to HFEA statistics. Many of those afflicted will become pregnant naturally eventually, the HFEA website reports, but a significant minority will not.