Fertility (2004)

Date published:  February 2004
State: Published

Infertility affects one in seven couples in the UK, and though there appears to be no major changes in the prevalence, more people now seek help for it.

A typical district health authority may expect to see around 230 new consultant referrals each year. There is wide variation in management between centres, and patient dissatisfaction with clinical services has been expressed.

The aim of the guideline was to undertake an evidence-based examination of the three existing guidelines published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists covering the initial investigation and management of infertility in primary, secondary and tertiary settings, but taking into account new research evidence and scientific developments.

The guideline aims to provide a seamless system across healthcare settings eliminating duplication of tests and services. Guidance on tertiary services includes optimal age range for IVF, the number of cycles of IVF treatment, and the number of embryos to be transferred in any one cycle.

The guideline also considers cost-effectiveness implications for the NHS.

The following documents are freely available to download in PDF format from the NICE web site:

Full Guideline
NICE Guideline
Information for the Public
Evidence Tables

Copies of the full guideline can be purchased from the RCOG bookshop

Updated 27 February 2008

Keynote Fertility