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NHS told healthy young woman they will only fund IVF once post menopausal - Please help

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My name's Ami and July last year my whole life was turned upside down.

At the age of 26 I was told that I have a rare condition called Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), which affects just 1% of females in the UK and basically means that I'm heading into the scary world of menopause a hell of a lot earlier than expected.

Unfortunately it's come too soon for me as I have not yet had the chance to start my family, something I've dreamt of since a small child myself. Both of my sisters have children and I've loved being an auntie to my nieces and nephews. I know one day I will be a wonderful a mother.

My GP referred me to the fertility clinic at Luton and Dunstable hospital in the hope that I can start IVF treatment with the few remaining eggs I have left but unfortunately I have been declined treatment.

Having POF means the chances of conceiving are low, however the NHS website states that you are entitled to IVF if:
The woman is aged between 23 and 39 at the time of treatment, and
one or both of you has been diagnosed with a fertility problem.

Even though I appear to fit the criteria above, apparently I don't. They have told me that I don't fall into the Premature Ovarian Failure category because I am not yet 'post' menopausal (Post menopause is confirmed after 6 months with no period), but I don't fall into unexplained infertility because my hormone levels are in the menopausal range. I have been told I am definitely going through menopause I am just at the very beginning stages and eventually it will all be over. This means that the longer I leave it, the lower the chance of conceiving will be.

The doctor at the fertility clinic took my case to their clinical meeting and came back with another offer for me. He said they would be happy to fund IVF with DONOR eggs BUT, only once I'm 'post menopausal'. This seems crazy to me because not only will I be in a worse position to carry a child hormonally once my cycle has stopped completely, but we have no way of knowing when that will be. My POF specialist has told me I could be 'post menopausal' in one year, it could be in TEN years, or could be at normal menopause age! There is simply no way of knowing.

In addition to this, as my symptoms worsen and my oestrogen decreases, I will need to take Hormone Replacement Therapy in order to avoid the health risks that come with this hormone imbalance - such as Osteoporosis, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer. When you're on HRT you have a monthly cycle, so the only way of knowing that I have become 'post menopausal' is to not take HRT and expose myself to these health risks. 

I feel that it is a basic human right to be able to have a family when you choose to, and for those who unfortunately have to go through the painful process of assisted conception, this should also be when they are in the best place possible health wise, and should not be dictated by such an unknown factor. I understand waiting lists are in place, but waiting for someone to become post menopausal is crazy.

I have attempted to go for IVF privately but it would cost around £10,000 per cycle. It's likely I would need more than one cycle which means it would end up costing a life changing amount of money.

I really don't understand how people with blocked fallopian tubes, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, low sperm count and unexplained fertility are all entitled to treatment on the NHS but I'm not.

I know other POF sufferers that have been accepted and going forward with IVF. Even if I am able to start a cycle with donor eggs, not my own, at least I have the chance to be a mum and have a family.

I really hope you can help me by signing my petition. I hope you understand how helping me out with this would change my life.



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Ami Clark needs your help with “Luton CCG: NHS told healthy young woman they will only fund IVF once menopausal - Please help”. Join Ami and 550 supporters today.