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NHS urged to act on infertility

Couples should be given three free cycles of IVF to fight the "social disorder" of infertility, a leading expert has claimed.

Sam Abdalla, medical director of the Lister Fertility Clinic in London, said the NHS was failing to implement a 2004 NICE directive calling for free treatment.

"Infertility is not only a disease, it is also a social disorder with a profound effect on the individual, the family and wider society," Mr Abdalla said.

"It is scandalous that over 30 years after IVF was introduced, infertile couples are denied state-funded treatment for their predicament.

"We believe that the full implementation of the Nice guidelines is long overdue and I, for one, would like to see the day when fertility patients come to me privately not because they have to, but because they want to."

The doctor is offering 21 free cycles of IVF to mark the 21st birthday of the clinic, treatment at which has resulted in more than 10,000 births.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Lister Fertility Clinic