Women Previously Considered 'Too Old' May Get Free Fertility Treatment

British women over the age of 40 may be in line for IVF treatment for the first time, Sky News reported Monday.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced it is reviewing its guidelines and that women previously considered too old could soon benefit from free fertility treatment on the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS).

Among the issues influencing the review were the threat of legal action because of age discrimination laws and advancements in IVF since the last review in 2004.

Any decision made will be published after consultations with independent experts, a NICE spokeswoman told Sky News.

Current guidelines said infertile women 23 to 39 should be offered three cycles of IVF free on the NHS, although some regional health care trusts have stricter limits.

Critics argue IVF treatment for older women could put both them and a potential baby at risk.

The Infertility Network believes the best way to decide is through measuring ovarian reserve — which predicts how high the chances are of a woman being able to get pregnant.

"Some older women have a higher chance than a young woman might," an Infertility Network spokesperson explained.

"However, we would always caution women against leaving it until 40-plus to have a baby. The success rate at that age is less than 10 percent."

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