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HFEA Launches Online Tool For Comparing NHS Funding for Fertility Treatments Across the UK

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(CTN News) – The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched a groundbreaking online tool, a dashboard, aimed at individuals considering fertility treatments like IVF.

This innovative platform allows users to compare National Health Service (NHS) funding for fertility treatments in their region with the rest of the UK.

The dashboard is considered a world first and provides a comprehensive overview of data spanning from 1991 onwards, encompassing information from 665,690 patients.

Some notable features of the dashboard include the ability to filter the 34,725 new egg donors and 14,665 new sperm donors by year, ethnicity, and country of origin.

Users can also explore data on the number of patients freezing or thawing their eggs each year, along with the average age at which these procedures are carried out.

Additionally, the dashboard offers insights into trends related to multiple birth rates per year and variations in IVF success rates based on age.

Key statistics highlighted by the dashboard include a decrease in the percentage of cycles receiving NHS funding, dropping from 38% in 2009 to 26% in 2021. On the other hand, the birth rate per embryo transferred has shown an increase from 7% in 1991 to 23% in 2021.

This user-friendly tool not only serves individuals undergoing fertility treatments but also provides valuable data for researchers in the field.

The comprehensive nature of the dashboard is expected to contribute significantly to understanding fertility treatment trends and outcomes, facilitating informed decision-making for those seeking such treatments.

Advancing Transparency in Fertility Data: Insights from HFEA Chief Executive Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has revealed that there are more than 70,000 fertility treatments conducted annually in the UK.

Thompson emphasized that as the fertility sector has evolved over the past 30 years, there has been a growing opportunity to enhance the presentation and sharing of data.

The newly launched data dashboards by HFEA represent a significant stride toward greater transparency in information.

Thompson stated, “Our new data dashboards mark the next step in even greater information transparency. For researchers, finding out vital data about fertility treatment in the UK previously meant submitting inquiries one by one.

The launch of the dashboard will ensure our wealth of data can be used to gain further insight, which could, in turn, improve outcomes for all.”

Professor Adam Balen, a consultant in reproductive medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, welcomed the availability of the data and commended the transparent approach of the HFEA.

He highlighted that the HFEA’s data stands as the largest repository of information about IVF globally.

Balen expressed that the new dashboard is a valuable tool for researchers to access data for study purposes, and for patients to obtain information that can better inform them on their fertility journey, thereby demystifying some of the complexities behind the statistics of treatment outcomes.

Support for the Fertility Dashboard: Stuart Lavery Highlights its Complementary Role

Stuart Lavery, a consultant in reproductive medicine at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has expressed support for the new dashboard introduced by the UK regulator.

He believes that both patients and clinics should welcome this tool, noting that its graphical and tabular format effectively presents complex information in a straightforward and easily understandable manner.

Lavery views the dashboard as a positive example of utilizing data from the world’s most comprehensive IVF database for the benefit of patients seeking fertility treatment.

While he recommends that his patients use the dashboard, he also emphasizes the importance of individualized consultations with fertility doctors for a more personalized understanding of their specific situations and chances of success.

This highlights the dashboard as a valuable supplementary resource, but Lavery underscores the significance of direct and personalized medical guidance for those undergoing fertility treatments.

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