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This is a summary of the NHS Devon CCG commissioning policy for Cryopreservation to Preserve Fertility.
Cryopreservation is a technique used to preserve fertility by banking gametes (eggs or sperm) or embryos prior to a treatment which may make a patient permanently infertile.
Patients aged 39 years and younger who are:
There is no lower age limit.
Access to NHS funded cryopreservation will not be affected by previous attempts at Assisted Conception.
Requests for storage of gametes or embryos under circumstances which are not routinely funded require an application for exceptional funding to be made by the patient's clinician to the CCGs' Individual Funding Request Panel.
NHS funded cryopreservation may be undertaken by banking gametes (eggs or sperm), or embryos if the patient has a partner, prior to treatment. If the patient survives treatment these may be used to assist conception.
Storage of gametes and embryos will be funded for an initial period of five years for patients aged 39 years and younger.
Storage will be renewed in cases where the patient is prematurely infertile, is likely to have become prematurely infertile, or is receiving teratogenic treatment. Storage will be renewed in further five year periods until the patient's 40th birthday, or less from the 35th birthday. The patient's clinician is expected to discuss with the patient whether continued storage is required, the expected outcome of subsequent fertility treatment and to confirm that the patient meets criteria for extension of storage.
Funding for storage will cease twelve months following the death of the patient.
Once an individual is fit and able to proceed with Assisted Conception using their frozen gametes or embryos, they must meet the eligibility criteria for Assisted Conception in force at that time. Please refer to the separate Assisted Conception policy. The funding of cryopreservation does not automatically entitle people to funding for Assisted Conception.
NHS funded cryopreservation of embryos and gametes for those accessing assisted conception is detailed within the separate Assisted Conception policy. This policy specifically relates to the preservation of fertility.
Where the circumstances of treatment for an individual patient do not meet the criteria described above exceptional funding can be sought. Individual cases will be reviewed by the appropriate panel of the CCG upon receipt of a completed application from the patient's GP, consultant or clinician. Applications cannot be considered from patients personally.
Date of publication: 30 April 2018
This replaces the previous policy published in April 2015