Fertility issues - No funding


I have just been to see a fertility guy about freezing eggs or embryos before I have chemo.

I have been told that they will not fund it as I am 36. They would if I was 35. I am so upset as this seems very unfair and there is no way we can afford it otherwise.

I would be really grateful to hear from anyone in a similar situation, What you did. Or if there are any other options or from any women who have gone on to have children after chemo.

Thank you xx

Oh JosieJo,

That does seem terribly unfair. Can you try appealing to your PCT? The thing is you’d need to get onto it quickly as you obviously don’t want to delay chemo too much. Or how about contacting MacMillan and asking them for ideas? Maybe you’d be able to get some financial help from them?

I was unable to have eggs frozen before my chemo as I had a very large ER+ lump with lymph node involvement and it was deemed too much of a risk. I was devastated but keen to start chemo ASAP.

I love reading success stories of women who went on to have babies after chemo. My periods returned 3 months after my final chemo - but obviously that doesn’t mean that I have retained my fertility and apparently there are no tests that are valid while I’m on Tamoxifen.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. I just wanted to let you know that I know how desperate you will be feeling and that it is a hugely upsetting thing to deal with on top of all of the other cr*p that comes with a cancer diagnosis.


That does sound unfair. I was 35 nearly 36 when I got embryos stored, but there didn’t seem to be an age cut-off for us. The main criteria seemed to be neither of us having any kids already. Which we didn’t. Try your bcn and see if she can give you any advice. Other option could be trying zoladex during chemo if your oncologist allows that. I had 6 FEC chemo and my periods were intermittent during chemo but afterwards and while on tamoxifen, they came back big time. So don’t lose hope that you won’t still have your fertility after chemo. Hope you manage to sort something out though. Al xx

Sorry to hear about your situation, I was fortunate to get funding (I was 34, but had been lead to believe I wouldn’t because I was single.) As Al mentioned you may be able to try Zolodex, there has been a cancer research study on it for preserving fertility, but the results are not yet out as far as I know. cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org/trials/a-trial-looking-at-ovarian-protection-for-premenopausal-women-having-chemotherapy-for-breast-cancer

If it is any help to know, my periods only stopped at the very end of chemo, and returned after a couple of months.


aww - i am so sorry to hear that. I was 36 and i still got funded.
Zoladex may be an option. A friend of mine also had a piece of her ovary shaved off although i am not quite sure how that works. Might be worth exploring.
I would definitely appeal.

I was 38 & single & got turned down. Had to pay myself & it was £3000…ouch! Plus I have annual storage fees of £170.

Twinky x

Thank you for all for taking the time to reply.

It does seem very unfair as just 7 months ago I would have been funded. The hospital have sent an extenuating circumstances to the PCT but they have said that they are not usually successful.

My partners parents have offered to help us if they can, but they can’t really afford to. We’re going to get some more info and they decide.

It’s a lot of stuff to consider eh?! and that’s before dealing with the cancer. Phew.

Hope you are all well xx


I had WLE & SNB 3 weeks ago, ANC is scheduled in less than 3 weeks, after that chemo, rads & hormones. I am currently waiting for my appointment with the fertility specialists to discuss my options, but am not very optimistic.
I am 35, turning 36 in 2 weeks, single and have not had any children yet.
Particularly upsetting that many of my female friends & relatives just had babies or are currently pregnant and I am wondering if I have to get used to the fact that for me it might be too late for all that…

Thank you for reading this! x

Hi Eve76.

Thank you for writing. Please keep positive, I am proof that amazing things can happen, when you have resigned yourself to the contrary.

My local GP has sent forms back and forth to the NCT and I had the amazing news yesterday that they WILL fund the IVF, even though I am out of the age bracket, as these are exceptional circumstances. As you can imagine after being told that this was very, very unlikely, I am thrilled.

This doctor had only met me once, but went out of his way to keep pushing them. I shall be buying him a present!

I had my WLE this week and was told the nodes were clear, so this has been an amazing week.

Please see your GP and get his backing. I wish you the very best of luck and hope that you too have success. x


It is great to hear your good news on both counts.

I had my eggs harvested and frozen, if you have any questions on the process, feel free to ask.

Josiejo that’s awesome news. Congrats :slight_smile:


I was 29 and told I would have to pay myself as the youngest they would fund is 30. Personally I’m glad I didn’t fork out the money as my cancer was strongly hormonal positive and the thought of all the extra hormones scares me. I was not allowed zoladex through chemo as it can reduce the effectiveness of it. I have however had zoladex as a preventative thing for the last 2 years and now I’m waiting to see if my periods return and when I finish tamoxifen in 3 years time I will see if my fertility remains. I know I am lucky to have age on my side but I’ve made the choice to apply for adoption instead of trying naturally as I’m too scared of the effective hormones.

Em x

Congratulations JosieJo - your news has made me smile x

Thank you. I am smiling too :wink:

Fairyem, I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to risk you health any more than you have to. Mine is HER2 receptive, so I have been advised that I can go ahead with fertility options. If it had been otherwise I would have definitely put my health first. As I said to my partner, there would be no point saving my eggs, if I am not here to use them.

Best of love and luck to you xx

Just had a call from my BCN regarding the fertility issue.
My age apparently would not be a problem, but as I am currently not having a partner certain options would not be available for me anyway, and the ones left are not covered by the NHS.
They recommend consulting a private facility. Though I do have private health insurance, fertility treatment is not covered under my policy.

It is hard enough right now to wrap my head around the whole ‘I have cancer’ thing, getting ready for ANC in 13 days and having chemo & rads after that. The possibility of not being able to have a child after all this is more upsetting right now than the likelihood of going bald…

Could do with some good news…

Hi eve,
Sorry to hear you news. Have you discussed xoladex with your onc as an alternative?
Could they not freeze your eggs if you don’t have a partner?
This really is a mine field isn’t it.

As for being bald. It’s really not too bad. Easy to say I know but I am getting used to it :slight_smile:


Apparently at the NHS hospitals freezing my eggs is not possible.
I haven’t seen the oncologist yet, as I have to have more surgery first. I think I just have to wait until then, and put off making decisions and appointments until I know exactly what kind of chemo they have planned for me and what the outlook is.

And thanks for listening to me rant earlier!


Hello All

This is my first post.I wondered if anyone has any advice? I’m 32 and was diagnosed a few months ago. I’ve had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal and should be starting chemotherapy shortly. However, I am now rushing around trying to investigate fertility preservation options before chemo starts. I’m worried I won’t get funding as I’m not in a relationship! It seems such a grey area and appears to be a postcode lottery. I could have my treatment in London or Brighton, has anyone living in these areas received NHS funding to freeze their eggs?

I hope to meet with my Oncologist next week who will be able to shed more light on this but I don’t feel I have time to spare… I am eager to have my eggs frozen in my next menstral cycle so I can start chemo ASAP.

The NHS staff have been wonderful but I’m frustrated that I wasn’t referred to a fertility specialist when first diagnosed! This seems to have been overlooked.

Anyway your thoughts and knowledge would be very welcome.

Thank you!


Eve76 and Laura,

I had my eggs frozen on the NHS in Nottingham at the end of 2010, I was 34.

I was also led to believe by my BCN that it was unlikely that I would be funded as I was not in a relationship, however my consultant referred me and the fertility consultant was brilliant, I saw him on a Friday, e-mailed him that I wanted to go ahead on the Monday, I had funding by Wednesday and my first scan on the Thursday. They can get things done quickly when they want.

Please don’t give up hope, it is worth pushing for, (I did burst into tears a number of times, not sure if that helped). If you still get a no, then zolodex may be worth a try, and remember chemo is not guaranteed to render you infertile. My periods returned about 6 weeks after the end of chemo, and there is no reason to believe that I am not fertile.

Unfortunately, due to BRCA 1, I am now looking at having my ovaries removed, so really glad I did freeze some eggs.

Fingers crossed you get some funding.

Isale, you commented about not being referred to a fertility clinic when you were first diagnosed. I don’t know what the standard procedures are nationally but your experience doesn’t surprise me. When I was diagnosed initially, my first thought was about whether I would survive, and I am glad my medical team also focussed on this. I don’t think that means I am a totally selfish person. I already had a child, I am a single parent so the main question then was about living long enough to see her independent of me, that helped me prioritise and make decisions about unpleasant treatments that I would and wouldn’t accept. It never once occurred to me to worry about wanting to start again, right when life was already complicated enough. I personally feel the NHS should be focussing its limited resources on the people who are already alive and keeping them as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. I lost my father to advanced cancer a few years back, and I don’t advocate simply prolonging death.

For people struggling with local policies about age and relationship status, it may be worth questionning if these practices are discriminatory. Or to what extent they reflect common sense.