Efforts by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to fill an approximately £12m budget hole have resulted in large cuts to the fertility options available to women across the UK.
Under regular National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) rules, women under 40 in the UK should be offered three free cycles of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) if they have been trying to become pregnant for two years or have not gotten pregnant after 12 rounds of artificial insemination.
However, faced with this budget deficit, health chiefs in Rochdale, Middletown, Heywood, and Greater Manchester are considering cutting three cycles down to one or placing stricter requirements. For instance, in 12 areas in England women over the age of 34 are being automatically refused IVF treatments.
With this news and the knowledge that private IVF treatments cost between £3,000 and £5,000 per cycle, many women are faced with mounting pressure to capitalise on each attempt to become pregnant.
This already difficult task becomes all the more tenuous when considering that, in the UK, nearly two-thirds of women don’t know how long their fertile window lasts. Yet, aid is being provided by the burgeoning fertility industry, worth more than £320 million in the UK alone.
The so-called ‘Femtech’ sector, technology, applications, and gadgets focused on female well-being, is generating products aimed at providing women with more in-depth and real-time information about their fertility.
Today, more than a quarter of women have used pregnancy apps and other technology aids to help them conceive, and 10% of women have spent more than £200 to increase their chances of getting pregnant.
’s myLotus, for example, detects the actual concentration of hormones in a woman’s urine sample allowing “detailed analysis into issues with ovulation and fertility that aren’t available with traditional ovulation tests on the market.”
The company is looking beyond the UK as well, looking to rollout throughout Europe and then distribute in China where market demands have already been determined. The annual revenue potential of the infertility market in China and Europe is around £600 million.
By 2025, the ‘femtech’ sector is estimated to be worth £39 billion. These female well-being technologies and companies such as Concepta are creating new opportunities in the tech world that should not be overlooked.
For more news and updates on Concepta:
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