Fertility treatments are used to support those who are struggling to conceive. There are several options available for prospective parents, including In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). However, reproductive healthcare is often subject to evolving legal frameworks that impact accessibility, ethical considerations, and patient rights. 

In this article, we'll be discussing the IVF procedure, its significance in reproductive medicine, and the evolving landscape of IVF legislation. 

Current landscape of IVF legislation

IVF is available to help those with fertility problems have a baby. During the procedure, an egg is removed from a woman's ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg becomes an embryo, which is then returned to the woman's womb to grow and develop. 

If you become pregnant through IVF, you'll have the same pregnancy and maternity rights as those who conceived naturally. However, there's no legal right to have time off work for IVF appointments, treatment, or related sickness. 

Recent changes in IVF legislation

New laws have been introduced in recent years to benefit those going through IVF treatment. As a result, many same-sex couples will have their chances to become parents improved.

Previously, female same-sex couples hoping to conceive through IVF had to first go through a screening for infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or rubella. The screening cost up to £1,000, while heterosexual couples didn't need to undergo a screening at all.

However, this law has since been scrapped by the government, ensuring female same-sex couples have the same rights as a typical man and woman trying to conceive. 

Fertility patients also have more time to make important decisions about their future, following recent legislation that enables all patients to store their eggs, sperm, and embryos for up to 55 years. 

Ethical and social considerations

While IVF is an excellent treatment option that helps many families around the world, the fertility treatment has also received some criticism over the years. 

IVF has been critiqued on ethical grounds, mainly due to human error and mistakes where embryos have been mixed up in the lab. However, a double witness system is now in place to prevent this from happening.

Similarly, many argue that IVF goes against natural conception, as women can have a baby post-menopause. Couples may also face objections from people opposed to children being born to same-sex or unmarried couples.

Patient rights and access to IVF

Before treatment can start, you'll be required by law to give informed written consent to ensure your sperm, eggs, and embryos are used and stored in a way that you're comfortable with. If consent is not properly given, this could have serious implications and may affect who is considered as the legal parent of the child.

If you experience problems with legal parenthood consent, this may result in you having to go to court after your child is born so that such legal parenthood can be declared.  

Perhaps you're considering IVF treatment, and if so, it's recommended to seek comprehensive legal advice from specialist family lawyers. They can guide you through every step of the process, offering support and encouragement while handling your case with empathy and care.