WOMEN are being offered a 70% refund if they fail to have a baby using fertility treatment.

The Agora Gynaecology and Fertility Centre in Hove has joined forces with Access Fertility to offer the refund scheme to women up to the age of 38.

Around one in six couples in the UK today will experience fertility issues, a problem that affects more than 3.5 million people.

Each year around 48,000 women undertake IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment, yet it is a challenging process to navigate.

This is because of a postcode lottery when it comes to IVF treatment on the NHS and high treatment costs.

Since 2004, the total number of IVF cycles performed each year has risen steadily from 35,000 to more than 60,000.

However, many do not have a baby via IVF on their first cycle, with only around 30% of the first IVF cycles initiated in women under 35 years old resulting in a live-birth.

The clinic says staying in treatment dramatically improves the chances of having a baby, yet many patients abandon the idea of further treatment when weighing up the odds of failure with mounting costs of treatment and possible financial loss.

The Access Fertility programmes at the Agora Clinic offers fixed, discounted programme fees. Treatment covers up to three cycles of IVF and all frozen embryo transfers.

Refunds would be either £6,230 and £6,685, depending on a person’s age.

A multi-cycle plan for women aged between 38 and 42 years is also available but that age does not qualify for the refund element.

Carole Gilling-Smith from the Agora Clinic said: “Having a baby with the help of IVF can be a tremendous emotional rollercoaster journey and with no guarantee of success. “We are delighted to partner with Access Fertility programmes as it widens the options available for couples facing infertility.”

Access Fertility chief executive Ash Carroll-Miller said: “An IVF journey comes with many challenges and we want to make treatment more affordable, reduce patients’ financial risk and, ultimately, help them to achieve their dream of having a baby.”

More than 80% of England’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) fail to commission the recommended three full cycles of IVF in line with the National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) guidelines. This includes Brighton and Hove CCG, which supports two cycles.

CCG Commissioning manager Kathy Felton said: “ A review of the available evidence highlighted that most live births following IVF occur within the first two cycles of treatment. The birth rate drops at the third and subsequent attempts. Balancing this against budget pressures, it was considered that funding two cycles of IVF would enable the CCG to provide funding for more couples and concentrate the funding where there is likely to be most benefit.”