National Health Service's waiting list for those who meet certain criteria (age etc.) is long and many couples are pushed into the expensive private sector if they want to fulfill their dreams of having a biological child. According to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), UK's independent regulator overseeing the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research, there were 32,626 patients who had IVF in 2005. By 2007, this number had gone up to 36,861. Fertility specialists claim the fertility is on the rise and the main reason is female age. Most women are leaving it later, and are putting careers, traveling and many other things as a priority. Additionally, an average age women get married has also increased. Therefore couples are forced to deal with fertility treatments such as IVF.
Only one IVF cycle costs approximately 5,000 in the UK private sector, being the main reason couples seek help abroad, or are even forced to wait for long waits for NHS treatment ranging from 6 months to three years. Many UK fertility experts believe NHS should be doing more to help infertile couples because long waiting lines reduce the chances of successfully fulfilling their dream. For example, when women reaches the age of 37, every six months she has an absolute chance of successful outcome declining by about 2 %. NHS is strongly criticized by fertility experts for making patients wait so long for help, claiming their way of doing things is the opposite of infertility treatment.