LETTER : A benign disorder

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From Mr Andrew Denny

Sir: My eyes pop to learn that anyone still thinks infertility is an illness (Letters, 20 April). Clare Brown, of the National Infertility Awareness Campaign, asks:

Why are infertile couples expected to accept that, for them, having children should be a luxury or only available privately? Of all the injustices faced by the infertile, this is perhaps the greatest.

The world is unfair, nature is unfair. In an overpopulated, over-fertile world, infertility is not an illness, it is simply a disorder; and a benign and useful one at that, like homosexuality. The proper NHS option for couples who are infertile (and don't like it) is psychiatric - not fertility - treatment.

A small amount of fertility treatment on the NHS is a useful research tool, adding to our stock of medical knowledge. But to talk of not getting free infertility treatment on the NHS as a "great injustice" is creative indignation, and an insult to those of us who have learnt to live with our childlessness and even appreciate it at times.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW20

21 April