National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended that older women, lesbian couples and those with infectious disease should all be eligible to receive in vitro fertilisation (IVF) on the NHS.
The health watchdog which looks at the cost effectiveness of treatments, believes women up to 42 should be entitled to the treatment.
The NICE current guidance, drawn up in 2004, sets the limit at 39.
In the new consultation document, NICE also says that IVF should be offered to gay and lesbian couples as well as those carrying an infectious disease, such as Hepatitis B or HIV.
Medical editor Lawrence McGinty reports on the proposed changes to who can get IVF on the NHS:
However there are concerns that budget constraints in some NHS Trust areas will mean women will not benefit from the new guidance anyway.
Doctors have also said that they are concerned that this will encourage women to put off getting pregnant until they are older and that IVF success decreases over the age of 35.
- 1 in 3 couples over the age of 30 are affected by infertility
- 45,000 women a year have IVF
- Resulting in 12,000 babies
- A minority (40.6%) of IVF treatment cycles was funded by the NHS in 2010. The majority (59.4%) were funded privately.