Concerns have been voiced over the recent decision to axe free IVF treatment in Southend, with one senior figure saying it will affect a lot of people.

Laura Spoelstra, the former Chair of the National Gamete Donation Trust, who has also donated her eggs for IVF treatment said: “There’s a fertility time-bomb and it is likely that more and more people are going to need it.

“It is not a lifestyle choice, it has been classed as an illness by the World Health Organisation. It’s not a luxury and it’s going to affect a lot of people.”

Southend Clinical Commissioning Group have decided that NHS funding for IVF treatment could soon end in the area.

Dr Jose Garcia Lobera, chairman of the NHS Southend CCG, told the Echo yesterday: “When looking at the prioritisation of local NHS funds, our GPs and clinical leaders came to the difficult conclusion that specialist fertility treatment is an area we should review.”

Although a lot of people receive IVF treatment privately, this plan could be detrimental to those who want to donor-conceive and cannot afford the fees.

Donor conception came into the news recently after a research report from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that men’s sperm count was gradually decreasing.

Roughly five per cent of men that come forward offering to donate sperm are accepted, as super strong sperm is needed to survive the freezing process.

This means that waiting times for this treatment are high already and would increase were funding to stop.

Other people from Essex have voiced their concerns for this move.

Charlotte Phillips, 26, a hairdresser from Westcliff-on-Sea, said: “This is not fair at all.

“Being a woman with fertility issues, IVF could one day be my only chance to have a family.”

“Yes, there is always adoption but why should I not have the right to have my own biological children?

Michelle Lackenby, 45, a probation officer from Shoebury said: “Having had IVF twice, one being funded and one not, it’s expensive treatment and that’s without the emotional roller coaster you go on.”

This should not be taken away from those who need it. My treatments didn’t work, however I would never want to deny others of the chance.”