That’s technically because pregnancy isn’t counted as a ‘medical condition’. And if we’re honest, it’s also because a) the NHS is very good at antenatal and postnatal care, and b) because things like IVF are incredibly expensive and can be very complex.
However, that doesn’t mean your Equipsme plan will leave you in the lurch. There are plenty of related things we CAN help you with, and they’re outlined below.
How Equipsme can support your reproductive health
1. Thriva fertility insight test
Equipsme members have access to blood tests and health checks through our partners at Thriva, and get a £10 discount on any test, including the fertility insight test. This can be a useful tool to help you see if your egg count is in the normal range for your age, or if you have another condition which might affect your fertility – for example a thyroid condition.
If you’re struggling to get any peace of mind or any traction with your GP, your plan gives you a gateway to learn more about what’s going on inside your body.
Log in to the Equipsme website, find the Health Check icon on your benefits page, and following the instructions to setup your Thriva account where you can order your test direct. It will come with all the instructions to take your own blood with a simple finger prick, and once you send it off your results come through online within a few days.
Find out more about our health checks
2. GP service 24/7
Being able to get a second opinion from a qualified GP, especially for gynaecological issues, is really import. Studies have shown lots of women are finding themselves falling into the gender health gap – and struggling to get the support they need for what have traditionally been seen as ‘women’s issues’.
If you’re finding it hard to get into see your GP, or finding it hard to get the answers you need, you can contact the Equipsme GP service provided by Health Hero. They can help you discuss symptoms and options - and help you decide what to do next.
Find out more about the GP service
3. Diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological issues
If diagnosis or diagnosis and treatment is part of your plan, you can get a referral from any GP to be seen by a gynaecological specialist, subject to prior approval by AXA Health. They cannot cover anything that’s linked only to fertility, but if you have a new condition that is also causing you pain, discomfort, or otherwise impacting your health, they may well cover you for diagnosis, and medically necessary treatment and surgery.
If you’re not sure whether you are covered, it’s always worth ringing up AXA Health with your referral details to check you’re eligible BEFORE you make any sort of appointment. You’ll find your membership details and AXA Health contact details on your private Equipsme portal.
Find out more about seeing a private consultant
4. Diagnosis and treatment of medical issues arising from pregnancy and childbirth
Again, ongoing pregnancy monitoring and childbirth itself are not covered under your Equipsme plan. But conditions which arise through pregnancy and childbirth may well be.
That includes things like treatment for ectopic pregnancy, hydatidiform moles (abnormal cell growth in the womb), retained placenta after childbirth, eclampsia, post-partum haemorrhage, and miscarriage requiring immediate surgery.
Find out more about inclusions and exclusions in the Equipsme handbook, which you can find on your Equipsme portal.
5. Midwives at the nurse support line
It’s not the same as seeing your own midwife, but you can get specialist advice and support from midwives who are part of the staff at AXA’s Health at Hand helpline. They can talk you through any symptoms, worries or questions, and are literally just a phone call away.
Find out more about the nurse support line
6. Stress support line
Struggling with infertility, going through a pregnancy, or having a very small baby can all be intensely difficult and stressful experiences, which can seriously affect your mental health. It’s absolutely critical you don’t go through that alone. If stress support is part of your plan, please do give them a ring. The team of specialists are there to help you. It’s free, it’s confidential, and it can even extend to face-to-face sessions if they’re needed.
Find out more about the stress support line