MSPs are urging the Scottish Government to consider offering couples up to three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS.

Patients seeking fertility treatment through the national health service are currently only eligible for two cycles but members of the Health Committee have been hearing evidence from experts who argue three cycles offer the best chance for those who are struggling to conceive.

The Government has already provided £12 million of funding over three years to bring down waiting times after concerns about a postcode lottery of fertility treatment across different health boards.

Members of the committee have now written to Public Health Minister Maureen Watt calling for an assessment of the current system and the potential impact of increasing the number of treatments offered to patients.

Duncan McNeil MSP, convener of the committee, said: "It was clear from our evidence that NHS Boards have improved significantly on waiting times for fertility treatment and that there is equity across the country.

"The Committee heard that three cycles of IVF would give the best chance of success to the thousands of couples each year who rely on IVF to conceive.

"What is less clear is how this could be implemented without adversely affecting waiting times. This is why we're calling on the Scottish Government to look into this issue."

Bob Doris MSP, deputy convener of the committee, said: "Significant investment has been made in the system by the Scottish Government and this has had a positive impact in allowing couples to access the treatment they need.

"The Committee was however concerned about the strict criteria which excludes couples where one of the partners has a child living with them in the home.

"The Committee is of the view that this should be revisited at the earliest opportunity by the National Infertility Review Group, with a view to extending provision."