Last year 202 actual sex swap operations were carried out at a cost the NHS of £9 million – up 23 per cent on figures from five years ago.Melanie Davies, Department of Woman’s Health, University College Hospitals London: “I think five years ago we would not have been talking about treatment of transgender.“Some CCGs say they will only fund for cancer. What I would like to see is equity. Yes we should be funding it.” In new guidelines presented today at the Fertility 2018 meeting in Liverpool, healthcare experts called for ‘equity’ across the NHS, to allow ‘transfolk’ to freeze eggs, embryos or ovarian tissue.Dr James Barrett, lead clinician at the Gender Identity Clinic at Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The number of people coming forward with gender dysphoria has increased rapidly over the past decade.“But the consistent provision of NHS funding for fertility preservation for this group is yet to catch up. “This is medical. It’s people whose fertility is impaired as a result of actually NHS mandated treatment for a well-established condition that has been treated by the NHS for the last 50 years.” Experts also warned that transgender and cancer patients were being denied fertility preservation treatment because clinics were using IVF criteria, which rules out patients who are overweight or too young. Women transitioning to men must be offered egg storage on the NHS, because they have the right to become parents too, the British Fertility Society said as it published new guidance today.Gender reassignment surgery has been available on the NHS since 1999 and the numbers of people choosing to change sex has grown considerably in the last decade, with some London clinics now handling nearly 2,000 referrals a year.However many Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) currently do not fund fertility preservation for transgender people, even though hormone therapy and surgery destroys the chance of having children. Egg storage costs around £3,000 to harvest eggs than £300 a year to store Although Wales and Scotland both allow fertility preservation for people who are transitioning to a different sex, experts said availability in England was still ‘patchy.’Fertility doctors said it was crucial to end the postcode lottery of funding.“We are currently in the really peculiar position where I can have two patients one after the other in the clinic, one of whom was funded to have her sperm stored where the next one in would not be solely on the basis of where they lived,” added Dr Barrett.“They could be on opposite sides of the same street. And that doesn’t feel very sensible.” In 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommended that IVF criteria should not be used for fertility preservation, but many CCGs have ignored the guidance.“There are quite a few CCGs add the rider that you have to meet the eligibility criteria for their IVF contracts, so they then will exclude people who are not of the correct body weight, or are young,” added Dr Davies.“Usually IVF funding is only given to women who are over 23. Many will apply IVF criteria, but it’s a different ball game.”Egg storage costs around £3,000 to harvest eggs than £300 a year to store. The new guidance was drawn up by fertility experts from University College London Hospitals, Imperial College, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Central Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, the Medical Research Council, Edinburgh University, and Leeds Beckett University.However critics said the NHS should be spending money on ‘basic healthcare’.Josephine Quintavalle, from Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “The cash-strapped NHS should be concentrating on offering good basic healthcare to women or helping them beat their cancer, and not get side-tracked with these kinds of novelties.“Egg freezing is an invasive procedure and the outcomes are far from clear.” The cash-strapped NHS should be concentrating on offering good basic healthcare to women and not get side-tracked with these kinds of novelties.Josephine Quintavalle, Comment on Reproductive Ethics, Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.