We are now able to offer an IVF service whereby most of your treatment and consultation will occur locally at the Surrey Park Clinic (SPC) with just two trips to Guy’s Hospital ACU for the egg collection and embryo transfer. The Surrey Park Clinic offers a convenient, discrete location for couples to have consultations and scans in a relaxed environment. It avoids the need for couples to make numerous trips up to London.
The ACU at Guy’s and St Thomas’ has developed a reputation for excellence in infertility treatment and are one of the leading innovators in the field of fertility.
Following an initial assessment, you and your partner will likely undergo a number of tests and investigations to determine any root causes of infertility (if they have not been performed already). Once it has been established that natural conception may be hindered, or that you are unlikely to conceive naturally, you may decide to proceed with assisted fertility and IVF.
Patients requesting advice or management of fertility are seen by Nick Elkington a highly qualified Consultant.
IUI may be appropriate in treating couples with unexplained infertility.
In an Intrauterine Insemination cycle, a sample of sperm is prepared by the embryologist and placed directly inside the uterus using a very fine catheter. The sperm is deposited before the release of an egg or eggs in a natural or stimulated cycle. Conception occurs naturally inside the body.
The cycle can be monitored at the SPC and the sperm preparation and IUI is performed at Guy’s ACU.
The woman’s hormone production is temporarily switched off using medication, to enable the control of egg production and release. The ovaries are then stimulated with hormone injections to produce eggs – monitored using ultrasound scans. When the follicles reach the right size (usually after 12-14 days), and the uterus lining is of the correct thickness, the eggs are collected.
The consultation and cycle monitoring is performed at SPC and the egg collection and embryo transfer is performed by a consultant at Guy’s ACU .
The eggs and sperm (produced by the partner on the day of egg collection) are placed together in a laboratory dish to allow fertilisation and embryo growth to occur. The embryo is placed in the female’s uterus – usually on the second, third or the fifth day after egg collection when the fertilised egg has divided and contains four, eight or reached the blastocyst stage (day 5).
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is used when the sperm quality is suboptimal. This is a highly technical procedure where by a single sperm is injected into the centre of an egg to achieve fertilisation.
Stimulation and egg collection in an ICSI cycle are the same as in an IVF cycle. The difference between the two is that in an ICSI cycle, mature eggs are directly injected with sperm instead of being placed together in a dish.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a specialised treatment for couples who carry an inherited genetic defect that could cause serious health risks for their children, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease or Huntington’s disease.
PGD involves the use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) such as IVF or ICSI to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The aim is to obtain and fertilise a number of eggs. The resulting embryos are allowed to develop for three (or sometimes five) days, before a single cell is removed from each embryo and the genetic material (DNA and chromosomes) tested for the disorder.
Up to two unaffected embryos are then transferred into the uterus. If successful, the pregnancy should be unaffected.
In many cases treatment is relatively simple but it is an area which is traditionally not always well served by the NHS. Discussion with our specialist fertility consultant and appropriate investigations should help guide you toward your best chance of achieving a successful pregnancy where possible and as soon as possible.
Advanced treatment for IVF and Assisted Conception
Nick Elkington is experienced and highly respected in the field of fertility and conception. The Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one of the most advanced Hospitals of its kind in the country.
Call 01483 454 016 to book your consultation or complete the contact form: