Fertility Treatments & Procedures

Many people face problems with conception, this can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, but not all can be diagnosed. In 25-30% of cases a cause cannot be identified even after the most thorough investigations. This is due to the fact that some of the factors cannot be assessed.

Common causes of infertility include problems with ovulation (whereby the body does not release eggs naturally), issues with the tubes, or for male partners this would include issues with the quality or ability of the sperm.

All patients require an initial appointment with blood tests to determine any root causes of infertility and agree a treatment plan. We have 3 consultants offering fertility treatment Mr Emmanuel Kalu, Mr Nick Elkington and Mr Magde Mustafa all of whom are highly qualified Consultants in the field of fertility treatment. You do not need to be referred by your GP you can call and book an appointment directly with the team on 01483 454 016.

Once you and your partner have undergone a thorough investigation, we have a range of innovative techniques and treatments to help you achieve the results you want. Depending on the issue, a range of treatment options are available:

Tests and Diagnostics for fertility patients - Women

At the initial consultation a detailed history will be taken and examination tailored to your history.
Investigations are individualised but will include:

  • FBC/HORMONE PROFILE/Rubella/MLP progesterone/early follicular phase
  • FSH, LH, Oestradiol, testosterone, AMH

Additional investigations may include:

  • Blood Tests: Blood Glucose/ GTT, TFT’s/Prolactin/Chromosomal analysis
  • Recurrent miscarriage profile (antiphospholipid/ACL antibodies, factorV)
  • Leiden, factor II (prothromobin), gene mutation and protein S deficiency.
  • Cervical smear if required
  • Chlamydia screening if appropriate/required/requested
  • TVUS – to look at AFC as well as pelvic organs
  • Hysteroscopy/Laparoscopy and dye insufflation to assess tubal potency maybe required

Tests and Diagnostics for fertility patients - Men

At the initial consultation a detailed history will be taken and the examination tailored to your history.

Investigations will also be individualised but will include:

  • FBC/HORMONE PROFILE/TFT’s/Prolactin, testosterone.
  • Semen analysis

Additional investigations can include:

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is an acronym for in vitro fertilization (‘in vitro‘ meaning ‘in glass’). This is often used when a male partner’s sperm is put into the female’s eggs in a laboratory to produce embryos.

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 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 (ICSI)

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.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

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.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

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.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Based on current HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) guidelines, only two embryos (or a maximum of three if the woman is over 40) may be transferred after a treatment cycle.

If the treatment produced more than two (or three) good quality embryos, those that aren’t used may be frozen for future use. These embryos will be frozen at extremely low temperature, which ensures that they do not deteriorate over the number of years they are stored.

In a Frozen Embryo Replacement Cycle the woman takes medications to prepare her womb to receive these embryos. The advantage of this treatment is that there is no need to use hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries.

An ultrasound scan is performed to assess the lining of the uterus to determine whether it is ready to receive the embryo. Once the lining is ready, embryos are thawed and transferred.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

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.