How do we start the process?

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Getting started

Your current GP/Consultant/Healthcare practitioner will refer you to us for treatment.

We will ask you to fill in an eligibility form and return it to us with your passport photographs attached.

In most instances we will ask you to attend for tests before we see you for a consultation. This is so that you get the most out of the consultation and we can make a treatment plan for you, which we can only do if the tests have been carried out beforehand.

The tests may include a blood test and a pelvic ultrasound scan for the female partner wanting to have treatment and a semen analysis (sperm test) for the male. Occasionally, it may be necessary for the male partner to have blood tests and for the woman to have other investigations or a repeat ultrasound scan.

Once we have received all your results, an appointment will be made for you as a couple to see a doctor or specialist nurse to plan your treatment.

Your appointments

  • An appointment will be made for you to see one of the clinicians or a specialist nurse, who will take your history and examine you if required (it is very important that both partners attend all clinic appointments).
  • If IVF treatment is advised, you and your partner will be booked to attend one of our group Information Sessions where we will go through the steps in the treatment process, explain the risks and problems that may occur, explain consent forms that need to be completed and the next steps you need to take to start treatment. It is important that you attend this, even if you have had IVF elsewhere, because it allows us to convey essential information about the treatment as it is carried out in our clinic, which may be different from what you have experienced before.
  • When you attend the IVF Information Session, you will receive an appointment for an IVF consultation.
  • At this visit, based on the blood, scan and semen results, your treatment will be planned and explained to you. You will both sign consent forms at the appointment – for disclosure of information, welfare of the child, permission for treatment and the HFEA legal forms.
  • You will be asked if you would be happy to take part in research. If you agree, then you will be seen by one of our research nurses (if available) after the clinic. You will be asked to request treatment on the first day of your next period after receiving a copy of the clinic letter.  You are advised to book in for treatment within 3 months of your clinic appointment
  • Additional investigations may be required before your treatment can begin.
  • If you have been advised treatment other than IVF, we will arrange further appointments depending on the treatment advised.

Your teach appointment

The teach appointment is aimed to give patients an overview of their treatment. It will inform the process of how an IVF cycle works. The patient is expected to view the teach appointment online after they have completed the pre-op appointment with the nurse. The nurse will inform the patient which presentation is required and will provide a booklet supporting this information. The booklet will contain information about the medication, how the medication works, any potential side effects, how to administer and how to store. Each patient will click on the appropriate cycle and drug appropriate for them, which is based on the hormone profile and scan results. Once comfortable with this information, the patient can request treatment.

You can view each of the individual teach presentations under the heading your teach appointment on this page.

Overseas clients

If you were not born in the United Kingdom, we may have to refer you to the overseas department in Saint Mary’s Hospital so that they may check if you are eligible for NHS funded treatment/assisted conception treatment.

Welfare of the child

It is a requirement of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 (as amended) and a HFEA licence condition that “a woman shall not be provided with treatment services unless account has been taken of the welfare of any child who may be born as a result of the treatment (including the need of that child for supportive parenting), and of any other child who may be affected by the birth.” Section 13 (5).

As a licensed clinic, we are required by law to ensure that we know of no medical or social reason why our patients might not be suitable to receive treatment, including anything that may adversely affect the welfare of any resulting child.

All our patients are routinely asked to complete a ‘Welfare of the Child Form’.  If there are any child protection/safeguarding issues or evidence of a previous relevant conviction, it may be necessary for us to make further enquiries through the GP, Social Services, the Probation Service and the Police Department. In order to do this, we would require your written consent. Refusal to give consent may be taken into account when considering whether or not to offer treatment.

Treatment may be refused on clinical grounds if the clinic staff believe that it would not be in the best interests of any existing or resulting child to provide you with such treatment.

You would be given the opportunity to meet with senior members of the Clinical Team and state your views before any decision is made not to offer treatment. In certain circumstances, a case may be referred to the IVF Ethics Committee. This is an independent body of professional and lay people who meet to advise the clinic. They have a responsibility to ensure that any treatment provided is ethically acceptable.

Your baseline tests

In order to give you the most accurate advice, our doctors require you both to attend for the following tests:

Female:

  • Blood test for AMH (and possibly Oestradiol, LH & FSH)
  • Blood test for Hepatitis B & C, HIV, Syphilis and Rubella or German Measles

All of the above blood tests can be done with one needle.

  • An ultrasound scan of your uterus or womb and ovaries
  • Urine test for Chlamydia
  • A blood pressure check
  • Height & weight measurement to work out your BMI (body mass index)

Male:

  • Blood test for Hepatitis B & C, HIV and Syphilis
  • Urine test for Chlamydia
  • Semen analysis

You may already have had some of these tests performed, but these can change over time and therefore need to be repeated.

We also need up to date (within the last 2 years) viral screening results.

When do I come for these tests?

  • Completion and return of the eligibility form – We ask that you wait 10 working days to allow us to process the form.  This is to ensure we have all the details we need for both partners to book your diagnostic tests. Returning the questionnaire as soon as possible will ensure these tests can be arranged promptly.
  • Call us to book tests – After 10 working days you need to call us on (0161) 276 6000, option 3, between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm to arrange a date to come in for tests prior to your consultation. When you call you will be told if one or both partners are required to attend. Your tests may include blood diagnostics and an internal (vaginal) ultrasound scan. IF THESE TESTS ARE NOT COMPLETED BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT, YOUR TREATMENT MAY BE DELAYED BY SEVERAL MONTHS.
  • Call us to book a Semen Analysis – After 10 working days the male partner needs to call us on (0161) 276 6000, option 4, between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm to arrange a date to come in for a semen analysis (sperm test). Male patients must abstain from intercourse or masturbation for between 2 – 7 days (3 days is best) before they attend. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE SEMEN ANALYSIS TEST BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT, YOUR TREATMENT MAY BE DELAYED BY SEVERAL MONTHS.

Where do I go for the tests?

The Department of Reproductive Medicine is based in the old Saint Mary’s Hospital building.  Our entrance is on Oxford Road opposite Whitworth Park.  Disabled access is available via Hathersage Road or York Place Entrance. Please note that you cannot access the Department through the new hospital building.

Please report to the reception desk when you arrive.  You can then go to the blood room which is on the ground floor and down the corridor on the left as you enter the building.  Scans are carried out on the first floor. The Andrology Department is also on the first floor; turn right at the top of the stairs.

How is the scan done?

The ultrasound scan is done vaginally and carried out by a sonographer.

You may still be menstruating when you attend for the scan.  You must remove any tampons prior to having your scan, and you will also need to have an empty bladder.

The scan should not take any longer than 10 minutes and is not painful. Your partner can accompany you if you wish.

What is AMH?

AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone and is produced by the ovarian follicles.

It is measured by taking a blood sample, and all women referred to The Department of Reproductive Medicine will have their AMH level checked. AMH, along with performing an ultrasound scan in which the number of antral follicles are counted, is used to help predict a woman’s response to an IVF cycle as it gives an indication of ovarian reserve. AMH can range between 0 to more than 100. A woman who has a lower AMH and has lower numbers of antral follicles will be advised that she may not respond as well and could produce fewer or no eggs.  These issues will be discussed with you at your clinic appointment.

It is worth noting that different clinics use different scales to measure AMH levels and so some patients may have had a previous result taken elsewhere that does not match the result given at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

If your treatment hasn’t started within 6 months of being seen in clinic, we may suggest repeating this test so the doctors can more accurately set the dose of stimulation drugs for your treatment.

You’ve had your baseline investigations – What happens next?

Once all the necessary baseline investigations are complete, your results will be reviewed by a clinician, and both partners will be asked to attend a clinic appointment together. You will be given the earliest available appointment.  Please be aware this could be up to 12 weeks after attending for your baseline investigations.