In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

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What is IVF?

IVF treatment can be recommended for couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility or cases of tubal blockage.

IVF involves artificial fertilisation of egg and sperm in the laboratory.  This may be done with a husband or donor sperm.  The egg and sperm are mixed together and allowed to fertilise naturally.  A specific quantity of sperm cell is mixed with each egg in an IVF fertilisation dish (Petridish).  The dish is placed in an incubator overnight to aid fertilisation.  Couples are notified of the number of fertilised eggs the next morning.

Usually all fertilised eggs (embryos) are cultured in the incubator for possible (cleavage stage) embryo transfer on day 2, day 3 or day 5 blastocyst embryo transfer.

IVF is a licensed treatment and is regulated by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the UK.

What does the treatment involve?

We currently use two IVF/ICSI cycle types:

  • Long down-regulation protocol: uses GnRH Agonist and Gonadotrophin injections
  • Antagonist protocol: uses GnRH Antagonist and Gonadotrophin injections

For further information on additional treatment please click here.

The team will decide which protocol best suits your individual circumstances. The protocol for each cycle is tailor-made to the individual based on various parameters, including hormone test results, previous cycle response and associated medical history. This will be discussed with you at your clinic appointment.

You will be given a ‘teach’ appointment in which the nurses will show you how to inject yourself at home with the appropriate medications.

Each treatment cycle lasts approximately 6-8 weeks.

Whichever protocol you are on, there are several stages that are common to both: