This form of treatment may be suitable for women who have irregular or unpredictable ovulation. Regular blood hormone tests, coupled with ultrasound scans, can help to pinpoint the fertile time in a female’s cycle, therefore improving her chances of conception..
In Vitro Fertilisation treatment (i.e. IVF or ICSI) involves fertilisation of the woman’s eggs outside her body, under controlled laboratory conditions.
In order to promote the development of multiple eggs, a course of fertility drugs (lasting approximately two to four weeks) is administered. Each follicle should contain one egg (however this is not guaranteed). At the ARGC, we monitor every patient’s cycle very closely, with serial ultrasound scans and daily blood hormone tests, to keep a close eye on the body’s reaction. Treatment cycles are altered according to the female’s ongoing response, with each patient essentially receiving tailor-made stimulation..
Couples with severe male factor infertility (low concentration or motility, high abnormalities or positive anti-sperm antibody binding), or those who have had repeatedly low or no fertilisation with conventional IVF, are offered Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). This treatment has been a major step forward in assisted reproduction technology. In simple terms, ICSI is an extension of IVF and works by bypassing the need for the sperm to penetrate the egg..
Due to the more invasive nature of ICSI, there is a small risk of damage to eggs being injected(approximately 5%). Not all eggs collected will be mature enough or suitable for injection.
ICSI also carries a slight increase that chromosomal abnormalities could be passed onto ICSI children (about 2% above the rate that occurs in the natural population)…
After fertilisation, a patient’s embryos will be cultured in the laboratory until the embryo transfer (ET). If only a small number of embryos are available (i.e. one or two), the ET will be scheduled for Day Two. If there are more than two embryos, the transfer could be on either Day Three or Day Five (see Blastocyst Culture)..
In some circumstances, the technique of assisted hatching may be used to improve the chances of implantation of the embryos. Using micro-manipulation techniques, the “egg shell” (zona pellucida) is breached to encourage the embryo to break free (hatch) and implant into the uterine lining..
Infertility in some men may be due to non-obstructive azoospermia or an interruption of the sperm transport passages, as a result of either a previous male sterilisation operation (vasectomy), a birth abnormality (absence of the vas), or a spinal/pelvic injury or operation..
The fertility drug protocols for GIFT are identical to those used for IVF/ICSI. The main difference is in the retrieval and transfer procedures. The eggs are generally collected laparoscopically and up to three eggs are mixed with a prepared sample of sperm and then placed into the fallopian tube under direct vision..
Any suitable embryos that are left over, following conventional IVF, ICSI or GIFT treatment, may be frozen for future use. These can be transferred at a later date in order to increase the pregnancy potential from any single ovarian stimulation and egg collection procedure..
Patients with frozen embryos may choose to use them in place of having a fresh cycle. This may occur in a natural cycle or with some drug support. Cycles are monitored via blood scans and transvaginal scans to ensure the embryos are replaced into the uterus at the correct stage in the patient’s cycle..
These treatment options are offered to couples if required. The use of donor sperm is organised by taking appropriate characteristics of the couple and best matching the male partner to available donor sperm.
All sperm donors undergo extensive medical and psychological examination, conducted by the donor banks that supply IVF clinics in the UK..
A blood test for pregnancy can be carried out ten to twelve days following the embryo transfer procedure, or fourteen days after IUI. If positive, an ultrasound scan is scheduled two to three weeks later to confirm the location, viability and number of pregnancy sacs.
After the scan, the woman may wish to return to her own gynaecologist or GP. Alternatively, we can recommend further obstetric care.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
This is a complication of controlled ovarian stimulation arising in a very small proportion of women undergoing fertility treatment. It is due to the over-sensitivity of the ovaries to the fertility drugs in certain patients, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome and those of younger age. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, swelling of the abdomen due to enlarged ovaries, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.
- Multiple Pregnancy
The incidence of multiple pregnancy….
The ARGC has been inspected and licensed by the HFEA to provide all the assisted reproduction treatments as explained on this website. The HFEA was empowered by an act of Parliament (The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990) to regulate fertility centres in the United Kingdom.