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What is IVF?

IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is a procedure in which eggs are fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. Embryos that are created following IVF are then transferred, normally one at a time, into the female partner’s womb to implant and develop. IVF treatment can take place using the patient’s own eggs and sperm or with the use of donor eggs and/or donor sperm. The London Women’s Clinic provides IVF treatment for women and couples struggling to conceive and for same-sex couples and single women using donor sperm. 

How IVF works

All IVF treatments begin with a course of hormone therapy to stimulate the development of several follicles in the ovary. These eggs are then collected, which are then fertilised to create several embryos. After between two to five days in an incubator, one or sometimes two of these embryos are transferred through the vagina to the uterus, where implantation occurs, and pregnancy begins.

The IVF procedure

To explain what happens in an IVF procedure we have divided the process in to five stages:

Stage 1:

The ovaries are stimulated with a course of medication to produce eggs. During this period you will attend the clinic for a number of monitoring scans to check the development of your follicles that produce eggs. Once the follicles have reached the correct size, you will be given an injection to mature your eggs ready for collection.

Stage 2:

On the day of egg collection you will be given a small amount of sedation in preparation for the procedure. A fine needle attached to a scan probe will be passed through your vagina into each ovary to collect the eggs. On the same day, your male partner will need to produce a semen sample or if you’re using donor sperm this will be thawed ready to be used. 

Stage 3:

Once the eggs have been collected, they will be placed in a dish with the sperm in order for fertilisation to occur. If there is a male factor issue or if the sperm is of poor quality on the day, the embryologist may suggest you use ICSI in which the sperm is injected directly in to the egg to aid fertilisation. 

Stage 4:

The day after egg collection, an embryologist will call you to discuss the fertilisation of your eggs and how many embryos you have. In most circumstances embryos are cultured in the lab for five to six days after egg collection until they reach the blastocyst stage. The embryologist will advice you when your embryo transfer will take place. In some instances all embryos may be frozen for transfer in a later cycle.

Stage 5:

The embryo transfer normally takes place five to six days following egg collection once the embryo has reached blastocyst stage. Today, most women will only have one embryo transferred to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancy. The embryo transfer is a simple procedure in which a speculum is inserted in to your vagina (similar to a smear test) and a catheter holding the embryo will be inserted in to the uterus. 

 

IVF Success Rates

These statistics show our IVF success rates for our individual clinics across the country - those that successfully lead to pregnancy. All pregnancies were confirmed for foetal heartbeat by ultrasound scans.

Under 35

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 36%

35-37

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 31%

38-39

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 24%

40-42

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 18%

Over 42

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 8%

Three Cycle Package

Package completed 2013

All ages 

No national average available

Under 35

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

35-37

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

38-39

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

40-42

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

Over 42

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

Under 35

Cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle (n=12)

March 2016 - February 2018

No national average available 

35-37

Cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle (n=20)

March 2016 - February 2018

No national average available 

38-39

Cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle (n=18)

March 2016 - February 2018

No national average available 

40-42

Cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle (n=13)

March 2016 - February 2018

No national average available 

43 and over

Cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle (n=5)

March 2016 - February 2018

No national average available 

Fresh donor eggs

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

January 2016 - December 2017

National average 44%

Frozen donor eggs

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred

January 2016 - December 2017

No national average available

Intra-partner

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred (n=22)

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 44%

Egg-sharing (recipient)

Pregnancy rate per embryo transferred (n=5)

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 44%

Under 35 Natural Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate (n=21)

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

All Ages Natural Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate (n=49)

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

Under 35 Stimulated Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate (n=32)

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

All Ages Stimulated Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

Under 35 Natural cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate 

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 13%

All Ages Natural Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

Under 35 Stimulated Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate 

February 2017 - January 2018

National average 15%

All Ages Stimulated Cycle

Clinical pregnancy rate

February 2017 - January 2018

No national average available

IVF pregnancy

Following the embryo transfer you will need to wait between 12 to 14 days to find out if your treatment has been successful. For most women and couples this two week wait can be an extremely difficult time full of anxiety about whether treatment has worked. The London Women’s Clinic provides counselling and support throughout treatment at the clinic and runs a monthly support group for patients to meet others in a similar situation. 

If your pregnancy test is positive, you should contact the clinic to arrange an early pregnancy scan. If unfortunately, your treatment is unsuccessful we will arrange a review consultation for you to discuss your cycle and any next steps you might like to take. During this time counselling and support will be available should you need it.  

Related treatments and packages

IVF Lite

IVF Lite means a simpler treatment schedule, a lower drug dose and fewer risks from multiple pregnancies and over-stimulation than standard IVF. Studies have shown that treatment times with a mild approach are shorter, drug doses lower, and fewer patients leave treatment. And psychologically - because stress levels were also tested - patients seem to be happier with the treatment programme.  

Embryo assessment by time-lapse imaging

The selection of embryos for transfer is crucial to the success of IVF. Now, in certain cases and for certain patients, embryo selection can be helped by a new technique which visualises the progress of embryo development with a photograph taken every ten minutes. The time-lapse technology allows embryologists to inspect the development of embryos with great frequency but without disturbing them or exposing them to outside air conditions.  

Three Cycle IVF Package

Our aim at the London Women’s Clinic is to make IVF safe and successful - but also less stressful and more affordable. Results worldwide demonstrate that success rates improve when IVF is undertaken as a course of treatment and not as a one-off attempt.  We have found that patients are more relaxed from the outset if they know that they have further opportunities for pregnancy. And our results show without doubt that the 'cumulative' rate of success is always higher than that from one cycle.

 

 

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