It can feel quite daunting making that first phone call to a clinic to seek help about your fertility. Our friendly team are trained to help answer your initial questions and provide you with information to allow you to make decisions about your next steps for IVF.
If you are still undecided about which direction you wish to take, our frequent free information seminars are an excellent place to find out more about the clinic, the treatment options available and to meet the team.
The first step is usually to arrange an initial fertility test. At the London Women's Clinic, we call these tests a Fertility MOT. For a female partner this would include a pelvic ultrasound scan to assess your womb and ovaries and an Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test to give an indication of your ovarian reserve. For the male partner (if applicable), we would arrange a semen analysis to assess the quality of his sperm. If you are in a same-sex relationship and you are unsure which partner (or both of you) will have treatment, we would suggest you both have these tests.
If you have already had initial investigations into your fertility or have had treatment elsewhere already, please bring along any results that you have to your first consultation at the clinic.
Before your initial consultation, we will send you some paperwork to complete. This includes some registration documents, a medical history form and some consent forms. You should bring these completed forms with you when you attend the clinic. You will meet one of our specialist fertility consultants who will take a detailed medical history of each partner (if applicable) and review all your previous test results and treatment cycles (if any). The doctor will then discuss your fertility and any further tests or treatment options you may need to consider.
Following your consultation with the doctor, you will meet with one of our friendly fertility nurses who will organise any other investigations that are necessary or discuss your next steps towards treatment. They will be available to answer any questions that you have following your consultation and will be your main point of contact going forward.
Screening and consent
Before any treatment can start, you will be required to complete a number of consent forms both for us as a clinic and also for our regulator the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). If you are using donor eggs or sperm for your treatment there will also be some additional forms to complete.
All patients of the clinic are required to complete screening tests including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The female partner having treatment is also required to have tests for Chlamydia, Rubella and a cervical smear. These tests are required to comply with UK and EU legislation relating to good clinical practice. We advise that these tests should not be completed until you have a treatment plan in place since they must be within three months of your first treatment cycle. Once completed at the clinic, they will then be valid for the next two years.
When can I start?
The LWC does not have a waiting list for treatment so you can start treatment as soon as your next cycle starts, provided you have completed the list below. If you require donor eggs or donor sperm, we work directly with the London Egg Bank and London Sperm Bank who both have a wide variety of donors available via their online catalogues, without a wait.
Before treatment can start, there are a number of tests and consent forms required. You will be ready to begin treatment when you have:
- Completed your initial consultation and agreed a treatment plan with your fertility specialist
- Completed all your relevant consent forms
- Completed all your relevant screening tests
- Made arrangements for your donor eggs or donor sperm (if applicable) – please note that if you are importing sperm or eggs from abroad this may delay the start of your treatment
Who can have treatment?
We pride ourselves on making fertility treatment as available and accessible as possible. Whether you are a heterosexual couple, same sex couple or single woman you will find all our clinics welcoming and inclusive.
Treatment can take place with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of up to 35. However, your specialist may recommend a BMI of under 30 in order to maximise your chance of success. Your specialist will be able to help you to determine the best diet possible for you to reach your target BMI and recommend available resources you may wish to read.
Some treatments are dependent on age, which is known to be a key determinant of success. Our upper age limit for women wishing to have treatment using their own eggs is 45 years old. After 45, patients wishing to use their own eggs will be considered on case by case basis. For women wishing to use donor eggs, they must have completed treatment and given birth by their 55th birthday. In some cases, a letter of support from the patient’s GP may be required. We ask women over 50 years old to complete a health assessment with a consultant obstetrician to ensure a safe pregnancy plan.
Counselling and Support
All initial consultation appointments include a complimentary counselling session with one of our in-house counselling team. We would recommend that you book this after your consultation appointment. This will allow you to let all the information you have received sink in and for you to think of any questions or issues you may wish to explore with our counsellors. If you are using donor eggs or donor sperm, implications counselling is mandatory before treatment can begin.
Our London clinics offer a monthly support group for women and couples who are going through treatment and struggling with infertility. For single women, we have a dedicated monthly social group to meet like-minded women who are considering egg freezing or fertility treatment on their own.