IVF Treatment Options include Ovum Donation & Egg Donation at our IVF Fertility Clinic in London, UK
In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) literally means fertilisation in a glass, i.e. fertilisation of the egg in the laboratory. By removing the eggs from the woman the fallopian tubes and surrounding area is by-passed and this treatment is the most effective treatment for patients with absent, blocked or damaged tubes or when there is damage to the surrounding structures such as with endometriosis.
IVF Treatment involves giving the woman natural hormones to stimulate her ovaries to produce several follicles each containing an egg. The response of each woman to the hormones is variable and the cycle needs to be carefully monitored with ultrasound and sometimes blood tests in order to maximise the quality of the eggs collected.
Usually not all the eggs collected will be of good quality so we aim to collect several from each woman in order to increase the chances of a pregnancy. However we do not want too many as this will increase the risks of ohss (link), one of the main risks of treatment.
Once the follicles can be seen to be mature on the ultrasound a final injection is given 36 hours prior to the planned egg collection.
IVF Treatment Procedure
Egg collection is performed transvaginally under sedation. An ultrasound probe is used to visualise the follicles then an aspiration needle is passed through the top of the vagina and guided into the follicles. The fluid within the follicles is aspirated and then examined in our IVF laboratory for the eggs to be identified.
Once in the laboratory the eggs are incubated for a short time and then the sperm is added. Fertilisation should have taken place within the first 12 hours and the embryologist will examine for the first signs the next morning. These developing embryos are then kept together in incubation for a further 24-48 hours to allow them to develop to a stage strong enough to be transferred to the uterus.
In all but a few exceptional circumstances a maximum of two embryos are transferred into the uterus through the cervix. We believe that the transfer procedure of the embryos is one of the most important events in IVF. It is helpful if the woman has a full bladder as this helps with the position of the uterus and helps with ultrasound visualisation which is used to guide the catheter into the exact spot for implantation. Usually this is a painless procedure, similar to a cervical smear and takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Male partners are welcome to be present at the transfer if they wish. Once the procedure is completed the couple is free to go. They will then have to wait for two weeks to see if a pregnancy has occurred. Many couples find this the most difficult time. There is little evidence to suggest that the woman can do anything to help implantation. We do generally prescribe some progesterone pessaries which help to mature the lining of the womb, and we do recommend that the woman keeps herself well hydrated with fluids. Otherwise a normal life as possible should be led.
Risks of IVF Treatment
IVF is generally very well tolerated, with many couples completing the cycle easily and pregnant two weeks later, wondering what all the fuss is about.
The main risk from treatment however is failure and many couples find the experience very stressful with each stage seen as a hurdle. We will endeavour to keep you as informed as possible, as we proceed with treatment; in this way minimising the mental stresses that many women experience. We also have a counsellor available to discuss these issues with you. You may find her useful before, during or after treatment.
The main medical complication of treatment is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This usually occurs after the treatment is completed and around the time the woman would be expecting to perform a pregnancy test. Usually the woman has achieved a pregnancy and the pregnancy will start sending a hormone signal to the ovaries to tell them to continue producing hormones. This is a natural signal, but after IVF sometimes the ovaries over respond and swell up and start to leak fluid. The woman will develop abdominal distension and discomfort. This usually resolves after a few days but occasionally requires hospital admission.
Multiple pregnancy is a major consideration and for this reason we will generally only allow the transfer of one or two embryos. Whilst many couples might relish the thought of twins or even triplets, they do need to consider the risks to both the mother and the babies of premature delivery.
IVF Treatment Protocols
There are several different ways of giving the hormones to make the eggs grow. The common ones are ‘Long Day 21’ or ‘Cetrotide’ protocols. Others include ‘Short protocol’ or ‘Antagonist’, which are variations on the theme. Your doctor will advise you on which is best for you.
There are also variations on the hormones that can be taken which have advantages and disadvantages. Again your doctor will tailor your treatment to suit your needs.
IVF Success Rate
Several factors will affect your chances of a conception. The HFEA publish pregnancy rates of the various clinics for each age group. Though as with all ‘league tables’ the results depend on the kind of patients being treated. For example Chelsea & Westminster will treat patients with multiple health problems over and above fertility. Naturally this will have a knock on effect on the results.
However by far the largest factor that affects the chance of pregnancy is the one that we can do the least about, that is the woman’s age. Treatment in the over 40s has a significantly lower chance of success compared to those in their 30s. For those over 45 years unfortunately we would decline to treat with IVF as the success rate is approaching zero.
As a ‘ball-park figure’, a woman of 35 years without complicating factors can expect a pregnancy rate of around 35% per cycle.
IVF Treatment Costs
The cost is all down to the practitioner. We at IVF Chelsea try and provide the most cost effective treatment with the best quality service we can provide. For more cost information please contact us on 01494 892279 or at email@example.com.
Book your IVF Treatment today
At IVF Chelsea we can provide a range of services and information, including Fertility Treatments, Laparoscopy Fertility Treatments, advice on Problems Conceiving and common Fertility Problems.
For more information regarding our IVF Treatment in London or to book an appointment please Contact us on 01494 892279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the enquiry form below.
IUI Fertility Treatment
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
IVF Chelsea offers fertility treatment closely associated with the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. We offer personalised care for the management of infertility with a philosophy of providing individualised care for each couple. We are ideally suited to couples in and around Chelsea, Westminster, Brompton,Hammersmith, Kensington, Mayfair, Lambeth, Battersea, Wandsworth, Weybridge and Fulham, but also see couples throughout the UK. Please contact us to see how we can help you today.