In vitro fertilisation (IVF) was originally developed to assist conception in women who had blocked or damaged fallopian tubes but, because of the substantial improvement in its success rates, it is now commonly used to treat many other causes of infertility as well as unexplained sub-fertility.
In vitro fertilisation involves adding prepared sperm to a dish containing eggs. The sperm swim to the eggs and attempt to fertilise them. Once fertilised, the embryos are monitored closely and transferred back into the uterus at the correct time, typically between two and five days after the egg collection.
There are six key stages involved:
Our approach to IVF is quite different from that of other, more traditional IVF centres.
Though the right medical checks and tests are obviously important, as is the skill and expertise of the staff in the laboratory and the theatre, they are not, in our view, the only factors that can materially affect a couple's chances of conceiving successfully and then carrying a baby to term.
Particulary as we get older, what might previously have been marginal influences - such as our diet, our nutritional status, our weight, or our fitness or our general lifestyle - can all have a very significant role to play as well, both positively and negatively. In our experience, emotional factors - such as high levels of stress or relationship problems - can also act as powerful barriers to success. As can conscious and unconscious psychological issues. Which is why it is important to get these working in your favour too before you try to conceive.
Preparation, in our view, is key. Treatment shouldn't just start when the female partner begins her actual cycle but, ideally, weeks and months before that, if that can be arranged.
Which is why every couple who choose to have IVF treatment at our clinic is provided with one of our unique comprehensive PPP's (Pre-preparation Planning Session), at no extra cost, as part of the package price. Both partners are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire covering all the material aspects of their diet and lifestyle which allows us during the consultation to to review your overall status and to recommend a programme of remedial action to help overcome any evident weaknesses, if any are found, or simply to build on the positives that are already there.You might be surprised at the difference that just this can make to the likelihood of your cycle being successful.
But that's not all that sets us apart. Going through IVF can be challenging and stressful in lots of respects, yet so many clinics seem to place little emphasis on providing support for their client's emotional and psychological well-being during their time with them, preferring to focus on the clinical aspects of the process instead. By contrast, we're ardent believers in the importance of the right emotional support and the contribution this can make to success rates. Which is why we have specifically created a small and dedicated team to work intensively, and in a highly personalised way, with each and every one of our clients, to hold your hands, literally and metaphorically, answering your questions and keeping you as positive and motivated as possible, every step of the way. In our book, having assisted fertility treatment should be an empowering experience, not a debilitating one!
Plus, of course, we're able to offer a wide range of valuable complementary treatments and therapies to help support you through your cycle too.