What is IVF?
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process in which an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro, to create a fertilised egg, called an embryo. The process involves stimulating a woman’s ovaries, removing eggs and mixing them with sperm in controlled conditions in a laboratory.
If you and your consultant decide that IVF treatment is the way forward, your treatment will be planned and co-ordinated by one of our fertility nurses. An appointment will be arranged with one of our fertility nurses at which you will discuss your treatment plan, complete treatment consent forms and learn how to administer your medications.
How does it work?
IVF involves using drugs firstly to down-regulate or suppress the female partner’s natural monthly hormone cycle. When this has been achieved, a fertility hormone drug is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce a good number of eggs. You will usually have three scans; baseline, to confirm down-regulation, and two progress scans. The scans are usually performed between 8am and 9am in the Fertility Centre. The egg collection is carried out in the Day Surgery Unit at Salisbury District Hospital, and on the same day your partner will need to produce a sperm sample at the Fertility Centre.
The embryologists prepare the sperm sample, which is then mixed with the eggs and transferred to an incubator so that fertilisation can take place. If there is poor sperm quality a procedure called ICSI may be required in which a single sperm is injected into each egg. For further information about ICSI see the ICSI Treatment page. One of our embryologists will call you the day after your egg collection to let you know whether fertilisation has been successful. The embryologists keep you updated over the coming days to advise how many embryos have been formed, if any are suitable for freezing and to confirm the day and time of the embryo transfer back into the female partner. Depending on how your embryos develop the embryo transfer is completed within the next 5 days. This takes place at the Fertility Centre.
All the way through your treatment our team are here to support and advise you. We are fortunate to have an excellent counselling service run by an independent counsellor, and two sessions are included in all licenced treatments.
Who is IVF suitable for?
If you have been trying to conceive for a while without success through sexual intercourse, intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or donor insemination (DI), IVF may be an appropriate next step for you. If the female partner has no fallopian tubes or either partner has been sterilised IVF may also be appropriate for you. Please contact us to arrange a consultation as all our treatments are recommended on an individual basis dependent on your clinical history and circumstances.
IVF treatment can be combined with the use of donor sperm or donor eggs.
When you see one of our fertility nurses, you will discuss your treatment plan
Salisbury Fertility Centre Treatments
With you every step of the way