What is in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)?
IVF stands for in-vitro fertilisation which means “to fertilise in glass,” hence the familiar name of “test tube baby”. The eggs are removed from the ovaries using light sedation to make you sleepy and relaxed, and you will be given pain relief medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. When you are sleepy and comfortable, the eggs are collected using an ultrasound-guided needle. The needle goes through the back wall of the vagina (up to the ovaries), where the eggs are gently sucked in through the needle.
The woman’s eggs are then mixed with the sperm of her partner in a small dish in the laboratory to allow fertilisation to occur. If the eggs are fertilised, they are left in the laboratory incubator to develop into embryos. If the embryos develop, they are checked for quality and one or two embryos are placed into the woman’s womb through the cervix using a small plastic tube.
When is IVF used?
IVF may be recommended if:
- You have damage to or blockage of the fallopian tubes.
- Your partner has mild sperm problems. More severe sperm problems can be treated using a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- You have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
- Other techniques, such as fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination (IUI) have not been successful.
What are the chances of success with IVF/ICSI?
A woman’s ability to conceive a child reduces with age. If you are using your own eggs, on average, the younger you are the higher your chances of success. Only a few women over the age of 40 conceive with IVF. IVF cannot overcome the reduction in the number and quality of eggs as women get older. Success rates for the London Women’s Clinic (Darlington), where Mr Mostafa delivers private IVF and infertility treatment, are consistent with the National Average, and can be found detailed in the following HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) webpage: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/choose-a-clinic/clinic-search/results/75/
These figures are regularly updated. You can also find more personalised statistics for the London Women’s Clinic (Darlington) by entering your age in this HFEA webpage: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/choose-a-clinic/clinic-search/results/75/statistics/
You can be seen by Mr Mostafa in a clinic of your choice for the initial consultation [University Hospital of Hartlepool/ London Women’s Clinic (Darlington)/ Nuffield Health Tees Hospital/ or Tees Valley Hospital (formerly One Life Middlesbrough)], where Mr Mostafa will discuss your concerns, look over any previous test results and order any necessary investigations. Mr Mostafa will discuss the different treatment options with you to help you to decide on the most suitable option you are happy with. Appropriate fertility treatment (such as IVF) is then delivered at the London Women’s Clinic (Darlington). Please see our Price List page for Mr Mostafa’s full price list as well as information on NHS IVF cycles.
What are IVF treatment add-ons?
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority defines treatment add-ons as “optional extras that you may be offered on top of your normal fertility treatment, often at an additional cost”.
These are sometimes newer techniques that may have shown encouraging results in initial studies, or they may be older techniques which have not been evidenced yet to increase pregnancy/birth rates. Please follow the following link to read more about the most recent evidence-based advice about treatment add-ons from the HFEA website.