FAQs

FAQ written on wooden blocks

How much does IVF or fertility treatment cost?

Costs vary depending on which treatment you choose.  You will need to pay for the initial consultation, any pre-treatment tests or scans, and then for the actual treatment itself and any necessary medications. You can see all of our costs details on our price page.

What is your BMI cut off?

Our BMI limit is 39.9.  Although it may be necessary to perform some other checks for patients with raised BMI.

Does my BMI and weight affect IVF treatment?

A high BMI can affect your hormone levels and thus have an adverse effect on your chances of conceiving. It can also restrict the types of fertility treatment available to you as it can affect surgical and anaesthetic procedures.

A high BMI sometimes needs to be analysed further because it relates to weight whereas actual risk is associated with raised body fat. The muscular, for example, could have a high BMI but be low risk. At Concept Fertility we review cases on a patient-by-patient basis and arrange a review by a Consultant Anaesthetist where appropriate.

I’m in a same-sex relationship and we would like to have a family. Can you help us?

Yes, we welcome many female same-sex couples who wish to start a family; in fact we have a great reputation for it. For more information about the fertility treatments we offer to help you, visit our Lesbian Couples page.

Do you offer treatments for single women?

Yes.  There are many reasons why you may, as a single woman, want to consider fertility treatment.  Whether it’s freezing your eggs to preserve your future fertility, or wishing to have a baby on your own using donor sperm.   Egg freezing, IVF and IUI are all options we offer and we are very happy to discuss these with you.  Call or email us for further information.

I already have a child but I am having problems getting pregnant again. Is there something wrong with me?

The inability for a couple to conceive a child, despite already having had at least one baby in the past, either together or with a previous partner, is called secondary infertility. This shares many of the same causes as primary infertility and can result in an equal amount of emotional turmoil.  It can come as a shock to couples who had no problems conceiving in the past to then experience secondary infertility, but it’s not uncommon.

But you may be worrying over nothing. Infertility isn’t defined until you have been having regular, unprotected intercourse for at least a year without falling pregnant, so it could just be that this time it’s taking longer than before to conceive.  Age could also be a factor, remember that fertility usually starts to decline from age 35-37. But whatever your situation, if you want to seek help, don’t hesitate to speak to your GP or contact us.

What treatments do you offer?

We have a variety of both female fertility testing and male fertility testing available.

Can you help with recurrent miscarriage?

Yes we can.  Recurrent miscarriage is conventionally defined as the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies. Recurrent miscarriage is much less common than sporadic miscarriage and affects about one in 100 women. Immunological factors, hormone imbalance, and parental chromosomal disorders may be involved but majority of women who miscarry three or more pregnancies actually miscarry genetically normal babies and would therefore benefit from investigation. Furthermore, miscarriage is uncommon (less than 2%) amongst pregnancies that reach, and are viable at 8 weeks, even in the presence of bleeding. It is therefore reasonable to investigate miscarriages that occur at 8 weeks or beyond if the baby was viable up to that stage. Other women who may benefit from earlier investigation are those who have had two consecutive miscarriages with no children, as they are more likely to miscarry again compared to their peers who have had only one, or no miscarriage.

Generally we do not recommend investigation if you have had a single first trimester pregnancy loss before 8 weeks. Where appropriate, we offer screening for infections, immunological disorders, chromosomal abnormalities and blood disorders.

Do you offer fertility treatment via the NHS?

No.  We are a wholly private fertility clinic and do not offer fertility treatment via the NHS.

What is your age cut off?

Our current age limit for treatments is 50.  But after investigations, your treatment options may be limited as you approach this age.

I want to get pregnant but I’m over 40 years of age, can you help me conceive?

Yes.  We do offer infertility procedures for women up to the age of fifty. However, live birth rates for older women in their mid-40s, using their own eggs to conceive, is generally extremely low. Your options will include ovarian stimulation, and intrauterine insemination or IVF. You may need to consider using donor eggs to get pregnant.

As women age, the number of eggs in the ovaries rapidly decline. By the time a female reaches 40, she is likely to have only 3 percent of the original egg supply she was born with. In addition, as women approach menopause, their ovaries are not as responsive to the hormones which are responsible for ovulation. This is why it becomes progressively harder to conceive as you get older.

Can I choose the sex of the baby?

No. Gender selection is illegal in the UK.  The exception is when there is a gender specific hereditary disease.

Do you treat patients with HIV?

We do not currently treat patients with HIV.

What can I do if I am worried about early menopause?

The average age of menopause is 51.  But there are certain genetic conditions that can cause early menopause.  If your mother experienced early menopause, it is wise to see a specialist sooner rather than later.

How long does an IVF cycle take?

From the day your treatment begins, when your period arrives, until the day you find out the result of the pregnancy test, it should take approximately 6 weeks.   In that time, you will make roughly 8 visits to the clinic.

When does an IVF cycle start?

Your IVF treatment usually starts on the first day of your period. You will need to inform your team at the clinic when this happens. We will then give you instructions to begin your treatment plan, as explained in your initial nurse planning appointment.

What happens in an IVF cycle?

With most of our patients we begin by suppressing the hormones released during your natural cycle, preventing ovulation.   This involves administering daily injections over a duration of 2 – 3 weeks. Please note that you don’t start taking these drugs until day 21 of your natural cycle.

During this time, you should have a bleed. We will arrange ultrasound scans to monitor that the drugs are working properly and that your hormones have “switched off”.  At this appointment, we’ll teach you how to administer the ovarian stimulation medication, and you will also be given instructions to take home.

Ovarian stimulation during IVF consists of taking daily injections which cause the ovaries to grow and produce a higher number of eggs than in a normal cycle. The eggs develop in fluid-filled sacs called follicles.

In order to monitor the development and maturity of the follicles, you will continue to attend ultrasound scans. Over a period of roughly 2 weeks of stimulation, you will have several trans vaginal ultrasound scans and potentially monitoring blood tests. These are short appointments that last around 20 minutes, and the results are available later the same day. There is no additional cost for these scans and tests, as they are all included in the price of your cycle.

In order to be able to be fertilised, an egg needs to be mature. When a monitoring scan confirms the follicles are large enough to indicate that the egg inside each one is mature, we schedule the egg collection. This will be timed to take place 36 hours after administering an injection of the hormone hCG, which will trigger ovulation. Your hCG injection is administered at home and your team will give you clear instructions, along with exact timings.

The egg collection procedure takes about 30 minutes and requires sedation so that you don’t feel any discomfort.  Using a scan probe, a very fine needle is passed through the vaginal wall and into the ovary to retrieve the follicles containing the eggs.  Some women experience cramps or a small amount of vaginal bleeding after this procedure. Once the procedure is completed, you will need to stay in the clinic for at least one hour to recover from the sedation.  During this time, we will be able to give you an immediate summary of how the procedure went and how many eggs were collected.  When you feel able, you can go home and continue your day.  You will need someone to collect you, as you will not be allowed to drive because of the anaesthetic.   It is also advisable to be in someone’s company for 24 hours after the procedure.

When will I know if I am pregnant?

After your treatment we will tell you exactly when to come in for a blood test which will be roughly two weeks later.  If that is positive we will schedule an ultrasound scan to confirm the foetal heartbeat after another 2 weeks.  If the pregnancy is developing correctly at this stage, we’ll discharge you to your GP to continue your pregnancy with the NHS.

If the pregnancy blood test is negative, or your period arrives before the test is due, you are not alone.  A follow-up consultation is provided for all patients whose treatment is unsuccessful.   At this consultation your doctor will fully discuss your treatment cycle with you and options for the future. This follow up consultation is free of charge.  We will also provide counselling information so you can make contact with one of our counsellors if you so wish.

Can I freeze any remaining embryos?

You may have multiple good quality embryos and use only one in your treatment. The remaining embryos can be cryogenically frozen using a method known as vitrification and saved for use in the future. This is recommended if you want more children and wish to save the cost and inconvenience of another cycle of ovarian stimulation and another egg collection.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test after my treatment?

You will need to wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test which a member of the clinical team will schedule.  This is commonly known as the ’two week wait’.  We understand how difficult this time can be, however taking a test early may give you an incorrect result.  You will need to take extra progesterone to thicken the lining of the uterus during this two week wait, which will give your embryo the best chance of implanting.

What happens during an embryo transfer?

An embryo transfer process is quick and simple. It usually takes around 15 minutes.  It can feel very similar to a smear test, with a similar level of discomfort.  Using ultrasound for accuracy, the doctor will pass a catheter through the cervical canal and into the womb.  From there, the embryo is passed through the tube and into the womb.  The process is usually pain free and rarely requires any sedatives.  Some women may feel discomfort as a result of having the speculum inserted or from having a full bladder, which is required for ultrasound.

How many embryos can you freeze at a time?

All of them.  The actual number varies from person to person and cycle to cycle.

How long between cycles can you wait before freezing more embryos?

Between starting one cycle, freezing the resulting embryos, having a rest and starting another cycle, the gap is usually 2- 3 months.

What’s the average number of cycles couples need to have before getting pregnant?

On average, we see patients having between 1-3 cycles.

How long does it typically take to see lifestyle changes impact the sperm?

The sperm journey is around 2-3 months.

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Call our Patient Services Team on 020 33 88 3000

or email us at info@conceptfertility.com