Latest Posts

How Many Cycles of IVF Do Patients Need?

April 19, 2017 8:46 am

Should Patients Plan for Several IVF Cycles or 1 Really Complicated One? Roughly 3.5 million people in the UK have difficulty with conceiving a child, equating to one in seven couples. This can be caused by a wide range of factors from age to body weight to smoking and drinking and a whole range of other conditions. Most couples pursue professional advice after around a year or two of trying and failing to conceive. Both the female and male partner will be tested in order to help diagnose the causes of infertility and determine what the best course of action is. What is IVF? In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is one of the most effective tools for couples suffering with infertility. The... View Article

How Does the Thyroid Gland Affect Fertility?

April 10, 2017 4:35 pm

The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly, sitting low on the front of your neck. The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland influence factors such as metabolism, growth and body temperature. However, on occasion, the thyroid gland can produce too much or too little thyroid hormone and cause complications for couples hoping to start a family. Hypothyroidism and Fertility If a woman has an under-active thyroid condition (hypothyroidism) that is left untreated, her ability to conceive a baby will become hindered. She will likely experience heavier or prolonged periods or even no periods at all. This can cause anaemia. Luckily, the problems with the thyroid that interfere with pregnancy can be treated easily. By taking medication, the thyroid hormone... View Article

Scientists Have Created Mouse Embryos From Stem Cells

March 11, 2017 10:27 am

This is a story that has been reported by the BBC earlier in March and refers to the creation of embryos from stem cells. It is related to the ongoing debate about research into human embryos in laboratories. The law dictates that such embryos may only be grown for a maximum of 14 days and there is debate about whether that should be changed to 28 days. See elsewhere on this website for more on this. The 14-day restrictions apply to human embryos and not mouse embryos so discoveries from the mouse embryo research could give insights into how human embryos develop. Can Fertility Clinics Grow Human Embryos From Stem Cells? This is the question that people may infer from... View Article

Stress and Fertility

March 6, 2017 12:17 pm

Don’t be too hopeful for starting a family if you are shift worker and the clocks have just gone forward for British Summer Time, at least according to a couple of studies published this month! Putting The Clocks Forward May Affect Fertility Doctors in America studying miscarriage rates have found a surprising rise in the number miscarriages in the three weeks following the clocks going forward – which is on the 26th of March this year. A study of 1654 IVF cycles over three years found a 24.3% miscarriage rate in this period as compared to a 15.5% rate over the whole of spring. The miscarriage rate in autumn is reported at 17.1%. So, is this just coincidence or perhaps... View Article

3-Parent Babies: What Does This Mean?

February 9, 2017 5:37 pm

Babies are now being born after mitochondrial donation Doctors in the Ukraine recently announced the birth of a baby girl following the use of a technique called pronuclear transfer, which involves using the mitochondrial DNA from third woman instead of the mitochondrial DNA which existed in the egg of the baby’s mother. Last year, in what is thought to be the world’s first, a baby was born in Mexico after his parents used a different mitochondrial donation technique. This was carried out by an American doctor and, somewhat alarmingly, he was quoted as saying that it took place in Mexico because “there are no rules”. Why donate mitochondria? Babies are born with a mixture of the DNA from their parents.... View Article

How Does Cigarette Smoke Affect Male Fertility?

January 31, 2017 7:16 pm

Smoking Reduces Fertility In The Next Generation For decades, smoking cigarettes has been heavily linked to foetal abnormalities. This is common knowledge but a new link has recently been discovered. According to research by the University of Copenhagen, men who were exposed to a significant amount of cigarette smoke whilst they were embryos in the womb are likely to have lower rates of fertility. The heavier the smoker, the more significant is the decrease in sperm concentration. This even extends to a reduction in testis size. Unfortunately, female foetuses suffer similar consequences from cigarette smoke, although they are much less vulnerable. The toxins in the smoke were shown to have a direct effect on the growing male foetus, especially during... View Article

How Long Should We Keep Embryos Alive in Laboratories?

January 24, 2017 11:42 am

Why produce embryos at all? Embryos are produced in In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) laboratories from eggs and sperm and are transplanted into the wombs (uterus’s) of their mothers a few days later. Most embryos, whether produced naturally or through IVF, fail to develop and this is why multiple embryos are produced in the IVF process – if the chances are, say, that only 1 in 6 embryos will develop into a viable baby, it is better to have 6 embryos developing in the laboratory at the start of the process rather than having 6 separate cycles of IVF, each with a single embryo. The naturally high rate of embryo failure is also the reason why people do not achieve successful pregnancies... View Article

Do IVF Clinics Oversell Add-Ons?

December 7, 2016 12:40 pm

  This was the subject of a Panorama television programme recently and it featured in several newspaper stories. This is obviously a potential worry for people needing fertility treatment so the question arises: is it a nonsense headline-chasing scare-story or is it evidence-based sensible guidance for patients being hoodwinked? Here at Concept Fertility, we do believe that there are a small number of clinics who seem to sell certain treatments which have dubious value. It causes us problems because patients sometimes ask us what we do differently, what extras we specialise in, what can they add on to improve their chances? The answer is sometimes difficult to hear – there is no miracle cure, there is just careful choice of... View Article

Fertility in the UK

November 29, 2016 10:00 am

Between the ages of 35 and 40, a woman’s fertility quickly declines and one in every six couples seek the help of a fertility specialist. We have put together some of the latest facts and figures about fertility in the UK, along with some advice for those pursuing treatment.

A Quarter Million IVF Births in Britain

November 28, 2016 5:13 pm

Infertility is a more common situation than most people realise. It is estimated that about 1 in 6 couples in Britain, who are trying for a child, need to seek medical assistance. Luckily there have been huge medical advances over many years now and in most cases it is possible to help people start their families. In fact, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has recently released figures showing that the 250,000th British IVF baby was born in February 2015. Back in July 2016, ESHRE (the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology), published that 6.5 million IVF babies have been born worldwide since the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, entered the world in 1978. The use of... View Article