Within this section, you can find information explaining everything about IVF, including what it is, how it works, fertility challenges it can overcome, success rates and costs.
In natural conception, when an egg is ovulated each month, sufficient numbers of actively swimming sperm need to enter the cervix, work their way up the uterus and into the fallopian tubes. An egg must be released from the ovary and make its way down the tube to meet the sperm - the timing for all this needs to be right so that the egg and sperm can combine. Then, if the sperm successfully fertilises the egg, the dividing egg makes it way back down to the uterus to implant into the lining of the womb.
A problem with any of these steps in the reproductive process may result in difficulties in becoming pregnant. There are a number of reasons why this process may not work efficiently and this is where IVF can help. Whilst it is not a cure for infertility, IVF can overcome issues that obstruct natural conception and help people to have a baby.
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a fertility treatment where fertilization occurs outside of the body. It is one of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.
Whilst individual cases can vary, depending on the issues that are affecting fertility, it is typical for IVF to take approximately 7 weeks seven weeks from when you take your first drug, until your pregnancy test.
The IVF procedure includes a number of steps:
1. A woman’s ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce multiple mature eggs
2. The eggs are collected at the optimum time which we identify through regular monitoring
3. The eggs are then fertilised with sperm from a partner or a donor in the embryology lab.
4. The resulting embryos are cultured for three to five days
5. One of the embryos is transferred back into the uterus
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Whatever your fertility diagnosis we will focus on designing a tailored treatment plan to meet your needs and can offer a range of additional treatments, as required, to give you your best chance of having a baby
According to the HFEA, birth rates from IVF in the UK have steadily increased over time with the average birth rate per embryo transferred standing at 24% in 2018, compared with just 7% in 1991.
In 2019, the years of study in HFEA Statistical release published in 2021, they found:
Of course, the likelihood of success with IVF varies person to person as everyone’s needs are individual. One thing you can be sure of is that our teams at CARE Fertility will do everything we can to give your best chance of having a baby. You can find out more about IVF success rates at CARE here.
As with any medical procedure, there is an element of risk with IVF. These risks include:
At CARE the health and comfort of our patients is of the utmost importance to us. We do everything we can to minimise risk during IVF, and we offer support throughout your fertility journey.
Patients undergoing IVF are required to take a few different medications throughout the treatment process; these drugs are associated with some potential side effects. However, for most, the chances of starting a family through IVF far outweigh the possible side effects. Some possible side effects include:
For more detailed information on costs at CARE Fertility, visit our IVF and fertility treatment costs page, where you can find fee schedules for our different clinics. Or read our cost of IVF blog for more information.
Your treatment plan and associated costs will be discussed at your consultation, book a consultation with one of our doctors here.
IVF is available on the NHS, however criteria vary across different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). You can read more about the process of getting IVF on the NHS, and NHS Funding for IVF here.
The first successful IVF procedure was carried out in 1978 and Professor Simon Fishel, who founded CARE Fertility was part of the UK team who pioneered IVF, since then over 5 million babies have been born worldwide.
IVF science has advanced very rapidly in recent years and our teams at CARE Fertility have been at the forefront of these developments, helping to pioneer ever more effective treatments.
There are more than 50,000 CARE babies in the world today.