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What is IVF and How Does IVF Work?

14th April 2019 in IVF

What is IVF

Did you know that IVF has been around for over 40 years? It is now one of the most common fertility treatments in the world, with more than eight million babies born worldwide.

Here is a quick overview of how this amazing treatment works, when it might be used and who is involved:

IVF basics

IVF – which means In-Vitro Fertilisation – is where eggs and sperm are joined together in a laboratory to try and conceive a baby.

It involves using medications to stimulate the ovaries, so mature eggs are produced. These are then collected via a short procedure, and fertilised with sperm in an IVF laboratory to create embryos. The best embryo is gently transferred back into the womb to implant and grow, just like in natural pregnancy. You can take a pregnancy test two weeks later.

When is IVF used?

Because IVF happens outside of the body, it overcomes a lot of different fertility issues that would prevent conception happening naturally. Such as:

  • Blocked or scarred fallopian tubes – fallopian tubes need to be open and clear for the egg to reach the sperm.
  • Sperm problems – issues such as slow-moving sperm can mean sperm never reaches the egg in time. 
  • Unexplained infertility – in some cases there is no medical reason why conception is not happening. IVF ensures that the egg and sperm can join together.

IVF expert team

IVF involves an expert team made up of specialists including fertility doctors, nurses and embryologists. Although everyone has their own role in your IVF journey, the IVF team works together, with every stage of your IVF treatment tailored to you, so you have your best chance of success.

Here is a basic guide to the key people who are involved in your IVF journey at Manchester Fertility, and what they do:

Fertility consultant: Your fertility consultant plans your personal IVF cycle from start to finish, taking into account your diagnosis, history and circumstances. This includes what IVF medications you need to mature your eggs and any additional testing or procedures you may need. Your consultant also performs your egg collection and embryo transfer.

Fertility nurses: Our fertility nurses help you to learn how to administer your medications and support and monitor you during ovarian stimulation phase. They also take care of you when you come into the clinic for egg collection and embryo transfer.

Embryologists: Our embryologists are the specialist behind-the-scenes lab experts that look after your eggs, embryos and sperm. They join eggs and sperm together and monitor embryo growth. Highly-trained in embryo development and selection, our embryologists choose your best embryos for transfer, including through the use of time-lapse videos which reveal how each of your embryos has grown.

Midwife: Our in-clinic midwife helps you post embryo-transfer, with any questions or queries about self-care and early pregnancy symptoms. She will be in touch with you during the ‘two week wait’ whilst you wait to take your pregnancy test, and provides support when treatment outcome is known, including during your first pregnancy scan at our clinic.

IVF care and support

When you are having IVF, personalised patient care is just as important as the medical side of treatment. At Manchester Fertility we have been supporting people through IVF for over 30 years.

When you start IVF with us, our comprehensive patient support services include fertility counselling, fertility coaching, fertility and IVF holistic therapies including acupuncture and reflexology plus diet and nutrition support, so you are in the best health for IVF success and pregnancy.

You can also join our new Patient Support Group, where you can connect with and get support from others also having IVF.

How to start IVF

If you are interested in having IVF with Manchester Fertility, it is easy to get started. Make an online self-referral and we will be in touch to talk you through next steps, or call our friendly Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2737. You can also book a free 1-2-1 appointment, where you can ask us any questions and tour our IVF clinic.

Last updated: 4th June 2019