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IVF treatment: everything you need to know

Find out how IVF treatment works, what happens during a typical IVF cycle and all about IVF success rates & costs.

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What is IVF treatment?

IVF means In-Vitro Fertilisation. IVF treatment is a technique where fertilisation takes place outside the body. During the IVF treatment process, your eggs and sperm or donor eggs or sperm are mixed together in the embryology laboratory.

Fertilised eggs are called embryos and these can develop for up to five days in our specialised incubators, until the best embryo is selected to be transferred back into the uterus to implant and grow just like in natural pregnancy.

What is the IVF process?


Initial investigations & scans

IVF starts with pre-treatment tests to assess your fertility.


Consultation with a Fertility Specialist

Your IVF consultant will take a full medical history and discuss the results of your tests so we can personalise your IVF cycle for your best chance of success.


Ovarian Stimulation

The first stage of IVF is ovarian stimulation. This involves using tailored doses of fertility drugs to help you produce mature eggs.


Egg maturation

A ‘trigger’ injection of fertility medications – human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) or GnRH analogue or both – is administered to assist with the final maturation of eggs and loosening of the eggs from the follicle walls.


Egg collection

Around 35-38 hours after the ‘trigger’ injection, egg retrieval takes place in our clinic theatre under ultrasound guidance and conscious sedation. The eggs are retrieved from the follicles where they have been growing.


Insemination of eggs

The sperm sample is washed and prepared. It is then either added to the eggs or a single healthy sperm injected into the egg using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), approximately four hours after egg retrieval.



We monitor your eggs for signs of fertilisation. This usually occurs 16-18 hours after insemination.


Embryo culture

The created embryos are placed in an incubator where they grow in the lab for the next two to five days. Our embryologists keep you updated on the progress of your embryos and advise when your embryo transfer will take place.


Embryo transfer

The embryo chosen by our embryologists is transferred under ultrasound guidance into your uterus by our fertility consultants, in our specially-designed embryo transfer room.



Any remaining good quality embryos that are not transferred are frozen and stored. Frozen embryos can be used in subsequent cycles if the first cycle is not successful or for sibling pregnancy.


Pregnancy Test

You can take a home pregnancy test around two weeks after your embryo transfer. During this time, you will be supported by our clinic midwife. If your test is positive, you will be booked in for your pregnancy confirmation scan at 6-7 weeks of pregnancy.

Why choose us for IVF treatment?

Manchester Fertility has over 30 years of IVF expertise and consistent patient success. Find out more about us here.

We specialise in individualised IVF treatment that is unique to you, focused on achieving a healthy pregnancy and baby. When you have IVF with us, you can look forward to:

What are our IVF success rates?

The results in the graph below are our IVF success rates for couples using their own eggs who reached embryo transfer in 2018.

At Manchester Fertility we treat all types and ages of patients, including those with complex fertility issues where the chances of success are typically lower. Our results are consistent with HFEA national data thanks to our personalised, patient-focused approach to IVF.

To see more of our results data, which has been verified by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, please visit the HFEA website.

Clinical pregnancy rate for IVF & ICSI by embryo transfer


Under 35
Pregnancy Rate (%)
Age Range

What does IVF treatment cost?

IVF with Manchester Fertility costs from £3250* for a single cycle. This includes:

  • IVF consultation & planning
  • Injection teaching
  • Blood tests & monitoring scans
  • Ultrasound-guided egg collection & sedation
  • Sperm preparation & insemination
  • Embryo culture to advanced Blastocyst stage
  • Embryo transfer using EmbryoGlue
  • Pregnancy scan or follow-up consultation

Or you can choose to fund your IVF cycle through an IVF treatment package, which gives you fixed-cost peace of mind.

Explore IVF package options or try out our IVF Cost Calculator for an indicative price.

You may also be able to transfer your NHS-funded IVF cycle to us. Call us to find out more on 0161 300 2730.

*Medication costs (£800-£2300) & HFEA fee are charged separately. You will be given a full breakdown of your IVF cycle’s costs at your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About IVF

How do I choose an IVF clinic?

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing an IVF clinic, such as location, cost, success rates and treatments. But things like compassionate staff, transparent pricing, administrative processes and emotional support matter just as much, according to the HFEA.

It is important to take the time to visit a few different clinics to ensure you find an IVF clinic where you are treated like an individual, listened to and made to feel comfortable, right from the start. We offer free 1-2-1s to help you make an informed decision about which clinic is best for you, where you can come and tour our clinic, meet our team and get to know more about us and our approach. You can book a 1-2-1 online or call us on 0845 268 2244.

What is the cost of IVF?

A single cycle of IVF with Manchester Fertility costs from £3250. We also offer a cost-effective IVF package which includes all the fees and costs involved in an IVF cycle together with Embryoscope time-lapse embryo selection, for one simple fixed price. You can also explore your funding options.

Is IVF safe?

IVF is a generally safe fertility treatment which is used worldwide.

The main risks of IVF are:

  • OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) - OHSS is a rare complication of IVF where the ovaries overreact to the fertility drugs needed to produce mature eggs.  Symptoms of OHSS can range from mild to severe and in some cases are life-threatening if left untreated. The protocols used at Manchester Fertility and careful monitoring of the patient minimises this risk.
  • Multiple births – if more than one embryo is transferred there is an increased chance of a multiple pregnancy.  Twins or triplet pregnancies have a higher risk of pre-term birth and lower birth weight than with a singleton pregnancy.
What is Natural IVF?

Natural IVF does not use any fertility medication and relies solely on the egg you naturally ovulate that month. Because it has very low success rates, we do not offer Natural IVF.

Instead we offer Modified Natural Cycle IVF, which uses very low doses of medication to help you produce at least one egg. Modified Natural Cycle would only be advised in very specific circumstances where standard doses of IVF medications would not improve the numbers of eggs produced, such as in women with a low ovarian reserve or those who have responded poorly to IVF in the past.

How are embryos selected for IVF?

It only takes a few days of embryo development for our expert Embryology team to identify which embryos have the best pregnancy potential. Your embryos are safely developed in the optimum conditions of our state-of-the-art IVF laboratory over two to five days.

Embryos are either developed through standard incubator culture or in our Embryoscope incubators, where our embryologists can see every crucial stage of undisturbed development using time-lapse video technology.

We look for specific cell division and growth to choose which embryos are best for transfer.  If recommended by your Fertility Consultant we can perform genetic testing, known as Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), aneuploidy screening or PGT-A, to ensure that only embryos with correct chromosome numbers are selected for your IVF cycle.

Do I need to take time off for IVF treatment?

Time off work is a very individual decision, based on how you are feeling. Many of our patients like to take some time off after egg retrieval and after embryo transfer for instance.

The best advice is to follow the guidance given by our team about rest periods, activity and your normal routine.