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.
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.
IVF is used to treat a wide range of fertility problems, such as:
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Unexplained infertility
- Poor sperm quality or quantity
- Difficulty in ovulation
- Older women
- Low ovarian reserve.
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.
The first stage of IVF is ovarian stimulation. This involves using tailored doses of fertility drugs to help you produce mature eggs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- IVF care that is planned and led by some of the UK’s leading IVF and fertility specialists
- Dedicated personal support right through the IVF journey, from initial enquiry to pregnancy test and beyond
- Access to the latest IVF techniques, proven technologies and innovations for your best chance of success
- Transparent and cost-effective funding choices to help you pay for your IVF treatment
- A comprehensive range of patient support including counselling, holistic therapy and nutrition help
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.
Clinical pregnancy rate for IVF & ICSI by embryo transfer
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.
*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.
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 0161 300 2730.
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.
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.
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.
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.