We’re one of the leading providers of IVF treatment in Manchester.
What is IVF?
Put simply, IVF is when your eggs are retrieved and fertilised in a laboratory with semen from your partner or a donor. The resulting embryos are then transferred into your uterus to begin growing as in a normal pregnancy.
When is IVF necessary?
IVF was developed to help women with damaged or blocked fallopian tubes by placing the embryos directly into the uterus bypassing the damaged area. It may also be appropriate treatment if the cause of infertility is unknown or for some mild cases of male factor infertility.
What is the IVF process?
There are five main stages in the IVF process - egg production, monitoring egg production, egg recovery, fertilisation and embryo development and embryo transfer.
As a first step, the ovaries are stimulated by drugs to achieve egg production. Ovarian function is suppressed to prevent spontaneous ovulation and the ovaries are then stimulated with drugs to produce a number of eggs. Most women carry out the injections themselves.
Monitoring Egg Production
Our doctors and nurses use regular ultrasound scans and bloods tests to monitor egg production. Once the follicles surrounding the egg are at the required size, a final injection is administered to ensure the eggs are mature in preparation for egg collection.
Eggs are collected using a vaginal ultrasound guided technique under mild sedation. The eggs are graded and placed into the incubator by our embryologists.
Fertilisation and embryo development
On the same day as the eggs are collected, the partner provides a sperm sample (or donor sperm is used) and the most motile sperm are selected and mixed with the eggs. They are then checked the next morning for signs of fertilisation.
Embryos are developed in our state-of-the-art incubators and are assessed by our highly-trained and experienced embryologists. You can also opt for time-lapse embryo development as part of your IVF cycle, which uses a special EmbryoScope incubator. The EmbryoScope takes several photographs an hour of your embryos as they grow, turning the pictures into a time-lapse video. The video shows us every stage of embryo development, helping us select the best embryo for transfer.
Embryos are developed to advanced Blastocyst stage free of charge at Manchester Fertility. We can also use Preimplantation Genetic Screening to determine the best embryos for transfer, which may be advised if you're an older woman or have a history of failed IVF or recurrent miscarriage.
The best quality embryos will then be transferred back into your uterus, in a simple procedure that does not need any sedation or anaesthesia. We use EmbryoGlue for all embryo transfers as standard at no cost to you, which helps the embryo adhere to the uterus for implantation. Depending on your age and the quality of your embryos we may suggest replacing a single embryo. This prevents a multiple pregnancy but does not decrease the ultimate chances of having a baby if the embryo is of high quality.
If there are multiple good quality embryos, these can be frozen for future use – for example if you don’t get pregnant from the treatment, or if you decide at a later date to extend your family.
Once the embryos have been transferred, there is nothing more you can do except to take any drugs prescribed by the doctor and to take a pregnancy test approximately two weeks later. Whether you get a positive or negative result, IVF is an emotional roller coaster. Some couples need only one cycle of IVF to have a child, others need more, and for some it may not work at all.
This is why counselling is one of the most important aspects of infertility treatment. At Manchester Fertility, our team of trained counsellors will be at your side every step of the way, right from the start, giving you all the support you need.
If you’d like to know more about IVF treatments at Manchester Fertility, contact our Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2730.
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