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Fertility Treatment

Assisted conception is a term used to describe the methods available to help couples become pregnant when they have difficulty conceiving.  It is also referred to as fertility treatment.

Approximately 1 in 6 couples find it hard to become pregnant in the UK.


Why might assisted conception be required?

Female factors:

Male factors:

  • Failure to ovulate.
  • Blocked or fluid filled fallopian tubes.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Age (Older women).
  • Unexplained.
  • Other.
  • Low number of sperm.
  • Poor sperm movement (poor motility).
  • Low number of normal looking sperm.



What treatment options are available?

  1. Ovulation induction: Clomiphene (tablets), Gonadotropins (injections)
  2. Intrauterine insemination of sperm (IUI - using partner/donor sperm): with/without superovulation
  3. Egg, Sperm and Embryo donation
  4. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): With husband or donor sperm
  5. Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): With husband or donor sperm
  6. Frozen Embryo Replacement Cycle (FER)
  7. Surgical sperm retrieval: PESA/TESE
  8. Fertility preservation: sperm, egg and ovarian tissue storage
  9. Surrogacy


IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is the most advanced and effective treatment for infertility available today.

We recognise that this treatments can be very demanding and stressful for couples.  Our aim is to simplify your journey through your treatment process and provide an explanation of how, when and why things are done during the treatment cycle. Each couple is given an individualised plan of care to maximise their chances of pregnancy.

Each treatment cycle can vary from 4-8 weeks and it may not necessarily synchronise with the female menstrual cycle.

Different couples could have different drug regimes and the number of embryos replaced through a treatment cycle may also vary.


Would I/we be eligible for assisted conception funded by the NHS?

In order to access assisted conception, couples must first satisfy a number of criteria:



  • Must be aged 23-42 years.
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) not greater than 30.
  • Be a non-smoker.
  • Must not have had any prior sterilisation or reversal procedure.
  • Must not have any children from the current relationship.
  • Must have been having unprotected intercourse for at least one year.
  • Must be a non-smoker.
  • Must not have undergone any prior sterilisation or reversal procedure.
  • Must have no children from the current relationship.
  • Must have been having unprotected intercourse for at least one year.



Same Sex Females

Can be referred.  The criteria above applies for the female that will be receiving the treatment and must have had at least six attempts of artificial insemination or IUI prior to referral.


Same Sex Males

Please refer to the section on Surrogacy.


If you satisfy all of the above criteria, we will check to see how many cycles your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will fund for you.

Your CCG is defined by the geographical location of your GP practice (not your home address).

Your entitlement will be between 0 and 3 cycles.

You can ask your GP for your CCG's current IVF funding status.