Infertility, IVF, Sperm Freezing , Fertility Service (Male/Female)

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    Assisted Conception (Fertility Treatment)
    There is a range of services regarding assisted conception, which are described below. Treatments may vary between hospitals, please enquire for further details. Programmes are tailored to patients' individual needs, and all stages of treatment are fully discussed. Informed decisions can then be made, and patients will be aware of what is involved at all stages.

    In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
    IVF literally means the joining of an egg (oocytes) and a sperm in a glass container. In IVF the ovaries are stimulated with specialised fertility drugs to produce a number of eggs. When mature these are then collected and mixed with sperm to try to achieve fertilisation. If this occurs, the fertilised eggs are then transferred into the womb.

    Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT)
    GIFT eggs are produced in the same way as for IVF. Once retrieved the eggs and sperm are placed in the fallopian tube(s). This method is used when the womans tubes are not blocked.

    Ovulation Induction (OI)
    Ovulation Induction is used for women who are diagnosed as having problems producing eggs. It is also used for women who have unexplained infertility.

    Ovum Donation
    Ovum donation is offered as a treatment that, after appropriate counselling, may be an option for women who cannot use their own oocytes. Ovum donors are women under 35 years of age who have completed their own families, and who donate their eggs which are then fertilized by the sperm from the recipient's husband.

    Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)
    Success rates in many assisted conception techniques have been shown to increase when combined with IUI. This involves selection of the best swimming sperm in a similar manner to that used for IVF, a small volume of this sample are passed through a fine tube into the uterus around the time the egg is released. The combination of OI and IUI is now the preferred treatment for unexplained infertility.

    Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
    This is the most successful assisted fertilisation treatment for male infertility. For ICSI, IVF is performed on the women (as described above) and then direct injection of a single sperm into the centre of each egg is attempted. It is extremely useful where semen counts are extremely low.

    Donor Insemination
    Donor insemination is a relatively simple and painless method of treatment where sperm, donated by an anonymous donor, is placed in either the cervix (neck of the womb) or directly into the womb. The latter procedure is called intra-uterine insemination (IUI).

    Where donor semen is to be used the donors eye, skin and hair colouring will be carefully matched to the couple. All donors are screened for sexually transmitted agents (including HIV) and genetically inherited diseases, as described in the guidelines issued by the British Andrology Society.

    See also "Sperm Freezing"

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