What are the hurdles of starting IVF treatment?

people talkingAt The CRGH, we offer a wide range of fertility treatments from the simple procedure of intrauterine insemination to the most complicated in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Regardless of what treatment you’ll require, there are a number of hurdles patients must pass before starting the IVF process.

Deciding to undergo fertility treatments that ultimately leads to IVF is a deeply personal decision. According to statistics, many patients have rated the stress related to undergoing IVF more trying or just as stressful as going through any other major life event, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. However, for others, the stress levels are not so high. It really depends on the patient.

Before starting the IVF process, we recommend that patients examine their decision-making processes and really weigh the choice. Are there religious, moral, or ethical views that might make treatment more stressful? Are both partners fully on-board with the decision? Once you’ve made your decision to undergo fertility treatments, there are still some additional hurdles to get through.

  • Funding. In meeting with our new patients, we must first check on their funding source. Are they funded through the NHS or are they paying privately? In some cases, we will help our patients with special funding applications.
  • Licensing. In order to perform any fertility treatment, The CRGH must have the appropriate licensing through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). We have our legal licensing for general fertility treatments, but when it comes to PGD, we may not yet have a specific licence. We must be licensed in order to treat for each individual genetic or chromosomal condition. If there is not yet a licence in place, we will make that application. This could take several weeks to complete.
  • Fertility Tests. Before we get started, we must test both the mother and father’s fertility. This may involve procedures such as the egg reserve test, sperm quality test, or testicular sperm retrieval. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. We also assess the womb to ensure there are no lumps or bumps inside the womb cavity. At the same time we pass an empty catheter through the neck of the womb to confirm that the passage is clear for the embryo transfer procedure.
  • Diagnosis Preparation. This hurdle applies exclusively to those undergoing PGD. We must prepare the diagnosis, and this involves not only getting blood work from the couple but also their relevant family members. This helps us work out the genetics of the family and allows us the ability to diagnose the embryos when the time comes. This process could take several weeks to complete.

Once all of these things are done, it is on to traditional IVF preparation where patients will be given medications, have frequent visits to our clinic, and eventually go on to undergo fertilisation and implantation – concluding with a healthy baby later on!