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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about IVF treatment

If you have a specific question not answered below please contact our experienced team who will be happy to help.

If you have a specific question not answered below please contact our experienced team who will be happy to help.

Get the answers you need

Many patients, understandably, have a lot of questions before attending a clinic appointment.

We have collated some of the most frequent of these so that you can find out as much as you wish to before coming in to the clinic.


New patients

Virtual consultation    
Should my partner (if applicable) also be on the virtual consultation with me?

Yes. If your partner can join, then this will be helpful. Your clinician will want to discuss with both of you, your fertility and medical histories.

If I have previous scans or test results can I share these with the clinician prior to the consultation?

Yes. If you’ve previously had scans or tests done, then please email these to support@createfertility.co.uk prior to your consultation. If you are not able to, but have them with you, please make sure you have these ready during your consultation.

What happens if I haven’t had any previous scans or tests?

If you have not had any previous scans or tests, you can still go ahead with virtual consultation. Our fertility specialists are highly experienced and will be able to make a plan for necessary tests and recommend treatment based on a discussion on your fertility history during your consultation.

If my partner (if applicable) has had a semen analysis previously can we use this result?

Yes, if your partner has had a semen analysis in the last 12 months, we can go through these results during your consultation.

Do I need to have my scan at a certain point in my cycle?

No, you do not need to come at a particular point in your menstrual cycle. You can come in for your appointment when you are on your period as long as you are comfortable.

Should I bring anything to the scan with me?

If you or your partner (if applicable) have had any previous investigations such as blood tests and semen analyses in the last 12-24 months, please bring these along to your appointment. These tests may provide the team with useful additional information about your circumstances.

How long is my ultrasound scan valid for?

Your Advanced Ultrasound Scan is valid for 3 months, if you decide to start treatment after this you will need to have another scan.

Why do consultation prices vary?

Our scan and consultation appointments use dynamic pricing based on clinic resource. The price of a scan and consultation varies from £200 - £410. Please see on our online booking calendar for current accurate pricing.

Please be aware, if you wish to reschedule the baseline scan, you may incur a charge to cover the difference in cost from your original consultation price (baseline scan and virtual consultation) and that of the new booking. We will make you aware of any cost difference when rescheduling. To view our terms and conditions, click here.

How long does the scan appointment last?

Your advanced ultrasound scan appointment usually lasts around 30 minutes.

Does CREATE Fertility provide interpreters?

If you require an interpreter, please arrange this directly ahead of your appointment, this can be a friend or family member. We cannot offer this service.

Can I bring children with me when attending my appointment?

If; when attending an appointment in one of our clinics you are bringing a child with you; please make sure that you bring a responsible adult to look after them. We regret that children are not allowed in any of our treatment rooms and our staff are not able to watch or mind children.
If you attend an appointment without an adult to look after your child, we may need to re-schedule that treatment and you could be subject to the cost of re-booking it.

IVF    
What’s the first step to IVF?

The first step is for you to come in for an advanced ultrasound scan and a virtual consultation. The first appointment is the scan; this is an internal scan with an advanced 3D Doppler scanner and will help us assess the blood flow in the ovaries, follicles and womb as well as checking ovarian reserve. We perform a 3D scan to assess the cavity of the womb to rule out any problems for implantation. They will also check for obstructions such as cysts and polyps. Following on from the scan you will have your virtual consultation where the doctor will go through the results and your medical history and devise a personalised treatment plan for you based on these.

Do I have to come for the scan on a particular day of my cycle?
No, you can come for the scan on any day of the cycle, including during your period if you are comfortable with this - it doesn’t make any difference from the scanning point of view.

Do I have to have the scan done again if I’ve had one elsewhere?
We request that every patient have a scan within 3 months before starting any treatment. It is at the doctor’s discretion whether they will accept a scan from another clinic; however most doctors prefer to have a scan performed at CREATE because our doctors have been highly trained in scanning methods and will be able to assess multiple aspects of your fertility. Our scanners are 3D Doppler scanners and look at the blood flow in the ovaries and womb as well as checking ovarian reserve.

Should I bring anything with me?
If you have medical notes, from previous treatment for example, you can send copies of these to us in advance to be added to your file. Otherwise you do not need to bring anything with you.

What is Natural IVF?

Natural IVF, also known as Natural Cycle IVF, is a form of IVF treatment which is significantly gentler on the body compared to conventional IVF. Natural IVF doesn’t use any stimulating drugs, and Natural Modified IVF uses just a short course of stimulating drugs. 

Natural cycle IVF works within a woman’s own natural cycle, rather than shutting down the cycle (downregulation) and re-starting it with high stimulation drugs. It aims to collect the one egg that has been naturally selected and matured by the body, and the fertilised egg/embryo is placed back into the lining of the womb. Natural IVF is therefore the closest that IVF treatment can get to natural fertilisation. This approach is based on a focus on quality rather than quantity. Natural IVF is most suitable for women with low ovarian reserve, low AMH or high FSH.

Read more about Natural IVF here.

What is Mild IVF?

Mild IVF focusses on quality rather than quantity of eggs, is conducted within a woman's natural cycle and uses lower doses of stimulating drugs. Mild IVF uses a short 7-10 day course of stimulating drugs to achieve a mild response.

Mild IVF is designed to be gentler on the body with fewer side effects. The short protocols with lower doses of drugs mean that the stress and duration of treatment and potential side effects are reduced. 

Read more about Mild IVF here.

Should I do Natural or Mild IVF?

This depends on your own set of circumstances, and the doctor will be able to tell you what’s most suitable in the Initial Scan and Consultation. At this appointment the doctor will do an internal scan with a 3D scanner, which will look at your ovaries and ovarian reserve, the womb lining and the blood flow to these. They will then go through your medical history and devise a treatment plan based on your scan and medical history.

Usually older patients or those with a low ovarian reserve will be advised to go for Natural or Natural Modified IVF. Mild Stimulation IVF works well for women with a good ovarian reserve, and it has excellent success rates.

Do you have selection criteria?

We accept any women up to the age of 50. We do not have any cut-off for AMH levels, and we will try to achieve fertility treatment for a woman with their own eggs if it is possible. We have had patients with AMH levels under 1 have healthy babies with their own eggs.

What is the process?

The first step is to come in for an Initial Scan and Consultation. At this appointment the doctor will assess your situation and devise a personalised treatment plan. After this, you will come in before the start of your period to meet with a nurse. They will talk you through your treatment, give you your medication and teach you how to take it and go through the consent forms with you. You will then call up on the first day of your period (day 1) to book in your first scan. This will probably be on day 5 or 6, but could be earlier or later depending on the advice of the doctor. After the first scan, there will be around 2 or 3 more scans, usually performed every other day. The egg collection is usually performed on around day 12; this is carried out under sedation, and is followed by the embryo transfer a few days later.

How long does it take?

After the first scan, the treatment takes approximately 2 weeks.

Is there a waiting list?

No, there is no waiting list. There are usually Initial Consultations available within a week. Starting the treatment depends on your cycle, as it will begin after your period starts. This means we can usually start at the beginning of your next cycle.

What are the success rates?

Our success rates vary depending on the age of the patient and the type of treatment.

You can find more about success rates here.

Can I improve my chance of success?

We offer a number of technologies that might improve your chances of conceiving successfully with IVF treatment. Please discuss with a consultant to check whether any of these might be beneficial to you.

IVM: In-vitro maturation (IVM) is a pioneering technology that can be used in conjunction with Natural IVF to create more embryos. Natural IVF aims to collect one mature egg, but with IVM smaller immature follicles can also be collected and matured in the lab.

IVF with donor sperm    
Who is this treatment suitable for?

IVF treatment with donor sperm is most suitable for couples with a male infertility factor, female same-sex couples and single women.

For more information, visit Treatment with Donor Sperm.

Do you have donor sperm?

We work with only recognised and licensed donor banks to provide the best quality sperm. They can give you information on their skin, eye and hair colour and educational background before helping to match you with a donor. We are happy to work with outside sperm banks if you would prefer. It is also possible to use a known donor.

What is the process of having treatment with donor sperm?

The first stage is to come into the clinic for an Initial Consultation. This will include an internal scan for the female undergoing the treatment and a consultation with the doctor for her (and her partner if applicable). This appointment allows the doctor to assess the ovaries and womb and determine the best course of treatment. The next stage will be to meet with a nurse at the nurse’s consultation. At this point the patient(s) can discuss which donor sperm is to be used and the nurse can go through our list of sperm donors with you. If you decide to purchase sperm from an external sperm bank this is perfectly fine; however you will have to arrange for the sperm to be couriered to the clinic. The treatment itself is exactly like our other types of IVF: the female patient will take a suitable combination of drugs for several days before having her eggs collected under sedation. These will then be fertilised with the donor sperm in the lab before being transferred to the woman’s womb a few days later.

If you plan to use a known donor, he will need to go through a series of stages to assess his suitability. It is best to contact us for more details on using a known donor.

IVF with donor eggs    
Do you offer treatment with donor eggs?

Yes, we offer treatment with eggs from UK donors, Spanish donors and known donors. We have our own donor bank to choose from. For people of European descent, we usually do not have a waiting list. We also liaise with a clinic in Spain, so if there are no suitable donors in our donor bank, we can find a donor from the Spanish clinic which has a large selection. If you would like treatment with donor eggs, the first step is to come into the clinic for an Initial Consultation and Scan.

For more information, please visit Egg Donation

What is the process of having treatment with donor eggs?

You will come into the clinic for an Initial Consultation and Scan where the doctor will perform an internal scan to assess your womb and the womb lining. You will then have a consultation where the doctor will go through your medical history and devise a personalised treatment plan. The next step will be to come in for a Treatment Consultation with a nurse. At this point the nurse will discuss your treatment with you and help to match you with a donor. 

Known donor: For treatment with a known donor, you and your donor will take medication for a number of weeks to synchronise your cycles and to encourage the growth of the eggs in the donor’s cycle. Both of you will also come in to the clinic for monitoring scans. The eggs will then be collected from the donor’s ovaries under sedation and mixed with the sperm in the lab. A few days later the fertilised eggs will be transferred into your womb.

UK donor: In the nurses consultation you will go through the list of available donors and the nurse will help to match you with a donor. You will then take medication to thicken the lining of the uterus and prepare it for implantation. Doctors will assess the thickness of the lining with scans every few days. Once you are ready for the embryos to be implanted, the donor eggs will be fertilised with your partner’s sperm in the lab and transferred into your womb.

Are the donors anonymous?

In the UK, a law passed in 2005 means that any donor-conceived children, once they reach the age of 18, have the right to identifying information about the donor.

What are the success rates?

The success rates for treatment with donor eggs are very good; you can read more about success rates here.

IUI    
What is the Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) process?

The first step in IUI treatment is to come into the clinic for an Initial Consultation and Scan. At this point the doctor will perform an internal scan. You (and your partner if applicable) will then have a 30 minute consultation where the doctor will go through your medical history and devise a personalised treatment plan. It is recommended that you undergo a tubal patency test in order to ensure that your fallopian tubes are clear and the sperm is able to reach the egg. You will then come in for a number of scans following the start of your period. These will be used to monitor the growth of the follicles and track ovulation. Once the time is right to perform the IUI, the sperm sample will be washed and prepared before the procedure. The IUI procedure involves introducing the sperm to the uterus through a thin catheter at the correct time of the cycle when the egg is being released.

Do you have donor sperm available for use in IUI?

Yes, we have a bank of donor sperm at the clinic. You can select donor sperm from this bank or arrange for sperm from an external bank to be transferred to the clinic. If you would like to use a known sperm donor, this can also be arranged. 

For more information, visit IUI.

ICSI    
What is ICSI?

ICSI stands for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. This refers to when the sperm is directly injected into the egg, rather than the sperm and egg being put in a dish to spontaneously fertilise.

For more information, visit ICSI

Who is ICSI suitable for?

ICSI is generally used for patients where there is a male infertility factor or fertilisation problems.

Egg donation    
Do I get paid for donating my eggs?

You will receive compensation of up to £750 for each egg donation treatment cycle. This payment is to reasonably cover any financial losses you might encounter in connection with your donation.

Will donating my eggs affect my fertility?

It's very unlikely that donating your eggs will have any negative effects on your fertility.

How many times will I need to visit the clinic?

You'll need to come to the clinic between 6 - 10 times.

Does donating eggs hurt?

Taking medication may produce a little discomfort but the egg collection will not hurt.

Can a child born as a result of my donation find out who I am?

When you become an egg donor you will be asked for certain details. This information will initially be used by the clinic to assess your suitability as an egg donor. When you go on to become an egg donor that information will then be passed on to the HFEA which will keep your details on an up-to-date register. Your information will always be kept confidential and stored in line with Data Protection legislation. The HFEA will pass your details on to any individual born as a result of your donation if that person requests it.

How are my eggs collected?

This procedure is performed in theatre under sedation and takes around 45 minutes.

Egg & sperm freezing    
Why should I freeze my eggs?

Fertility in women declines from the age of 35, and for women who are concerned about ensuring that they have an option of conceiving in the future, egg freezing offers a viable solution. The earlier eggs are frozen the better the quality of the eggs. Egg freezing is suitable for anybody who wishes to preserve their fertility, whether because they wish to pursue a career, have not yet found the right partner or have medical reasons for doing so. We freeze eggs using vitrification or fast freezing, a technique pioneered by one of our Scientific Directors R C Chian.


Find out more here.

What does egg freezing involve?

The process for freezing eggs is similar to that of undergoing full IVF, except that there is no embryo transfer at the end. You will need to come in for an Initial Consultation with one of our doctors who will assess your ovarian reserve and medical history and suggest the most suitable treatment. You will then take some medication to encourage the growth of the eggs and come into the clinic for scans to monitor their growth. At the end of a week or so, you will come in for your egg collection which will be carried out in the theatre under sedation. The eggs will be frozen following this and can be thawed if you decide to go ahead with any fertility treatment.

For more information, please visit Egg Freezing

Do you do sperm freezing?

Yes. sperm freezing is a relatively simple process. Before having the sperm frozen you will need to have some screening bloods taken, for HIV, Hepatitis B Core Antibodies, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens and Hepatitis C. These can be done with your GP or we can perform them at the clinic. You will then need to come into the clinic to fill in some forms and produce a sample. Please abstain for 2-5 days before this. The sample will then be frozen by our embryologists using vitrification technology.

 For more information, please visit Sperm Freezing

What is the recommended age to freeze your eggs?

If you freeze your eggs before the age of 35, your success rate will be higher than if you freeze them later. The success of fresh eggs and frozen thawed eggs is similar for a given age.

Male infertility    
What is male fertility problems?

Male infertility is becoming an increasing problem in the developed world. For couples with infertility problems, male infertility is a contributing factor in up to 50% of cases. It is the sole cause in about 30% of cases.

Infertility in men can be caused by varying problems including general lifestyle issues, disorders of male (reproductive) organs and genetic disorders.

When it comes to sperm production, men’s testes are like factories. They are then stored in tightly coiled tube called epididymis, which lies on the side of the testis. Sperm are ejaculated in the semen which comes from prostate and seminal vesicles. Testes produce new sperm every 2 to 3 months. This means that a man’s lifestyle in the preceding months has an impact on the quality of the sperm sample.

The good news is that it is widely accepted that men can improve the quality of their sperm by improving general health. Before recommending more invasive treatment, it is always important to try to optimise health to achieve the best sperm quality.

What is normal parameters?

For sperm to be considered as healthy it must have a count of 15 million per millilitre of semen, have a progressive motility rate of 32% (speed of movement) and a morphology (shape of sperm) rate of 4%. Note, this means that a man can have up to 96% abnormal forms, but still have a ‘normal’ sperm sample, as long as the other parameters are met.

Lifestyle factors

The common lifestyle choices that affect the quality of sperm are:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drugs
  • Increased scrotal temperature
  • High stress levels

 By cutting out unhealthy aspects of lifestyle, it is possible to improve male fertility and the chances of conception.

Specific problems

There are specific problems that can lead to male infertility. These include issues such as undescended testis, testicular tumours, varicoceles (prominent veins), blockage of the ejaculatory ducts, sexually transmitted diseases, chemotherapy for cancer, some medications and chromosome abnormalities such as Klinefelter syndrome.

One of the most severe forms of male infertility results in azoospermia where no sperm appear in the seminal fluid. This is of two types: obstructive and non-obstructive. In the former, there is obstruction to the passage of sperm due to congenital, surgical (vasectomy) or previous infection. In the second type sperm production in the testis is impaired  or damaged. This condition may be amenable to aspiration of sperm from the testis (testicular sperm aspiration-TESA) or extracting the sperm from the testis (testicular sperm extraction-TESE). In men with obstructive azoospermia it is often possible to aspirate the sperm from the epididymis (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration - PESA) with a needle.

Semen Production

Some male infertility is caused by problems with semen production. Azoospermia is classed as a man having undetectable levels of sperm in his semen; it occurs in 1% of the male population. Other sperm problems include: abnormal sperm mobility (making it harder for the sperm to swim to the egg) and sperm morphology (meaning that sperm are shaped abnormally and cannot fertilise the egg).

Testicular problems:

There are also testicular problems which can lead to male infertility. For example, some men have undescended testicles, or testicles which have been affected by surgery, trauma, cancer or congenital defects. Sometimes the small tubes within the testicles are blocked so that the sperm do not make it into the ejaculate.

Hormonal problems:

If there is a hormone imbalance or levels of testosterone are low, this can affect male fertility. Hormonal imbalances have a variety of causes such as drugs/medications, congenital disorders or tumours.

Ejaculation problems:

Some men suffer from ejaculation problems, such as premature ejaculation (when ejaculation occurs too quickly) and retrograde ejaculation (when semen is ejaculated into the bladder).

Semen Analysis    
How long is the abstinence period

You must have a 2-5 day abstinence period prior to the day of your semen analysis.

Can I have a semen analysis if I've been ill?

If you have had a fever within the last week, or you are on short-term antibiotics (3-5 day therapy) you need to wait 2 weeks until you can have a semen analysis. For longer-term therapies, you should wait 1 month after completion of the medication.

Do I get my results explained to me?

If you require a detailed explanation of your results, including lifestyle advice and treatment options please make an additional consultation appointment (at an extra cost).

Payment Plans    
What is the minimum deposit?

The minimum deposit for our payment plans are 20%.

What is the maximum deposit?

The maximum deposit for our payment plans are 50%.

Will I be accepted for finance?

To be eligible to apply for humm, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Are at least 18 years old 
  • Are a permanent UK resident/citizen 
  • Have a good credit history 
  • UK debit or credit card in your name 
  • Minimum income of £1,000 a month
Can I make a joint application with my partner?

humm does not accept joint applications for finance. The patient should make the application for finance.

What's the maximum amount I can borrow?

Currently the maximum amount you can borrow is £15,000.

When will the first repayment be taken?

Your first payment will be taken on the date that you choose, within 30 days of completing the purchase with humm.

What is a credit search?

humm performs a hard credit check for each new application that is submitted.

This means humm will share your personal data with one or more Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), who will perform necessary checks. This will leave a footprint on your records at the CRAs, which will be visible to other organisations should they perform checks, and it may have an impact on your credit score (full details are in humm’s Privacy Policy available at shophumm.com/uk/privacy).

If I change my mind can I cancel my agreement?

Every new agreement with humm comes with a 14-day cooling off period, so please contact humm during this time if you change your mind.

Pricing    
Why can’t you get an exact online quote for my treatment?

Each patient is different and so is their treatment. At CREATE Fertility, we tailor treatment to you in every area, from number of bloods tests, level of medication and frequency of scans. This personal approach means you only get the treatment we believe you need to give you the best chance.

Can I reduce the cost?

We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality treatment at the best possible value to all patients.  We don’t add additional services or add on treatments that aren't scientifically proven to benefit you. We give you a clear breakdown of ALL the costs and discuss which areas are optional recommendations.

We offer a number of options to help patients reduce the cost of treatment with 0% finance options, payment plans and multi cycle discounts.

Are there extra charges I need to know about?

We are always transparent and honest about pricing at every stage of your treatment journey.  At your initial consultation we give a detailed price estimate for the treatment we recommend.  Depending on how your treatment progresses, there may be a need to review protocols based on your circumstances and in order to maintain the optimal chance for success there may need to be additional medication or scans. Any modification to your journey will be discussed in detail before anything is actioned. You will be fully aware of any potential costs.

Why is the Natural/Natural Modified IVF price less than Mild IVF?

Mild Cycle IVF requires more stimulation medication which increases to the overall cost. A point to remember when comparing, Mild IVF uses significantly less medication than some conventional high stimulation protocols and so is a lower cost.

When do we need to make the payment?

If you’re paying the full cost in one sum then you need to be able to pay this at your first treatment consultation. If you’d like to take advantage of our great finance options and spread the cost, then you'll need to put down a deposit of around 30% at your first treatment consultation.  You will then submit your application during the consultation.  

How do I pay? Can I pay by instalments?

We accept bank transfers and all major cards (except AMEX), but cannot accept cash in clinic. We also have finance options available for 12, 24 or 36 months with 0% available over a 12 month period.

Do your prices change?

We do review our prices regularly against the fertility treatment market in general to be sure we are offering the very best value for money.  At your initial consultation we will give you a detailed price estimate, this price is honoured for 3 months from issue. After this date treatment will be charged at the current price level.

Why do prices vary between clinics?

We are one of the UK’s largest national providers of specialist fertility care, with clinics in many major cities across the country. We work hard to make sure our pricing is the very best value for money in each local area. This has enabled us to share savings with patients on the cost of treatment.

Why are there extra costs for using Donor Eggs?

Donor eggs come with a specific price and there are additional charges towards the complex administration of the donor process, greater number of blood tests and specialist medication. The additional costs for this service are £2000, and embryo freezing services are £1,120 (including 2 years of storage). ICSI is needed in many cases which costs £1,350.

Can I upgrade from 1 to 3 cycles?

In special circumstances you can, but this will depend on your situation and recommendation from the Doctor.  Moving treatment types is unusual as we focus all our efforts to make sure you get the very best diagnosis and treatment journey from the start.  If agreed, patients can upgrade from 1 to 3 cycles or from 3 to 6 cycles.

If I have to cancel for some reason, including getting naturally pregnant, can I have a refund?

Yes, depending on how far into your treatment you are, we can offer at least a partial refund. We have very clear terms and conditions that cover these topics and they will be discussed thoroughly at your initial consultation.

If my IVF is unsuccessful do I need to pay for a full cycle again? Is another frozen embryo transfer included or do I have to pay again?

In most cases yes you will have to start with a new cycle from the beginning and will need to pay full costs for that.  If you have an embryo in storage you can just come for a frozen embryo transfer.

How do I find out exactly what my required additional costs will be?

All of our patients have individual treatment plans drawn up after an Initial Consultation. This means that the exact amount for each patient will vary depending on their treatment and circumstances. We have split these out in more detail below, but for an exact breakdown, you will need to have an Initial Consultation. Additional costs could include:

  • HFEA fee (£80 mandatory per cycle for all patients at all clinics)
  • Medication (varies depending on your individual requirement)
  • Blood tests (additional tests may be required throughout your treatment)
  • Sedation (required for each egg collection)
Egg Sharing    
Am I financially or legally liable for children born as a result of my donation?

No. The recipients of your eggs are the legal parents of any children born and you have no financial or legal responsibility.

What will children born as a result of my donation know about me?

By law in the UK, children born as a result of donation have the right to specific information about the donor involved. It is the choice of the child’s parents to tell them they were conceived with a donor egg. If they decide to pass on this information, the child will be able to know the following details:

  • At 16, they can find out personal characteristics, ethnicity and age of the donor
  • When they turn 18, they can find out the name, date of birth, personal characteristics, ethnicity and last known address of the donor
What will the recipients of my eggs know about me?

The women who receive your eggs won’t have any information that could identify you personally. Many women waiting for donor eggs want to match with a donor who has similar physical characteristics to them, so we do provide basic information about you. This includes: your height; weight; eye and hair colour; your age and country of birth; your ethnicity; your medical history; and whether you’re married and have children. Many donors also write a pen picture, which is where you can give a little bit more detail about your personality and interests, as well as your reasons for donating and a goodwill message.

Is there a minimum number of eggs that must be collected for me to be able to share my eggs from a cycle?

To proceed with an egg sharing cycle of treatment, a minimum of 8 eggs should be collected. If too few eggs are collected for use in an egg sharing agreement, there are several options for you:

-You can continue with your IVF cycle, but you will need to pay for your cycle at a pre-agreed discounted price.

-You can discontinue with your IVF cycle and your eggs will be discarded. But you won’t receive a refund for the £750 already paid.

-You can choose to freeze your collected eggs at our standard freezing and storage fees and use them at a later date.

You will be given the full information before your treatment starts to make an informed decision.

How much is my Initial Consultation and Scan if I wish to share my eggs?

You will need to pay the full price for your Initial Consultation and Scan, but if you complete an egg sharing cycle then you will receive a refund for the cost of your baseline scan, which is half of the cost of your Initial Consultation and Scan.

 

 

Freeze and Share    
Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the ‘Freeze and Share’ package?

We suggest that a woman may want to consider 2-3 cycles to give them the best chance of freezing a good number of eggs. We limit patients to a maximum of 3 freeze cycles.

Is there a minimum number of eggs that must be collected for me to proceed with a ‘Freeze and Share’ cycle? What happens if you are unable to collect enough, am I liable for the cost of the treatment?

To proceed with a freeze and share cycle of treatment, a minimum of 8 eggs can be collected. If too few eggs are collected for use in an egg sharing agreement, you will be given the option of using or storing all the eggs for your own treatment, at a pre-agreed discounted rate. All of the details in this situation will be explained to you by your donation specialist before treatment starts so that you have all the facts before moving forward with treatment.

Am I financially or legally liable for children born as a result of my donation?

No. The recipients of your eggs are the legal parents of any children born, and you have no financial or legal responsibility.

What will children born as a result of my donation know about me?

By law in the UK, children born as a result of donation have the right to specific information about the donor involved. It is the choice of the child’s parents whether or not to tell them they were conceived with a donor egg. If parents decide to pass on this information:

  • at 16, the child has the right to know the personal characteristics, ethnicity and age of their donor
  • when they turn 18, they can find out the name, date of birth, personal characteristics, ethnicity and last known address of their donor
What will the recipients of my eggs know about me?

The women who receive your eggs won’t have any information that could identify you personally.  Many women waiting for donor eggs want to match with a donor who has similar physical characteristics to them so we do provide basic information about you. This includes: your height, weight, eye and hair colour, your age and country of birth, your ethnicity, your medical history and whether you’re married and have children. Many donors also write a pen picture, which is where you can give a little bit more detail about your personality and interests, as well as your reasons for donating, and a goodwill message.

Will I find out if any babies are born as a result of my donation?

Yes, you’re entitled to know how many babies are born, their year of birth and whether they are boys or girls. You won’t be told anything that could identify them.

Initial Consultation    
Do I need to come at a certain point in my cycle?

No, you do not need to come at a particular point in your menstrual cycle. You can come in for your appointment when you are on your period as long as you are comfortable.

Should I bring anything with me?

If you or your partner (if applicable) have had any previous investigations such as blood tests and semen analyses in the last 12-24 months, please bring these along to your appointment. These tests may provide the team with useful additional information about your circumstances.

Do I need to bring my partner?

It is not obligatory. However, it is likely to assist our diagnosis and treatment if they are in attendance. This is especially the case if they need to have investigations themselves e.g. semen analysis. If they are not able to attend it may be necessary to arrange a subsequent visit for your partner.

When do I receive my test results?

When you come in for your Initial Consultation you will receive your results of your scan on the day of your appointment.

If I have a coil, does this need to be removed?

If you are planning treatment and you have a coil, then you will need to have this removed prior to your treatment.

How long are my scan results valid for?

Your scan results are valid for 3 months. This is to ensure that the results and recommendations are up-to-date.

What do I do if I need donor sperm?

If you are having treatment with donor sperm from our clinic, we will help to match you to a suitable donor and help you to fill in the required consent forms. If you are using donor sperm from an outside source they will give you advice on how to transfer this over to the clinic.

What if I need an egg donor?

If you need egg donation treatment, your treatment process will progress differently to that of a non-egg donation patient. After your Initial Consultation and Scan your next step is to book an Egg Recipient Initial Consultation (ERIC) which will be with one of our specialist egg donation nurses. During this appointment you will be given donor matching forms and receive in-depth information about our egg donation services.

How can I access counselling if I decide to go ahead with treatment?

You can get contact details of an independent counsellor from your clinic team.

Does CREATE Fertility provide interpreters?

If you require an interpreter, please arrange this directly ahead of your appointment, this can be a friend or family member. We cannot offer this service.

International Egg Donation Programme – Spain    
What are the benefits of having Egg Donor IVF in Spain rather than the UK?

There are several reasons why couples from the UK choose to come to Spain for Donor Egg IVF. The first one is the availability of donors. The waiting list for an egg donor is significantly shorter in Spain. There are also different anonymity laws in Spain which mean that all egg donation is anonymous, and the children born using those eggs cannot find out any details of the donor when they are 18. This is different to the laws in the UK.

Will I remain as a CREATE patient?

As your egg donation cycle takes place at IVI Spain, you will be an IVI patient, however we will support you in every step of your treatment journey.

How many appointments will the recipient need to travel to Spain for?

There are several ways you can organise your trips to IVI Spain:

  1. 2 trips for both partners - Both partners fly to IVI Spain for their consultation so that they can see the clinic and meet the staff. The during treatment, both partners fly back to IVI Spain to give the sperm sample, stay for 5 days and then have the embryo transfer and fly back to the UK.

  2. 1 trip for both partners at the same time – The IVI consultation is done via Zoom/Teams. Then during treatment, both partners fly to IVI Spain for the sperm sample and stay 5 days then have the embryo transfer and fly back to the UK.

  3. 1 trip per partner – The IVI consultation is done via Zoom. Then during treatment, the male partner flies to IVI Spain to give them sperm sample and then flies back to the UK, then 5 days later the female partner flies to IVI Spain for the embryo transfer.
How long does the matching process take?

On average, this can take 2 to 3 months. The donor screening can take over a month, plus if you want to do the GeneSeeker to discard any DNA mutations in the donor that could be similar to the male partner, this takes a few weeks. Some ethnicities or blood types may take longer to find a match. Black and mixed ethnicity requirements can take 3-4 months. Asian donors are very unlikely to be found.

How do you guarantee a blastocyst?

We have high success rates due to transferring high quality embryos. Because we work with young, healthy egg donors this means that they should produce around 8-12 eggs. So as long as the sperm is also of reasonable quality, we would expect to get at least one high quality blastocyst. In many cases we usually have more. If we don’t get one, then we will cancel the cycle, and start a new cycle with a new donor, at no cost to the recipient.

How are Egg Donors recruited?

The main way Egg Donors are recruited is through word of mouth. They’ve often been told about it by a friend who has previously done it. There are also donors who come back and donate more than once. IVI Spain also runs Egg Donation Recruitment campaigns across radio, on the internet and also at universities.

How are Egg Donors screened and assessed?

By law, there are a list of diseases which need to be ruled out. Some of the diseases are screened by medical questionnaire and others by blood test. We will also do a chromosome analysis which gives us more reassurance that the quality of the embryo will be good. Our donors will also receive psychological screening by a psychologist or counsellor to assess for emotional or psychiatric diseases.

Will patients be given multiple options of donors to choose from?

The laws in Spain are that the medical team will choose the donor for the recipient. We will use Perfect Match 360°, an innovative system that assists in choosing the most suitable donor by taking into consideration the phenotypic criteria and biometrics. We will also take into account special needs which the couple’s request.

Are there any limits on the number of families that can be created using a donor’s eggs?

Yes, in Spain there is a limitation by law on how many newborns a donor can have. The limit is 6 including the donors own children. Most donors only donate once or twice.

How does it work if I wish to use the same donor for siblings for their child in the future?

If you have frozen embryos from the first cycle, then you can use those in the future. If you have no frozen embryos, we can ask the donor to donate again, and then we can create more frozen embryos for the future. However, this will have a cost, and there is also the chance that the donor may not wish to donate again.

How will you match the recipient to the donor?

We will use Perfect Match 360°, an innovative system that assists in choosing the most suitable donor by taking into consideration the phenotypic criteria and biometrics.

Is it better to have a fresh embryo transfer rather than a frozen one?

We use fast-vitrification technique to freeze the blastocysts meaning that their survival rate is over 95%. When you look at the outcome of frozen vs fresh, the outcome is the same. For many, a frozen transfer is an easier option as it means you can schedule the transfer to fit in with your work and personal commitments.

What happens if our first cycle isn’t successful?

If your first cycle is not successful, then afterwards you will have a period once you stop the medication. If you are physically and emotionally ready to start the next cycle, then we can begin straight away. Or you may wish to wait a month or two to recover. Once you are ready, as soon as you have had your period we will start you on your medication to prepare you and you will have you scans and bloods done at CREATE in the UK, so in 10-12 days later you will be ready to fly to Spain for your next embryo transfer.

Will the recipient legally be the child's parent?

Absolutely. The donor is only donating eggs. It is not like adopting a baby.  Until the eggs are fertilised and implanted into the uterus, it is not a baby. Once the eggs are fertilised, they belong to the women or couple having the IVF, and is therefore legally their child.

Success rates    
What does per embryo transferred mean?

This is the number of pregnancies/babies born per actual number of embryos transferred. It therefore adjusts for multiple embryos being transferred.

What does per treatment cycle mean?

This is the number of pregnancies/babies born per number of cycles started. This includes cycles that do not reach embryo transfer stage.

What is a clinical pregnancy?

A clinical pregnancy is a pregnancy that is confirmed by ultrasound confirmation of a gestational sac or heartbeat.

What is HFEA verified data?

The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment and research using human embryos. They offer impartial, accurate information about IVF, clinics and other fertility treatments. HFEA verified data has all been calculated in the same way. We always use the latest HFEA verified data so you can be confident in our figures.

What does live birth rate mean?

A live birth is the delivery of a baby. This is calculated by dividing the number of live births in a given year, by the number of embryo transfer procedures or treatment cycles in the same year. This is multiplied by 100 to give a percentage.

Existing patients

Medication    
How do I receive my medication?

We work in partnership with an online pharmaceutical provider who will deliver your medication to you. The provider we use for your medication will contact you regarding the delivery of your medication. In your Treatment Consultation, the nurses talked you through your prescription, how to take your medication and the process of your
treatment. Please also watch the video guides that are available to you. Your first order of medication is intended to last the course of your cycle and can be delivered to an address of your choice. If you need additional medications during treatment, the clinic will arrange this for you.

Please ensure that you have your medication with you before your period starts. It can take up to four working days for the prescription to be created, processed and delivered to you, so keep this in mind to ensure you have everything you need.

What if I need to change the time for my medication to be delivered?

If there is any change in your circumstances, and you need to change the time for the delivery of your medication, please call 08000 83 30 60 (option 1)

What time should I take my medication?

Medication should be taken at roughly the same time every day. We advise that you take your medication after 7pm for routine purposes (except Cetrotide which may need to be taken in the morning), unless your clinician has instructed otherwise.

Where can I order my medication from?

You can order your medication directly through us, and this will be discussed with you in your treatment consultation. We ensure that you receive the best value for your money as we are one of the lowest cost providers of medication (lower than Boots Pharmacy and Lloyds Pharmacy).

How do I store my medication?

When you have your medication delivered to your address, please ensure that you have access to a fridge as soon as the medication arrives, as some may need refrigeration. Ensure that you check the box for details on how to store your medication as it will specify whether you need to store the medication in the fridge or at room temperature. The drug will not be effective if not stored as recommended.

What happens if I spill my medication when trying to inject myself?

If you spill your medication during our clinic opening hours it is best to call the patient support line on 0333 240 7300 who will pass you on to a clinician. If this happens out-of-hours you will need to call the emergency number for the relevant clinic which can be found on our contact us page.

What do I do if I experience side effects from the medication?

Some women experience side effects when going through treatment including: bloating, headaches and mood swings. Usually these are very common and there is nothing to worry about, however, if you are concerned then we are here to help.

Who should I contact if I am worried about the side effects that I’m experiencing?

If you are worried about any side effects you are experiencing, call our patient support line and an advisor will put you through to one of our specialist nurses to talk through your next steps if any action needs to be taken.

Remember that when you take medication, there is a very small chance of having a severe allergic reaction. In this case, please go straight to calling A&E on 111.

Sedation    
Who gives you your sedation?

Your sedation will be administered to you by an experienced consultant anaesthetist. We have a regular team of consultant anaesthetists who provide sedation services to patients.

What are the types of sedation the consultant anaesthetist can provide for you?

Simply put, there are two types of sedation, deep sedation, or light (conscious) sedation.

If you receive deep sedation, you are very likely to be asleep for the whole procedure and will most probably not remember anything about the actual procedure. If you receive light (conscious) sedation, it is very likely that you will be conscious but relaxed and drowsy during the procedure.

The exact type of sedation you receive for your procedure will depend on what has been agreed with yourself, the anaesthetist and the Gynaecologist who performs your procedure. It also depends on your general condition, there are certain instances when it may be more appropriate for you to have conscious sedation. This information will be given to you by the anaesthetist attending to you. The most common type of sedation administered at abc ivf is deep sedation.

What are the side effects of sedation?

Side effects after sedation are usually minor but they may include itchiness, drowsiness, prolonged sedation, temporary memory loss, nausea, and discomfort during injection of drugs. Sedation can slow your breathing and heart rate, to avoid this, the anaesthetist will administer the medications carefully to you and will constantly monitor your condition during the procedure.

What should I do on the day of my procedure?

'Nil by mouth’ - You should not eat or drink beverages for 6 hours before your procedure. However, you may drink water up until 2 hours before your procedure. It is important to follow these instructions otherwise your procedure may have to be postponed or cancelled.

What should I expect at my appointment?

Please arrive half an hour prior to your appointment procedure or earlier if advised. When you arrive, after you check in at the reception, you will be guided to the recovery area where you will have your own bed. In recovery, the nurse will check your personal details. Your temperature, pulse and blood pressure will be checked. We will ask you to change into a gown and give you a hat and foot covers to wear.

Please bring in a list of:

• All the pills, medicines, herbal remedies, or supplements you are taking. If you are taking medicines, you should continue to take them as usual, unless you have been asked not to.
• Any allergies you may have.

The anaesthetist will then come and see you before your procedure, when you can discuss the type of sedation you will be receiving. Your IVF consultant will see you before the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form to confirm you understand the procedure and agree to go ahead with it.

You must arrange for a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you for 24 hrs following your procedure. If you don’t have an escort, you will be advised to sign a disclaimer that you are going against medical advice.

How is sedation administered during my procedure?

Your Sedation will be administered by a consultant anaesthetist. The anaesthetist will always be with you whilst you are receiving sedation. He/she will administer the sedation drugs to you through a plastic cannula inserted into your vein in your arm.

During the procedure you will receive oxygen to breathe via a plastic facemask, and your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels will be monitored and recorded. At the end of the procedure the doctor will administer pain relieving and antibiotic suppositories to you.

What will happen after the procedure?

You will be taken to a recovery area, the recovery staff will regularly check your pulse, blood pressure and keep an eye on pain or bleeding. Pain relief, if required may be given in the form of capsules to swallow, or by injections. Depending on your procedure and response to IVF cycle, you may need a bag of fluid through your cannula. You may be advised to take your first dose of antibiotic in clinic if indicated.

What will I feel like after sedation?

This depends on the amount of anaesthetic and the type of procedure you have had. You may need additional pain-relieving medicine in recovery. You may feel tired and sleepy for a while. You may feel sick or be sick and may require anti-sickness medications. You can have light refreshments when you are awake and alert.

Egg Collection    
Will I need to book the day off work for my egg collection?

Yes, we advise that you take the day off work. If your egg collection is in the afternoon then it is fine to go to work in the morning, but if it is in the morning you will need to take the rest of the day off work after the procedure to recover.

Will I be in pain after my egg collection?

It is normal to experience some mild pain in the lower abdominal area which will feel a bit like period pain, and it is normal to have a bit of spotting. This should only last for around 24 hours after the procedure, and you can take paracetamol to help with the pain. If the pain or spotting continues, please call our patient support line (0333 240 7300) or if you are experiencing these symptoms out of clinic hours, please call the emergency number for your clinic on our contact us page.

When will I know what my results are?

The day after your egg collection, the embryologist will call you to inform you how many eggs have fertilised and when to return for your embryo transfer.

Is it normal to experience bloating after my egg collection?

Yes, this is a common reaction that many patients have after egg collection, and usually there is nothing to worry about. If you are concerned about your symptoms, you can call the patient support line (0333 240 7300) and speak to the nurse or doctor. If you are experiencing these symptoms out of clinic hours and are concerned, please call the emergency number for your clinic which can be found on our contact us page.

When is it safe to drive after my egg collection?

It is important that you do not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours after your egg collection procedure.

When can I go back to work?

We advise that you do not go back to work on the day of your egg collection. Please do not go back to work until you have fully recovered.

What happens after the egg collection?

You will get regular updates from our Embryology team as to how your egg(s)/embryo(s) is/are developing. Based on your individual circumstances, you will be advised to have a transfer between days 3 and 5, but usually day 5. Or freeze of a 5 day embryo, also known as a blastocyst.

Embryo Transfer    
What is the embryo transfer?

This is a procedure in which your embryo or embryos will be transferred to your womb. The procedure is relatively painless (like a smear test) takes around 15-minutes, and you won’t need to have an anaesthetic.

What should I do on the day of my embryo transfer?

• Please give yourself plenty of time on the day of your transfer and arrive 30-minutes before your appointment.

• Come with a full bladder so that we can perform the abdominal (tummy) scan during your transfer. Drink at least one litre of water in the hour before the appointment.

• Speak to the nurse if there are any delays before the procedure so that you do not sit waiting with a full bladder.

• If you are having treatment with a partner, please feel free to bring them along for support.

• Please continue with your vaginal pessary and any other luteal support medications as usual.

• If you are having embryo transfer under SEDATION you will need to fast for six hours prior to the procedure, you are permitted to have water only until two hours before the procedure and then no oral fluids at all. To ensure that your bladder is full please do not pass urine in the two hours prior to your procedure.

• If your embryo transfer is planned under sedation please do arrive at least 30-minutes before your procedure time as we may need to commence IV fluids if your bladder is not sufficiently full.

What happens after my embryo transfer?

• The nursing team will give you a date to book in your pregnancy blood test approximately 14 days from the day of your egg collection.

• We advise you to relax for a couple of days, but you don’t need to take bed rest.

• We strongly advise you not to put any warm objects on your tummy such as a laptop or hot water bottle.

• Please avoid baths, swimming, steam rooms, Jacuzzis and hot tubs, saunas, abdominal or back massages, and sexual intercourse until the day of the pregnancy test. It is okay to have a warm shower.

• Avoid extreme physical activity.

• We advise against long-haul flights (of more than three hours) until the blood pregnancy test. If the flight is essential, please avoid any alcohol and drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and keep yourself active by walking up and down to reduce the risk of blood clots.

• If you experience any pain or bleeding prior to your pregnancy test please contact the clinic for individual advice. Please do not stop any medication of your own accord.

• For advice regarding what to eat and what not to eat, please refer to the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/foods-to-avoid-pregnant and www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancyand-baby/healthy-pregnancy-diet

• Please continue taking folic acid and vitamin D.

Pregnancy Testing    
When will my blood pregnancy test take place?

You will be advised by the clinician upon which day they will conduct your blood pregnancy test. Please come before 11am, if possible, so you can receive the results on the same day.

What happens if I have a positive result?

Our nurses will contact you on the day to give you further instructions. You will need to continue with LUTEAL SUPPORT medication(s), so inform the nurse what medication you have left, so we can issue you with an appropriate prescription. We will also book you in for an early pregnancy scan three weeks later. If everything is as expected on that day you will be advised to see your GP or private Obstetrician to organise subsequent pregnancy appointments.

What if my cycle is unsuccessful?

If your pregnancy test is negative we will provide you with support to help you through this difficult time. We hold weekly meetings where we review treatment cycles that have not been successful or that had to be stopped mid-cycle. We do this to enable us to make recommendations to improve the chances of future cycles being successful. We will invite you to a 30-minute review consultation to discuss next steps, which is free of charge.

We also offer our counselling services to support you throughout your treatment. If you feel that this would be helpful, please don’t hesitate to ask. During the review consultation, you will be able to discuss your next steps with the clinician.

What if I have more embryos remaining?

You will have a conversation with your consultant to see if any other tests are required before moving ahead with transfer of frozen embryo. If no other tests are required the clinician will explain the protocol methods to prepare you for the embryo transfer and recommend the best treatment option for you, either:

• Natural frozen embryo transfer
• Medicated frozen embryo transfer

Before starting treatment, you will need to sign a Frozen Embryo Transfer thaw consent form and to meet our nurse for a Treatment Consultation. We will not be able to thaw any embryo without your consent.

Counselling    
What is counselling?

Counselling is a process by which a specially trained, independent counsellor helps patients explore, understand and gain insight into their feelings about what is happening to them in relation to their infertility.

Who needs counselling?

Many patients and couples experience feelings of distress, loss, anxiety, sadness, isolation, and frustration. The counsellor is available to give time and support to patients who experience these feelings and want help in dealing with them.

Couples may come for counselling together or, each partner may feel the need to see the counsellor individually. Counselling also gives time outside the medical setting to understand treatment options – whether to go ahead with treatment, to stop treatment, to consider alternatives or to come to terms with childlessness.

It is our policy to recommend counselling to all patients and couples who are considering treatment with donor sperm or eggs, to explore the issues, uncertainties, implications, and expectations of having a donor child.