In both Liverpool and Knutsford, we offer a wide range of assisted conception treatments, delivered by highly trained specialists using the best technology, to help you achieve your dream of creating a family. Here are just some of them…
Assisted Zonal Hatching (AZH)
This is a process where, using a laser, a small hole on the outer shell of the embryo is made, to assist the embryo’s ability to implant. Hatching is usually a natural process but our specialist staff are able to help this progression along, in order to increase pregnancy outcomes.
Donor Insemination (DI)
Donor Insemination uses the IUI technique but instead of partner sperm, sperm donated from a screened HFEA registered donor is used. This process is used worldwide and has seen several hundred thousand children conceived over the past 50 years. We offer this treatment to couples where the male is infertile, single women and same sex couples.
Egg donation gives hope to women who previously thought they could never create a family. This is an option for women whose ovaries no longer function, for example due to early menopause or after cancer treatment, to avoid passing on any genetic disorders.
Using donated eggs the donated eggs are fertilised outside the body and then transferred into the womb of the recipient so she can carry the baby as normal.
The UK has limited availability of donated eggs, which means many women who need donated eggs are unable to access treatment. In addition to this, the high cost of IVF means many women require IVF treatment are unable to afford the treatment if they do not qualify for NHS funding.
To offer a practical solution, we offer egg sharing in the Centre. Here, women who require IVF and are willing to donate some of their eggs can access treatment at a reduced cost.
Conventionally, embryos are kept in incubators, which strictly regulate temperature and the surrounding gas phases. Over a period of 2 – 5 days, the embryos are examined (by removing the dish from the incubator) and observed under a temperature-controlled microscope.
In order to minimise disturbance to the embryo’s environment, these observations are minimised to 4 or 5 occurrences during the whole treatment, offering brief ‘snap shots’ of how they are developing, and enabling the 'best' embryo(s) to be selected for embryo transfer.
By contrast, the EmbryoScope® offers continuous surveillance of embryos in a safe, undisturbed and controlled environment, from which they do not have to be removed for examination. The system takes a photograph every 10 minutes of each embryo providing up to 140 images per day and creating continuous time-lapse 'moving' images, which are then stored automatically within the patient file for review at any time during the embryo’s development.
Emerging research is suggesting that the vast amount of information collected by the EmbryoScope® is extremely useful in helping to identify those embryos with the highest implantation potential.
Freezing and Storage of Embryos
When you come and visit us, we can talk about the possibility of freezing your embryos, because, during IVF or ICSI, additional embryos may be produced. If you prefer, we can just dispose of these, but if we feel they are healthy, we can freeze them for future treatment.
At the moment, the law only allows us to keep embryos for 10 years, but this limit can be extended in certain circumstances. Whatever your decisions, we’ll always be happy to offer help, advice or answer any questions you may have.
Freezing and Storage of Sperm
We are able to offer our male service users the option of freezing their sperm for a number of reasons,
- Sub fertility, your clinician may suggest you store your samples prior to your fertility treatment
- Marked decline in fertility
- Pre vasectomy
- Post vasectomy reversal
- Armed Forces, you may wish to preserve your fertility or potentially you may not be present for your treatment due to deployment
- Known donation, you may wish to use a donor who is known to you. We offer a screening and banking service to accommodate known doantion
- Work commitments
- Fertility preservation
- Transgender patients
The above options may be subject to funding criteria and may only be available on a self-funding basis.
Your frozen samples can be stored for a period of up to 10 years or if there is the potential for premature infertility up to 55 years with a medical practitioners statement.
Please contact us for any additional information or advice.
Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI is a slightly modified version of IVF.
Whilst IVF combines sperm and eggs under laboratory conditions, ICSI is a more sophisticated technique which injects the sperm into the egg.
This process is generally used to help couples who have previously had unsuccessful cycles of IVF, where the male may have a low sperm count.
Intra-cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI)
IMSI is a slightly modified version of the ICSI procedure. Like ICSI, IMSI is a technique involving the injection of sperm into an egg. However, IMSI uses a high-powered microscope that allows the sperm to be observed at a very high magnification (up to 6000 times its original size).
This means the sperm can be seen in much more detail, which enables the Embryologist to select the best sperm. IMSI is generally used to help couples who have previously had unsuccessful cycles of ICSI - this includes failed fertilisation and failed implantation.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is a simple assisted conception method, where the patient must have at least one healthy fallopian tube. The treatment involves taking laboratory prepared sperm and placing it directly into the womb.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
The process of IVF involves collecting eggs from the ovary and combining them with sperm in a dish. If they fertilise, one or two embryos are returned into the womb to, hopefully, produce a healthy baby.
Thanks to our purpose-built laboratory we are able to treat virus positive patients, we offer Sperm Washing as a therapy. Sperm Washing therapy reduces the risk of potentially passing HIV from the male to the female partner and unborn child.
This treatment uses technology to vastly lower the risk of passing on the virus in pregnancy, by washing the sperm free of HIV. As well as this, our state of the art laboratories can also help HIV positive women and also both men and women who are Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C positive.
Surrogacy involves the creation of an embryo by a couple which is then placed in the womb of another woman who then carries and gives birth to the baby on their behalf. The commissioning couple both become the legal parents by applying for a parental order after the child is born.
Surgical Sperm Recovery
Surgical Sperm Recovery or Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) is a surgical technique used to retrieve sperm directly from the testicle. The sperm may be present but due to low sperm numbers or a blockage the sperm is not found in the ejaculate. Surgical Sperm Recovery can also be a treatment option following an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal.
The retrieved sperm are cryopreserved ready to be thawed and used in the female partners IVF treatment.
A referral from your GP or Clinician to the Hewitt Fertility Centre would be required whether your treatment would be on an NHS of self-funded basis.