At the South West Centre for Reproductive Medicine (SWCRM), we know that it can be a challenging and stressful time when you experience problems with fertility. Whatever your circumstances, there is a range of treatment options that we can explore with you, and it is your choice as to how you would like to proceed.
Support is also available to you from the moment of your referral and you will have access and dedicated support from counsellors, consultants, specialist nurses and expertly trained fertility scientists, who will place you at the heart of your treatment. We offer a large array of treatments and services at SWCRM. Below lists brief descriptions of the treatments available.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is when the patient is given follicle stimulating drugs which increase the number of eggs that are developed. Once the follicles have reached the right size, you will attend the clinic for an egg collection. IVF involves the mixing of the patients eggs and partners sperm in the laboratory outside the body. The embryos created are then developed for a few days under the care of the IVF lab until the day of embryo transfer where the best embryo(s) will be replaced in the womb. IVF is useful for treating tubal infertility, endometriosis and certain male infertility issues.
ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) involves a similar process to that of IVF above, the only difference is that a single sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg. This technique is especially useful for treating low sperm counts or sperm function problems, surgical sperm cases, or if patients had failed fertilisation with IVF.
IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) is when at the time of ovulation, a prepared sperm sample is introduced directly into the uterine cavity to help the sperm reach the egg at the right time.
Surgical Sperm Retrieval
For some patients that do not have any sperm in their ejaculate, surgical sperm retrieval may be an option. A fine needle can be passed into the testis (epididymis) to try and retrieve sperm, sometimes a biopsy will be taken. We undertake percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), testicular sperm extraction (TESA) and microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA).
Egg, Sperm & Embryo Freezing
Egg and Sperm freezing is provided at the SWCRM:
- Embryo Cryopreservation: if extra embryos are available following an IVF or ICSI cycle, they can be cryopreserved and stored for future use.
- Semen Analysis & Freezing: we offer a private semen analysis service, anti-sperm antibody testing, secondary sperm function testing and sperm cryopreservation services.
- Frozen Embryo Replacement: thawing and replacement of frozen embryos. This involves preparing the lining of the uterus until it is optimal for implantation. The embryos will then be thawed out and replaced.
- Egg Freezing: the ability to freeze and store gametes is an important part of assisted conception and allows women's eggs to be preserved until they are ready to conceive. This method is particularly useful for cancer patients, women at risk of premature ovarian failure, single women wishing to preserve fertility and ethical or religious reasons
Blastocyst transfer involves extending the number of days we culture embryos from the typical 2/3 days post egg collection up to 5 days in an attempt to grow the strongest embryos to blastocyst stage.