Barts and The London Centre for Reproductive Medicine has been offering a full range of successful assisted conception techniques since 1986. We aim to reach an accurate diagnosis with minimal delay using the most advanced diagnostic methods available and tailor fertility treatment to individual needs.
We are committed to offering individualised care to help alleviate your infertility, finding the most suitable and appropriate treatment for you.
We offer the following treatments:
In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
This involves removing a number of mature eggs from the woman’s ovaries under sedation. They are then fertilised in the laboratory with her partner’s or donor sperm and, after two or three days, two embryos are transferred back into the womb. Do we allow three embryos in over-40s? Excess good quality embryos can be frozen and stored with the couple’s consent.
Intracytoplasmic sperm aspiration
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISCI)
This is a technique to increase the chances of fertilisation in cases where there is a male factor contributing to the infertility, such as low sperm counts or poor motility. It involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg, using a very fine hollow glass needle. After fertilisation has taken place, two embryos can be transferred back into the womb 2-5 days after egg collection.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This is also known as artificial insemination. In this procedure, the eggs are not collected but partner or donor sperm are place high in the womb on the appropriate day of the cycle using a fine plastic tube. IUI can also be performed after a course of ovarian stimulation tablets or injections to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Frozen embryo transfer
Excess embryos of a suitable quality can be frozen and stored after IVF or ICSI treatment. Instead of going through another full treatment cycle, these embryos can be thawed and replaced in the womb, if possible during the course of a natural cycle. If there is a problem with ovulation or the endometrium (womb lining) is not thick enough, hormone replacement treatment will be used to prepare the uterus.
Ovulation induction (OI)
OI is used for pre-menopausal women who do not ovulate regularly or at all. Fertility drugs (tablets or injections) are used to cause the woman to release an egg and so have the chance of conceiving naturally. The woman’s natural cycle, ultrasound scanning and urinary hormone test help assess the day of ovulation and couples are then advised regarding the best time to have intercourse.
Egg donation is suggested if the woman is unable to produce eggs due to early menopause or chemotherapy/radiotherapy or they have not responded to treatment. Donated eggs from either known or anonymous donors are fertilised using the recipient’s husband’s sperm. Donors must be under 35 and undergo various tests, medical history and assessment.
Couples receiving IVF treatment sometimes offer to donate some of their eggs to another couple. Careful screening and counselling of all donors is carried out, and the recommended upper age limit is 35.
IVF/ICSI host surrogacy
When the woman cannot carry a pregnancy but still has functioning ovaries, a host surrogate can be used. Eggs are removed from the woman and fertilised with her partner’s sperm. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the womb of the host surrogate. Our specialist team provides information and support on this complex issue. Women or couples who approach the team with their potential surrogate will meet medical and social work professionals as well as dedicated counsellors for assessment and preparation.
Surgical sperm retrieval
If no sperm is found in a semen sample, it does not necessarily mean there is no sperm being made by the testicles. In this case, the sperm can be extracted surgically and saved for use in treatment. This is a day surgery procedure, done under local/general anaesthetic.
The centre offers surgical treatment for improvement/enhancement of fertility, such as tubal surgery, treatment of endometriosis, removal of fibroids and correction of womb abnormalities. Most of these are performed using minimal access surgery (keyhole surgery). Minimal access surgery minimises the recovery time for the patient with most patients going home the same day or following day after surgery. All procedures are performed by a minimal access surgery expert specialising in reproductive medicine.