Fertility FAQs

Struggling to find the answers you need? We answer the most commonly asked questions about fertility.

Am I eligible for NHS funding for my treatment?

Diagnosis is free for those eligible for NHS Care. How treatment is funded  is dependent on where you live and your Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) policies. Your GP should be able to tell you if you are eligible. A number of factors are likely to be taken into account including:

  • Body mass index (BMI) of both partners – this is a score that combines your height and weight
  • Female age
  • Smoking status
  • Existing children (either partner)
  • Previous fertility treatments

When you are referred for treatment in the Fertility Centre, we will confirm whether or not you are eligible for funding, and let you know what that funding will cover.

We will assess if you are eligible for NHS treatment when you are referred into Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre.

What is the difference between IVF and ICSI?

IVF involves putting an egg in a suspension of sperm which fertilise the egg in the normal way.

ICSI involves directly injecting a single sperm directly into the egg and is carried out when there is some doubt about the likelihood of normal fertilisation taking place. This can be due to sperm quality, egg quality or a previous fertilisation failure.

Do you offer blastocyst transfer and what does this mean?

Blastocyst is the term used to describe the stage that embryos reach on about day five. This stage is significant because:

  • Different types of cells have begun to form
  • It is the stage at which the embryo implants in the lining of the womb

We routinely carry out blastocyst culture where there are sufficient numbers of embryos and we believe this extended culture to day five helps us to select the embryo or embryos with the highest potential. If you are paying for your treatment there is no additional charge for blastocyst culture.

How many embryos will I have transferred?

Our aim is always to achieve a healthy, singleton pregnancy. Multiple pregnancies, even twins, carry additional risks to mother and babies.

Because of this, most patients will have a single embryo transfer. By growing embryos to the blastocyst stage, we are able to identify the embryo with the highest potential so that a single embryo transfer does not decrease your chances of pregnancy.

Can I buy sperm for home insemination?

By law, we can only supply donor sperm for treatment at this clinic or another HFEA registered centre and if we have a match suitable for your requirements (ethnicity, CMV status, hair/eye colour etc).

How do I obtain a copy of my hospital notes/results?

Please contact the unit secretary on 0121 335 8270.

When do I pay for my treatment?

Payment for non-funded treatment is due on the day of the consent signing appointment, which is at the first stage of starting treatment.

What tests should I have had with my GP before referral to the fertility clinic at the Birmingham Women's Hospital?

You should ensure that your GP has taken a full history from you and your partner (if you have one).  This should include details about the length of time that you have been trying to get pregnant and any previous pregnancies that you may have had. Your GP should have performed the following tests before your fertility consultation at the Birmingham Women's Hospital:

  • A FSH blood test done between the second and fifth day of your period. If you do not have regular periods, then your GP can take a FSH blood test at any time.
  • A sperm test for your partner if you have a male partner.
  • An ultrasound scan of your pelvis

If you have had these tests done with your GP, your care at the Birmingham Women's Hospital will be much quicker and more efficient.