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How long does IVF take in the UK?

Taking the first step into in vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF) can be daunting. As with any new experience, understanding the process and milestones along the way, and knowing who will be there to support you, will help you to relax and make your journey smoother. This article offers guidance on how long private IVF takes from the first appointment, and the types of tests or procedures you will have during the different stages.

How long does IVF take in the UK?

An average IVF cycle in the UK currently takes 3 to 6 weeks.  However, it is important to note that there are different types of IVF and every patient is unique, so the length of the IVF process from start to finish will depend on the individual circumstances of the patient, the treatment protocol used and where the treatment is undertaken.

Starting the process: Initial consultation and scan

IVF is one of the most effective ways to help women who are struggling to conceive to achieve their dream of having a baby. If you are considering this path, it is important to find out whether you are eligible for IVF treatment at abc ivf.

If you meet the criteria, your first step is an Initial consultation and scan. During this 45 minute appointment, your consultant will take time to understand your situation by talking through your medical history and performing an advanced ultrasound scan.

Your consultant will then discuss your results and help you to understand what your next steps are.

You will also have the chance to ask us any questions you have to ensure you clear and well informed before making any decisions.

Creating your IVF process calendar: Treatment consultation

If you decide that IVF at abc ivf is the right choice for you, then your next step is to book your treatment consultation. During this appointment your consultant will talk you through your treatment plan, ensuring you are comfortable with all your medication, feeling positive and understand each step of the treatment journey..

Your IVF process calendar will be based on the following steps:

Day 1-9: Medication and scans

The first step of your treatment at abc ivf is to give us a call on the first day of your period when a member of our team can advise you when you should come in for your first monitoring scan and when to start your medication.

At abc ivf, you will need to take fertility medication for around 5-9 days. It is important that we keep a close eye on the development of your eggs during this time, so a number of ultrasounds and blood tests are required. You can expect to attend around 2 or 3 appointments for this part of the process, each taking around 20 minutes.

Day 10-11: Egg Collection and monitoring

Once the monitoring scans have confirmed that your follicles have reached maturity, it is time to come in for your Egg Collection procedure. This takes around 45 minutes and is conducted under sedation at CREATE Fertility, our sister clinic. Both our teams work together, so you can always rest assured you will receive continuity of care at both abc and CREATE Fertility,

We advise all patients to take some time to recover after and to have someone there to take them home. The collected eggs are then fertilised with your chosen sperm in the CREATE Fertility lab and carefully monitored by the embryology team for signs of development.

Day 14-16: Embryo transfer

Depending on your individual case, the embryo or embryos should be ready to be transferred into your womb after 3 to 5 days post egg collection. The Embryo Transfer procedure takes around 30 minutes and does not require sedation. The procedure is painless for the majority of patients, with some experiencing mild discomfort, similar to menstrual cramps.

It is now time for the two week wait. We know that waiting for results can be a very stressful time. Read a personal account about how to feel better during this part of the process.

Day 29: Pregnancy blood test

Two weeks after the egg collection you will have a pregnancy blood test to determine whether your IVF cycle has been successful. If your test is positive, we will book you in for your pregnancy scan.

If, sadly, the treatment is not successful we will do everything we can to support you. We will offer you a free appointment with your Consultant to discuss the cycle and what your next best steps are. You will also be offered free counselling to help you in this difficult time,  

Find out more about our success rates.

After IVF

At around 6-8 weeks a vaginal ultrasound is undertaken to confirm the heartbeat of the foetus. If everything is well, you will be handed over to your local  prenatal care unit.

If you wish to find out more about the IVF process from a patient’s perspective, please see our patient reviews, or guest blogger articles below:

If you would like to find out about treatment at abc ivf please give us a call on 0330 0580 800.


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