Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions
Many patients, understandably, have a lot of questions before booking an appointment to start treatment. We have collated some of the most frequent of these so that you can find out as much as you wish to before coming in to the clinic.
Covid-19 Frequently asked questions
- For those in treatment/trying to get pregnant now, they can have either vaccine if it is offered to them.
- Those who have not yet started treatment can have the vaccine and do not need to delay starting treatment.
- Your clinician will discuss the options with you so you can make an informed decision.
The British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive Clinical Scientists have created this document for advice on Covid-19 vaccines.
Further information can be found on the government website here.
The risk of Covid-19 transmission exists in general throughout the UK, including during travel to the clinic. In line with best practice guidelines, we have implemented significant modifications to our working practices to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission within our clinics. To help us achieve this objective, you will be required to abide by the following procedures:
- You (and anyone attending clinic with you) will need to complete a Covid-19 Triage questionnaire before all clinic visits, before starting treatment and on arrival at the clinic. This questionnaire will indicate whether you are able to attend the clinic; please read the questionnaire for instructions as to how to complete it. (PDF download)
- Visits to the clinic are minimised and many appointments will take place online or over the phone.
- When you visit clinic, you will need to keep 2 metres distance from other patients and staff, unless close contact is required for a medical procedure or examination.
- Waiting procedures will be different than normal, we have different designated spaces for patients to wait and you will be directed as to where to wait. If you have travelled to the clinic via car, you may be asked to wait in your car until we are ready to see you for your appointment.
- We ask that you wear a face covering if you are visiting one of our clinics. In the event you do not have a face covering, we will risk assess the situation and may decide to give you a mask at your visit. If this is given to you, it is required that you comply with our directions, and you will receive instructions in how to place the mask correctly.
- We will take your temperature at each clinic visit as part of our screening procedures. In addition, you will be required to follow any additional checks we implement, such as blood tests, swabs etc.
- At your visit, you will be required to wash your hands or utilise hand sanitiser on your arrival. You may be directed by our staff to follow hand hygiene procedures and you are required to follow their instructions.
- We recommend that you attend clinic on your own unless it is necessary to be accompanied. If you intend to visit clinic with another individual, they must be a member of your household and they must also complete the Covid-19 Triage Questionnaire. You must also notify us in advance if you intend to visit the clinic accompanied.
- Only one patient (and a member of their household) will be allowed to utilise shared spaces, such as corridors or lifts, at any point in time. Staff will direct you as to when it is safe for you to move through the premises.
Please bring the any paperwork, signed consents information that has been discussed with your nurse or patient support advisor.
We also ask that you wear a face covering if you are visiting one of our clinics. In the event you do not have a face covering, we will risk assess the situation and may decide to give you a mask at your visit. If this is given to you, it is required that you comply with our directions, and you will receive instructions in how to place the mask correctly.
As this time we recommend that you attend clinic on your own unless it is necessary to be accompanied. If you intend to visit clinic with another individual, they must be a member of your household and they must also complete the Covid-19 Triage Questionnaire. You must also notify us in advance if you intend to visit the clinic accompanied so the clinic can prepare for this.
We are working hard to keep both patients and staff safe during this time and so we are installing a policy of only one patient (and a member of their household) will be allowed to utilise shared spaces, such as corridors or lifts, at any point in time. Staff will direct you as to when it is safe for you to move through the clinic.
We have implemented significant modifications to our working practices to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission within our clinics. Attending your appointment you will be asked on arrival to do the following:
- You will need to complete a Covid-19 Triage questionnaire. The questionnaire will indicate whether you are able to attend the clinic on that day; please read the questionnaire for instructions as to how to complete it. (PDF download)
- You will need to keep 2 metres distance from other patients and staff, unless close contact is required for a medical procedure or examination.
- Waiting procedures will be different than normal, we have different designated spaces for patients to wait and you will be directed as to where to wait. If you have travelled to the clinic via car, you may be asked to wait in your car until we are ready to see you for your appointment.
- You will be asked to wear a face covering. In the event you do not have a face covering, we will risk assess the situation and may decide to give you a mask at your visit.
- We ask to take your temperature at each clinic visit as part of our screening procedures. In addition, you will be required to follow any additional checks we implement, such as blood tests, swabs etc.
- You will be required to wash your hands or utilise hand sanitiser on your arrival.
The latest guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) suggest that pregnant women do not appear more likely to contract the infection than the general population.
There are currently no data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or foetal anomalies or adverse pregnancy complications based on available limited information and experience. Link to RCOG guidelines: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health
The long-term effect of Covid-19 on pregnancies remains unknown and the clinic cannot guarantee that a pregnant woman’s health would not be severely affected or there is no increased risk of miscarriage, premature delivery or an adverse effect on the baby if Covid-19 was contracted during pregnancy.
Patients who are at greater risk of Covid-19 infection or complications resulting from fertility treatment may be delayed from starting treatment during this time. We will consider all circumstances when designing a treatment protocol in order to minimise risk for patients.
A patient’s risk status may change during treatment; for example, a patient may develop symptoms of Covid-19 during treatment. In the interests of patient safety, we may choose to pause treatment and delay until the patient is at low risk again. In other circumstances, we may need to electively freeze embryos or eggs. Decisions in your care will be taken individually with our clinical team.
In order to protect your own safety we recommend you follow our code of conduct before commencing treatment, because this will help to reduce the risk of transmission.
- avoid unnecessary exposure to risks of Covid-19 infection at work and in private.
- restrict social life and interactions in line with government guidelines.
- inform the clinic if you develop symptoms of Covid-19; or test positive for Covid-19 infection, or for any reason your risk to Covid-19 infection has been raised; or you have been unable to follow the code of conduct.
We strongly urge patients to stay at home during their treatment as much as is possible, as this will minimise the risk of transmission.
Updated advice and Government guidelines on Covid-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
abc ivf is most suitable for younger women (aged 37 or under) with good/normal ovarian reserve.
The female partner undergoing treatment should:
- Be aged 37 or under
- Have normal/good ovarian reserve (AMH above 12 or FSH below 12)
- Have a BMI under 30
abc ivf is designed to help couples and single women who wish to access IVF and are not eligible for IVF treatment via the NHS for non-medical reasons, have run out of NHS funding, have failed cycles via the NHS or those who have been priced out of the private IVF market.
If you do not meet the abc ivf criteria, we may still be able to help you. abc ivf is a partner clinic of CREATE Fertility, one of the UK’s biggest fertility providers, and will be able to refer you to them for specialist treatment.
If you do not meet the abc ivf eligibility criteria, we may still help you by referring you to our sister clinic, CREATE Fertility, for specialist treatment.
abc ivf offers a simplified IVF treatment for patients with normal egg reserve and we have eligibility criteria to ensure that our treatment protocols will give an excellent chance of success at a low cost.
CREATE Fertility specialise in treating women and couples with more complex fertility issues and also those with low ovarian reserve. They do not have any selection criteria and treat women up to the age of 50.
At abc ivf we are very proud to be able to offer the lowest cost per IVF cycle in the whole of the UK, but our aim is also to shift the IVF world towards 100% transparent pricing.
With this in mind we have chosen to lead the way and to offer a Complete IVF Package with no hidden costs for the IVF cycle.
Our Complete IVF Package includes:
- Treatment consultation
- Screening tests
- Monitoring scans
- Blood tests
- HFEA fee
- Expert clinical advice
- Sedation fees
- Egg collection
- Embryo transfer
- Early pregnancy scan
We do also offer treatment to couples where male factor infertility is present who may require additional techniques such as ICSI.
If you require donor sperm for your treatment or any additional techniques, these will be an additional charge. We’ve attached a full price list below for full transparency.
*to see the medication included in package, see our terms and conditions and ‘What other costs might I have to pay?’ below.
You will be required to pay a deposit after your Initial Consultation and Scan to secure your Treatment Consultation. The outstanding amount will then be taken after your Treatment Consultation.
Please see our Terms and Conditions for details.
Male factor: If you have a fertility issue due to a male factor, you may require additional support and treatments such as ICSI. We have an IVF with ICSI package.
Egg & Embryo Freezing: If you have additional embryos after your embryo transfer procedure, you will be given the option to freeze them at an additional cost. In specific cases there may be a medical need to freeze embryos. You may require embryo freezing, Cryostorage and potentially a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) procedure.
Donor Sperm: If you require donor sperm for your treatment, this will come at an additional cost. Donor services need to be organised with CREATE Fertility St Paul’s.
Diagnostic tests: In certain situations, your clinician could request that you have further diagnostic testing.
Medication: The medication included in your IVF package is appropriate for most patients to complete their cycle of IVF. However, as we tailor treatment to each patient’s individual need, more medication may be required. If you require additional medication, this can be purchased directly from abc ivf for additional cost.
abc ivf offers couples and single women the lowest cost of IVF cycle in the UK. We also offer additional techniques alongside our IVF treatment protocols, such as ICSI, for couples where male factor infertility is present.
IVF (In vitro fertilisation)
IVF is the process of fertilising eggs and sperm outside of the human body, in a laboratory dish. During IVF, the woman’s eggs are collected and mixed with sperm in the laboratory where their fertilisation will be monitored. The embryos created will then be transferred into the woman’s womb to grow and develop.
ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
ICSI is the technique where a sperm is selected in the laboratory and injected directly into the egg. This differs from standard IVF, where prepared sperm are left in a petri dish with the egg to fertilise naturally. ICSI technique is effective for several types of sperm problems and can facilitate fertilisation even with low quantities or quality of sperm.
If you require any additional diagnosis tests or complex fertility treatment, we can refer you to our partner clinic CREATE Fertility where you can receive specialist treatment.
abc ivf can also offer low cost IVF treatment to single women and lesbian couples using sperm donation. Donation services must be arranged with CREATE Fertility.
The first step to starting treatment at our clinic is to book an Initial Consultation and Scan. This is a 45 minute appointment with a specialist Nurse Consultant.
The first part of the appointment includes an advanced Pelvic Assessment Scan which will help us assess your egg reserve, the health of your uterus, endometrium (lining of the womb), ovaries and follicles.
You will then have a consultation with your Consultant who will explain your results, discuss your medical history, answer any questions you may have and talk you through your individualised treatment plan.
If you are ready to go ahead, you can start treatment as soon as your next menstrual cycle.
At abc ivf we pride ourselves in offering excellent success rates, above the UK’s national average, whilst making our treatment the most affordable in the country. As we are a new clinic, we are able to show the success rates of our sister clinic, CREATE Fertility St Paul’s, where the procedures and embryology will take place.
Under 35 years old - Clinical pregnancy rates per embryo transferred | IVF & ICSI | Jan 18 - Dec 18 | CREATE Fertility clinic St. Paul's
Under 35 years old - Live births per embryo transferred | IVF & ICSI | Jan 17 - Dec 17 | CREATE Fertility clinic St. Paul's
35 - 37 years old - Clinical pregnancy rates per embryo transferred | IVF & ICSI | Jan 17 - Dec 17 | CREATE Fertility clinic St. Paul's
35 - 37 years old - Live births per embryo transferred | IVF & ICSI | Jan 17 - Dec 17 | CREATE Fertility clinic St. Paul's
There is lots of evidence to suggest that optimising your health and wellbeing can positively impact your fertility health and your experience through IVF treatment.
One of the most important lifestyle factor for fertility is keeping your weight within the optimal BMI range of 20-25. Studies show that overweight women took twice as long to fall pregnant as women of a healthy weight, while underweight women took 4 times as long.
Top lifestyle and diet tips to optimise your fertility naturally:
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
- Stop smoking
- Choose slow-release carbs (e.g. whole grains, fruit and veg) over fast-release carbohydrates (white bread/rice, cake).
- Top up your Omega-3 levels with plenty of fish or, if you are vegetarian, include mango, walnut, flaxseed and hemp seed in your diet
- Avoid trans fats and refined sugars (found in processed and fast food).
- Opt for full-fat rather than low-fat dairy products to get the beneficial hormones attached to fat
- Get fit – try yoga, joining the gym or jogging in your local park
- Try acupuncture, massage or meditation
Your treatment at abc ivf will work within your natural menstrual cycle. Therefore if you’ve had an Initial Consultation and Scan at abc ivf and are ready to start, you can usually begin treatment as soon as your next menstrual cycle.
Before starting treatment we will perform the following tests:
- Pelvic Assessment Scan
- Screening tests
- AMH test (where required)
- Semen analysis (where required)
We require you to have a Pelvic Assessment Scan with us prior to starting your treatment to confirm your eligibility for abc ivf. However, if you have already done screening tests, and have not undertaken IVF, they must be used within 3 months to be valid. If you had screening tests and you have previously had fertility treatment, they will be valid for two years from the date of the result. We will re-use AMH and semen analyses, as long as they are less than a year old.
From the start of treatment to the completion of procedures usually takes around 2 weeks.
Once treatment begins, it takes around 2 weeks from start to finish. There are a couple of pre-treatment steps that must be completed. Here are the main steps of your treatment with us:
Step 1 – Initial Consultation and Scan
The first step is to come in for an Initial Consultation and Pelvic Assessment Scan at our Harley Street clinic. During this 45 minute appointment a specialist Nurse Consultant will assess your fertility health by performing a Pelvic Assessment Scan.
We will then discuss your scan results, medical history and treatment plan. This is the perfect opportunity to have any questions answered. It is important that you are fully informed and comfortable with your plan before you start your treatment.
The next step is to make the deposit payment so you can start treatment when you are ready.
Step 2 - Treatment Consultation
Before starting treatment, you will come in for a treatment consultation to discuss when and how to take your medication and talk through each step of your treatment plan to ensure you feel comfortable, positive and fully understand your treatment, to receive consent forms and confirm screenings are all valid.
Step 3 – Monitoring Scans and Blood Tests
As we are working within your natural menstrual cycle, throughout your treatment you will be monitored with scans and blood tests which will allow us to determine the right time to collect your eggs. Each appointment takes around 20 minutes and patients may have around 2 or 3 scans during their treatment with us with abc ivf.
Step 4 – Egg Collection (CREATE Fertility St Paul’s)
When your egg sacs (follicles) have reached maturity as assessed by Pelvic Assessment Scan, you will need to come in for your egg collection procedure where a Consultant will collect the eggs from your ovaries.
The egg collection takes place in a theatre under sedation so you will need to visit our partner clinic, CREATE Fertility St Paul’s, for this procedure. Our partnership with CREATE Fertility means that all your theatre procedures and embryology will take place at their state-of-the art clinic in central London where you will be cared for by some of the world’s most renowned fertility pioneers and experts.
The procedure itself takes around 45 minutes and most patients cannot feel any pain during egg collection. You will be told how many eggs were collected as soon as you wake from the sedation.
Step 5 – Fertilisation and Monitoring (CREATE Fertility St Paul’s)
The collected eggs and sperm will then be fertilised in the laboratory at CREATE Fertility St Paul’s and their development will be carefully monitored by the embryology team.
Usually the eggs and sperm are left in a petri dish/test tube to fertilise, but some patients will require ICSI (where the sperm is injected directly into the egg) if there are suspected fertilisation problems, due to male factor infertility.
Step 6 – Embryo Transfer (CREATE Fertility St Paul’s)
Three or five days after egg collection, depending on each individual case, fertilised embryo/s will be ready to be transferred into the womb. The embryo transfer procedure usually takes around 30 minutes and does not require sedation. Most patients compare the feeling to that of a smear test.
If you have any good quality embryos leftover from your cycle, you will be given the option to freeze and store them for future use.
Step 7 – Pregnancy Test
2 weeks after your egg collection, you will have a pregnancy blood test which looks at your Beta hCG (pregnancy hormone) blood levels to determine whether your treatment has been successful.
If you are having treatment with a partner, they will need to attend the first appointment and the treatment consultation. It is not necessary for your partner to attend the monitoring appointments. You need to have someone to accompany you to the Egg Collection and to ensure you can go home safely; usually patients bring their partner, though this can be a friend if the partner is not needed to produce a sample.
For most couples, IVF treatment involves both emotional and physical stress, therefore support and understanding are a very important part of this momentous journey.
As soon as you book an appointment with abc ivf, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our staff will do whatever they can to ensure you feel comfortable, positive and clear about every step of your journey at abc ivf. If required, we can also refer you to a specialist independent counselling service. You can request for independent counselling if you wish to see our counsellor.
You can come for the Initial Consultation and Scan on any day of the cycle, including during your period if you are comfortable with this; it doesn’t make any difference from the scanning point of view.
Egg freezing questions
The process for egg freezing is similar to that of IVF, except that once the eggs are collected they will be frozen using the vitrification (fast freezing) technique. If you wish to use the frozen eggs at a later date, you will need to use ICSI to create embryo(s) and have a Frozen Embryo Transfer. These costs take place with CREATE Fertility St Paul’s.
You will have your initial consultation and scan and your treatment consultation before you start your treatment cycle. Once your period has started, you will start the medication on the second day of your cycle. You will then come in for your first scan on day 5 or 6. You will have around 3 scan appointments and you may have blood tests. Then you will have your egg collection.
Leading a healthy lifestyle and not smoking. Folic acid is a good thing to take, and many women benefit from Vitamin D.
There is generally no need to plan more than one cycle, unless your consultant has advised this during your consultation. We will aim to get the best out of one cycle so that you get a good number and good quality of eggs. If we don’t collect an adequate amount of eggs in the first cycle, then we will advise to do another.
If you need more than one cycle, we will advise you after your first cycle, based on your response during your first cycle.
When you want to use your eggs in the future, you will come for a consultation to discuss this. You will sign consent forms and be offered counselling. It you are using donor sperm, we will help you with obtaining suitable donor sperm from our sperm bank or an accredited sperm bank. When you are ready, you may have a natural or medicated (oestrogen tablets) cycle to prepare the lining for implantation.
You will have 2-3 ultrasound scans to check the lining of your uterus. Once we feel the lining of the uterus is adequate, your eggs will be fertilised using ICSI procedure. You will then be given progesterone, usually in the form of pessaries and then we time the embryo transfer depending on the development of the embryos. The embryo transfer is generally a straightforward procedure. It is done without sedation and feels similar to a smear test. It is performed under ultrasound scan so you can watch it on the screen. You will continue with implantation medication and we will perform a pregnancy test about 2 weeks after the embryo transfer. If your pregnancy test is positive, we will book an early pregnancy scan 2 weeks after the positive pregnancy test. If you are not pregnant, we will book a follow up consultation to discuss the cycle.
Yes, if you move or want to use another clinic then you will be able to get them transferred. There will be a courier fee for transportation.
It is the age at which you freeze your eggs which will influence your chances of success. If you freeze your eggs before the age for 35, your success rate will be higher than if you freeze them later. The success of fresh eggs and frozen thawed eggs is similar for a given age.
Yes, it is still an option. We will tailor the treatment for you. Sometimes we induce your period by giving you some progesterone tablets, and then you can begin your egg freezing cycle.
After you’ve had your IUD removed, you will need to get your egg reserve checked, and make sure your hormones are normal and you are having periods.
Sometimes we can scan whilst you are on the pill. But if you are planning on freezing your eggs, stop taking the pill and wait until you have normal periods and your hormones have returned to normal before you can start.
You will be advised to fast for 6 hours before your procedure. You come in 30 minutes before your procedure and we will go through your consent forms, and the anaesthetist will talk your through the sedation procedure. The actual egg collection procedure will take between 20-25 minutes. You are not expected to feel any pain because you will be under sedation. You will then be in the recovery area for around an hour, until we are sure you are fit to go home.
Your egg freezing cycle includes first year storage, but you will need to pay an annual storage cost after that. When you are ready to use your eggs, there is then the costs of fertilisation by ICSI procedure and the frozen embryo transfer.
Yes, you will have an ultrasound scan to assess your egg reserve and fertility. You will also have a detailed medical consultation. You may have a blood test to check for hormones if necessary. We will plan a personalised protocol for your egg freezing cycle.
No, you can have your initial scan on any day of your cycle. We know how to interpret the scan based on where you are in your cycle.
Egg Freeze and Share questions
We suggest that a woman may want to consider 2-3 cycles to give them the best chance of freezing a good number of eggs. We limit patients to a maximum of 3 freeze cycles.
No. The recipients of your eggs are the legal parents of any children born, and you have no financial or legal responsibility.
By law in the UK, children born as a result of donation have the right to specific information about the donor involved. It is the choice of the child’s parents whether or not to tell them they were conceived with a donor egg. If parents decide to pass on this information:
- at 16, the child has the right to know the personal characteristics, ethnicity and age of their donor
- when they turn 18, they can find out the name, date of birth, personal characteristics, ethnicity and last known address of their donor
The women who receive your eggs won’t have any information that could identify you personally. Many women waiting for donor eggs want to match with a donor who has similar physical characteristics to them so we do provide basic information about you. This includes: your height, weight, eye and hair colour, your age and country of birth, your ethnicity, your medical history and whether you’re married and have children. Many donors also write a pen picture, which is where you can give a little bit more detail about your personality and interests, as well as your reasons for donating, and a goodwill message.
Yes, you’re entitled to know how many babies are born, their year of birth and whether they are boys or girls. You won’t be told anything that could identify them.
Egg sharing questions
After sharing, your eggs will be stored before they’re matched with a recipient.
The women who receive your eggs won’t have any information that could identify you personally, but we do provide basic information about you to help recipients looking for a match. You can also write a pen picture of yourself, and a goodwill message for the recipient of the eggs you donated. If you want to, you’re entitled to know about any babies born as a result of your donation. You won’t be given any personal details, but you can be told whether the baby is a boy or a girl, and the year they were born.
No. The recipients of your eggs are the legal parents of any children born and you have no financial or legal responsibility.
By law in the UK, children born as a result of donation have the right to specific information about the donor involved. It is the choice of the child’s parents to tell them they were conceived with a donor egg. If they decide to pass on this information, the child will be able to know the following details:
- At 16, they can find out personal characteristics, ethnicity and age of the donor
- When they turn 18, they can find out the name, date of birth, personal characteristics, ethnicity and last known address of the donor
You’ll only need to pay £750 towards medication and tests.
If you need ICSI because your partner has a sperm-related condition, there is a charge of £600 for this treatment (less than half the usual cost of up to £1,200).
You will need to pay the full price for your Initial Consultation and Scan, but if you complete an egg sharing cycle then you will receive a refund for the cost of your baseline scan, which is half of the cost of your Initial Consultation and Scan.
To ensure that we collect enough good quality eggs for both you and the receiver of your eggs, we require our egg sharers to have an AMH level of at least 20, and an Antral Follicle Count of at least 20. These will both be assessed as part of your Initial Consultation.
Yes, we need to collect a minimum of 8 eggs in order for you to be an egg sharer.
There are several options for you:
- You can continue with your IVF cycle, but you will need to pay the additional £2,000 cycle cost
- You can discontinue with your IVF cycle and your eggs will be discarded. But you won’t receive a refund for the £750 already paid
- You can choose to freeze your collected eggs at our standard freezing and storage fees and use them at a later date.
If you need to have ICSI, this will cost £600, half the usual cost of £1,200. Any other additional treatments such as freezing and storage of additional embryos will be charged at our usual price.
Whether your accepted for finance or not depends on many different factors, before you apply please note you will only be considered if you:
- Are a permanent UK resident and have lived in the UK for at least 3 years
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are in regular full or part-time employment (minimum 16 hours per week or £5,000 per year, unless you are retired and receiving a private/company pension or in receipt of disability allowance)
- Have a good credit history with no late payments, debt relief orders, CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcies
We have partnered with Duologi who have a dedicated credit team who use their bespoke credit engine to help them reach decisions.
The minimum deposit for our payment plans are 30%
The maximum deposit for our payment plans are 50%
Unfortunately the loan agreement needs to be in one persons name, this can be yourself, your partner or even a parent. Contact us to discuss your options.
Currently the maximum amount you can borrow is £12,000.
Your first direct debit payment will be taken about 30 days after you have started treatment. This will show on your statement as a payment to Specialist Lending Ltd. You have the right to repay all or part of the loan early at any time.
A credit search occurs when a third party investigates your credit report. They’re looking to see how you manage your credit now, and how you’ve managed it in the past. This search may then be recorded on your credit report for other third parties to see. This is useful to lenders because if you’ve made multiple applications for credit recently, it could suggest to them that you have an urgent need for credit which you may struggle to pay back.