For couples coming to terms with the idea that conceiving a baby may not happen naturally, the next stage may be fertility treatment. Friends and family will often ask, ‘have you thought about IVF?’ – but what does it actually involve and are there intermediate steps? The first and most important action is to see a specialist such as London female gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer sooner rather than later. Until the cause of your infertility is diagnosed, relevant treatment cannot be planned. There may be a more suitable type of fertility treatment, such as ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination (IUI).

What does IVF involve?

There are three stages to IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment. At stage one, the woman has a course of hormones injections to stimulate the ovaries. At stage two, eggs are collected surgically and the man produces a semen sample. The woman is then given progesterone to prepare her body for implantation. Stage three occurs in the laboratory: the woman’s eggs are fertilised by the man’s sperm in a petri dish. Embryo development is monitored closely and, after 3–6 days, good quality embryos are implanted in the uterus.

Don’t feel daunted

Just as many people are familiar with the term ‘IVF’, the process is well known for putting stress on a couple who are longing to have a baby. A woman going through IVF will endure many physical demands on her body, including those caused by the hormone medication; anxiety is common to both men and women at this time. At her London fertility clinic, Miss Amanda Tozer aims to remove as much stress as possible from the process by offering a compassionate, one-to-one service, personally performing each step of the IVF and by always being available on the phone to answer any questions, big or small.