In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Q&A

Ask the Consultant

Two of our leading fertility specialists answer common questions on IVF including the risks, success rates and alternative treatments.

Sabah Baghdad
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) or test tube baby. Fertilising the eggs outside the woman’s body and then implanting them in the uterus to achieve a pregnancy. This is needed if there are problems with the fallopian tubes or the sperm.


Leila Stefanos Hanna
IVF is short for In-Vitro Fertilisation, sometimes referred to as ‘Test tube Babies’. It is the process by which the female eggs are mixed with the partner best sperm and fertilised outside the body (in the laboratory) and the resulting fertilised egg’s/embryo’s replaced back in the womb for implantation and pregnancy.

Sabah Baghdad

After the initial consultation and arranging few blood tests and scan patients are counselled by consultants, nurses and embryologist in full about the full journey of the treatment. Within 2 months from the initial consultation the treatment can start.  

When the treatment cycle starts the woman is given daily injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. The woman will be scanned 3-4 times over two weeks to monitor the growth of the follicles on the ovaries where the egg can be found. When the follicles are mature they will be retrieved with a small needle via the vaginal route with ultrasound guidance (20 minutes) under general anaesthesia. After that the embryologist put the eggs and the sperm together (IVF) or injects the sperm in the egg (ICSI). These will be incubated to fertilise and produce the embryos. The embryos are monitored over the next 2-5 days to select the best embryo(s). Extra good embryos can be frozen to use in the future.

 On the day of the embryo transfer one or two embryos are put back in the woman’s uterus under ultrasound guidance. This is similar to a smear test not painful but requires a full bladder. The women can carry on normal life after that until the pregnancy test in 10-12 days. 

Leila Stefanos Hanna
IVF involves giving the female partner medication to help the production of multiple eggs in a given cycle ‘superovulation’, collecting the eggs ‘oocyte retrieval’, fertilisation with the sperm and replacement of the embryos inside the womb.

Sabah Baghdad
All people who failed to conceive for male or female causes or even unexplained infertility. The age group between 18-45.  If donor eggs are used till the age of 50. Single women or same sex female can use donor sperm.


Leila Stefanos Hanna
All couples who are unable to conceive naturally and require assistance to have a baby. Preliminary tests are carried out in order to assess the likelihood of success.

Sabah Baghdad
The success rate varies for different ages and quality of eggs, embryos and sperm. The under 35 can have up to 50% success rate, and the success various 20-50% ages 35-38, 20-30% 39-40. Over 40 years old 10-20%. This will depend on many factors.


Leila Stefanos Hanna
The success rate is over 50% in younger women and gradually reduces over 30. 

Sabah Baghdad
Very small risk in some women who can have hyperstimulation from the drugs, over producing eggs, but this is well monitored and managed to reduce ill effects. The operation to retrieve the eggs is very safe the risk of big complications is 1/10000. Minor bleeding or infection is 1%.


Leila Stefanos Hanna
The risks are small and involve over responding to the treatment or during the egg collection procedure. 

Sabah Baghdad
IVF is always a last resort after other treatments have been already tried including surgery to check and remove any problem, intra uterine insemination ovulation induction.  If patients do not want to have IVF they can think about the alternatives.


Leila Stefanos Hanna
Prior to advising IVF, most specialists would have discussed and offered other simpler options, like ovulation induction with tablets. 

Sabah Baghdad

Women are very important and precious in all our lives; They need to be healthy, well and protected. Being a mother and looking after her children play a major influence in the future of any society. They may encounter major problems from very early on their reproductive lives. The pathology and treatments are variable and very profound. Some women suffer from Infertility, and have a profound effect on their lives and psychology. I felt helping and treating women is one of my greatest commitments. It is a great honour for me to be able to help.


Leila Stefanos Hanna

The huge satisfaction of being able to help, not only patients with diseases, but also improve people’s quality of life.

The reward of being able to assist couples who have difficulty having a baby naturally in achieving their goal is enormous. 

Sabah Baghdad

It is continuous highlights and excitement, especially in patients who I made a difference in their lives and helped them to have a family.  When I am sent pictures of the children after birth or the parent’s highlighting that their child is starting school. When a patient on a follow up after her operation is saying I am feeling great Mr Baghdadi it is the best feeling anyone can have. These are my highlights.


Leila Stefanos Hanna

Being a member of Professor Robert Winston’s original team. I delivered first set of IVF quads in the world.

Even after carrying out thousands of successful IVF procedures, each and every time I am able to help in bringing a baby into the world continues to be a ‘highlight’

Find out more about our IVF treatment or alternatively, make an online enquiry and we'll get in touch.

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