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MFS in the UK Fertility-History Books Again!

MFS has been quietly celebrating the births of the UK’s first TWO babies born from their mothers’ own eggs which had been ‘flash-frozen’ (vitrified) and stored before later being thawed, fertilised with their respective fathers’ sperm and then transferred back to their mothers.  A girl, Olivia, was born in December 2010 followed by a boy in January 2011.  The other five ‘frozen egg babies’ born in the UK were born from eggs which had been ‘slow-frozen’ rather than vitrified.

Olivia Grace Bate with her parents Karen Bateman and Carl Bate and Dr Gillian Lockwood (l), medical director of MFS and Su Barlow, laboratory director (r)
Olivia Grace Bate with her parents Karen Bateman and Carl Bate and Dr Gillian Lockwood (l), medical director of MFS and Su Barlow, laboratory director (r)

Freezing eggs has been available at MFS since 2000.  From data verified in March 2011, the eggs which resulted in the birth of all seven babies born in the UK following the freezing of the mothers’ own eggs were all collected and frozen at MFS.  Evidence suggests that vitrification may improve pregnancy rates by increasing the survival rates of the eggs after thawing from 65% to 95%.

The two latest births are wonderful news for the parents of the babies, testament to the skill of the laboratory team and the clinical excellence at MFS and encouraging news to the women who will seek egg freezing treatment over the coming years for either emergency or elective reasons.

Read more about Olivia’s amazing conception in the Daily Mail.

New Patients’ Guide to Services

The Patients' Guide to Services 2011-12
The Patients' Guide to Services 2011-12

The latest MFS Patients’ Guide to Services is now available to view as an interactive e-brochure.  With details of latest news, the most recent success rates, a summary of the key investigations, treatments and preservation services at MFS, it’s MFS in 32 pages!  A copy will be mailed out to the current mailing list of current and former patients, enquirers and health professionals week commencing 18 April 2011.  If yours doesn’t arrive, click here to request a copy.

Latest MFS Success Rates Now On-line

The latest extended and summarised success rates from MFS are now available on-line, including cumulative livebirth rates from 2007 to 2009 and clinical pregnancy rates from treatments carried out in 2010.  In total 248 livebirth events were confirmed in 2010 and MFS achieved a clinical pregnancy rate from IVF and ICSI for women under the age of 38 of 35.3% per cycle started and 45.0% per embryo transfer. Thelivebirth rate for IVF and ICSI treatments in 2009 for women under the age of 38 was 27.6% per cycle started and 36.2% per embryo transfer.

New List of Charges

The MFS List of Charges was updated on Friday 1 April – and is now available on-line.  For a full estimate of all the usual costs of a particular treatment check out the Cost Estimator – but remember, if comparing with other clinics, be sure you’re comparing exactly like for like!

South Staffs Semen Analysis Service

sperm analysis

From 1 April 2011, South Staffs PCT has extended its contract at MFS to include semen analyses.  Men from South Staffs who require a sperm analysis can get a referral from their GP and MFS will then confirm a date for them to visit the unit in Aldridge to provide a sample.  The results will be sent to the GP for interpretation to the patient.

New-Style Fertility Info Event a Huge Success

The new-format MFS Fertility Information Event, which includes a free 15 minute pre-consultation appointment has been extremely successful since its launch in January.  As well as talking to one of the MFS nurses or embryologists, visitors can get advice from the MFS NHS funding expert or from one of the finance team.

The Fertility Information Event is open to anyone who wants to learn more about current fertility treatments and how they can be treated at MFS as either a private or NHS-funded patient.  They are held at the MFS clinic in Aldridge.

“The events are an informal way for people to learn more about their fertility options, whether they have initial concerns about not conceiving or even if they have already seen their GP or consultant” said Heidi Birch, director of nursing services.

“MFS staff welcome people to the unit and give an overview of what different fertility and miscarriage tests and treatments involve.  Importantly, the events are intended to demystify fertility treatment and to give reassurance to people who have been advised that they cannot conceive naturally, that they are not alone and that a friendly team is available to help, often with no waiting lists.”

To book your free pre-consultation appointment for the MFS Fertility Information Event on Thursday 28 April or 26 May, call MFS on 01922 455911.  Future events in 2011 will be held on the last Thursday of each month, except for December when it is scheduled for 15 December 2011.  For more information.

Elective Single Embryo Transfer Update

Successful blastocyst culture has been a key part of MFS’s success to help deliver the Government’s national strategy to lower the number of multiple pregnancies and livebirths following fertility treatment – the elective single embryo transfer (eSET) policy.  Blastocyst culture relies on the expertise of the embryologists to identify the top quality embryos which are most likely to implant and, as part of the eSET policy, culturing embryos to the blastocyst stage of development has helped reduce the incidence of multiple pregnancies while maintaining overall pregnancy rates.  During the first two years of eSET, MFS not only met but exceeded the Government’s first 12 month livebirth rate target of 24%, by reducing the multiple livebirth rate from 23.8% for cycles in 2008 to 22.0% from cycles in 2009.  And in 2010 MFS achieved a clinical pregnancy rate of 49.6% for double embryo transfers and 50% for single embryo transfers for women aged less than 36 years, indicating that MFS is very well-placed to meet the HFEA’s target for 2011 without compromising the chances of eSET patients achieving healthy pregnancies.

MFS is UK’s Only Clinic for Drugs Trial

Early in 2010 MFS was selected as one of only three IVF units in the UK to take part in a clinical trial of a new luteal phase support progesterone from IBSA which can be given by sub-cutaneous injection, as an alternative to pessaries, gels or intra-muscular injections.  Due to the success of the trial, in early 2011, IBSA also selected MFS as the only UK fertility clinic for a clinical trial of new formulation Merional. Until mid-2011 patients who are willing to participate and who meet certain criteria will be randomised to inject either Merional or Menopur, and receive the gonadotrophin drugs free.  Clinical staff will advise any patient whether they are eligible for the drugs trial and provide more information before any consent to participate is given.

MFS Chosen Charity for 2011

The MFS chosen charity for 2011 is Heart FM’s Have a Heart Appeal, which is fundraising to support the amazing work of Children’s Hospices UK, to provide care and support to local seriously ill children and their families in their own homes, which is just as invaluable as the care delivered within the hospice buildings.  As well as providing care and support for the seriously ill child, a visit from a hospice nurse can also relieve the pressure on the family, allowing them to spend more time with their other children.  So during 2011 MFS staff will be raising money for the appeal and patients are welcome to make a donation via any of the collecting boxes in the clinic reception.  For more information on the Heart FM Have a Heart Appeal.

MFS charity for 2011
MFS charity for 2011
MFS charity for 2010
MFS charity for 2010

In 2010 MFS supported Breast Friends, Sutton Coldfield a self-help group, run by volunteers who have all been diagnosed with breast cancer, and raised more than £200 to help support the charity’s services.

OK for BSI – Yet Again!

MFS was the first fertility clinic in the world to achieve ISO recognition and continues to maintain the highest standards required for compliance. In March the unit successfully completed an external inspection from the BSI, which focused on:

  • laboratory inspection and infection screening
  • maintenance and calibration, environmental controls
  • contract management
  • supplier evaluations and purchasing
  • internal audit, management review
  • document control and quality record

The inspector concluded: “The management system appears to be well managed and controlled and is developing in line with business and customer needs. . . . There were no outstanding non-conformities to review from previous assessments. Three minor non-conformities requiring attention were identified.”

Continued certification was recommended.

MFS is kite-marked again!
MFS is kite-marked again!

Fertility World, London 15-16 April 2011

Fertility Road magazine in partnership with the Destination Health Show brings you Fertility World at London Olympia on 15 and 16 April 2011, a dedicated area of ‘all matters fertility and conception’. Doctors and other fertility experts will be available to provide information on:

  • maximising chances of getting pregnant
  • choosing a fertility clinic
  • going overseas for fertility treatment
  • how the NHS can help with treatment costs
  • same-sex fertility treatment
  • the donor and surrogacy routes
  • natural methods for boosting fertility
  • fertility information resources

For more information:

(alternatively pop along to a MFS Fertility Information Event . . it’s free, every month and probably closer!)