Journal Club Rides Again

MFS invites GPs, registrars and consultants to the relaunched Journal Club.  The first event was held on 12 July and included a review of the latest developments from ESHRE by Dr Gillian Lockwood.  Future Journal Club meetings will be held every three months at MFS to learn about new developments in assisted conception.  Each event is eligible for CPD points and refreshments are provided.  To be included on the Journal Club invitation list, email Su Barlow, laboratory director at MFS.

Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic

recurrent miscarriage service

MFS offers a dedicated service for women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages, which is available to existing patients and also to women trying to conceive naturally.  Led by Dr Liz Howland a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, the dedicated team of MFS doctors and clinical midwives see women who have either been referred by their GP or who have self-referred.  The service comprises of a series of appointments which can include:

  • an assessment of the gynaecological and obstetric history
  • a uterine assessment
  • counselling
  • diet and lifestyle advice
  • a series of blood tests specific to identifying possible causes of miscarriage
  • possible additional more complex tests or investigations
  • pre and post-conception treatments
  • regular early scans after conception

For more information on the recurrent miscarriage clinic at MFS, please email MFS.

MFS has Facebook

MFS on Facebook

MFS is on Facebook! Log in and search for Midland Fertility Services and become part of the MFS ‘Facebook community’ by clicking the like button!

All the regular MFS Forum users, no worries – we’re not planning on replacing the Forum with the Facebook wall. MFS Facebook and the Forum will co-exist, providing two quite different services, for the benefit of all.

Double-dose of Twitter from MFS

If Facebook doesn’t fulfil your social networking needs, you can now follow not just one, but two(!), MFS Twitter feeds:


for regular comment from the MFS medical director on fertility issues, conference news, new developments and general erudite and witty observations, follow Dr Gillian Lockwood, @mfsIVFmedical


for news, media information, clinic announcements and MFS milestones, follow communications manager Jill Anthony-Ackery on @mfsIVFnews

MFS at Fertility World, The NEC Birmingham, 22-23 October 2011 (stand 162)

go to Fertility Road Show website

Fertility Road magazine brings you Fertility World at the NEC Birmingham on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October 2011.  And MFS will be there!  As part of the programme of fee seminars, visitors can learn more from nurse manager Mandy Godwin about the importance of a Fertility MOT for both ‘him and her’, including the benefit of AMH when assessing ovarian reserve.  And director of nursing services Heidi Birch and laboratory director Su Barlow will discuss the case for, and ethics of, social egg freezing, including improvements in freeze/thaw rates as a result of vitrification.  (The UK’s first and only vitrified egg babies were born following treatment at MFS!)

In addition to the excellent opportunity to learn more about these, come to stand 162 where you can meet some of the team from MFS and talk to us!

The Fertility Show, London Olympia, 4-5 November 2011

The Fertility Show 2011

You wait years for a dedicated fertility show to come along and then like buses, two come along at almost the same time!

As part of the seminar programme at The Fertility Show at London’s Olympia, at 1.30-2.15pm on Friday 4 November, MFS medical director Dr Gillian Lockwood will present:

Stopping your biological clock – egg freezing and the chance to have a ‘late’ baby safely: In the last 12 months the UK’s first two babies were born from eggs that had previously been frozen using the vitrification technique.  Flash frozen in under a minute, vitrified eggs have a 95% chance of surviving, transforming outcomes and increasing the chance for women to ‘preserve’ their fertility until they meet the right partner.  As medical director of the clinic that achieved these livebirths, Dr Lockwood outlines the issues and benefits, how egg freezing works – and for whom – and what’s realistic.

IBSA Drugs Trial Reports a 57.7% Livebirth Rate

Dr Gillian Lockwood
Dr Gillian Lockwood

Dr Gillian Lockwood reports from the Annual ESHRE meeting in Sweden.

The IBSA Trial of a new type of luteal support took a year to design and plan, 18 months to carry-out and finally the results were revealed at the ESHRE meeting in Stockholm on 3 July.  MFS was one of three UK centres selected to take part and there were 13 centres in total from all over Europe. Patients were randomised to receive either the new IBSA product (a sub-cutaneous injection of progesterone) or Crinone (a vaginal gel) after their egg collection and for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Altogether, 668 patients were randomised, divided equally between the gel and the injection and the clinical pregnancy rates were almost identical at 33.6% for the gel and 32.3%  for the injection.  MFS recruited 26 couples who were eligible to be randomised and we had 15 live births including two sets of twins. This represents a live birth rate of 57.7% for MFS patients in the trial, and  I was very proud when I was told at the Investigators Meeting that this was the highest pregnancy rate of any of the centres! Importantly, both products were well tolerated and there was an equal balance of side effects with only a few patients reporting stinging at the injection site and a few concerned  about itching and pain with the gel.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the study, all the nurses who helped with recruitment and especially to nurse manager Mandy Godwin who completed all the electronic data sheets so carefully and efficiently, the embryologists who looked after the embryos so well and to the couples who filled in their diaries and questionnaires. Taking part in clinical trials is a very important way of helping to advance knowledge about fertility treatments and we are very grateful to patients who volunteer. All clinical trials that are carried out in the UK have to pass stringent scientific and ethical committees and so volunteers can be certain that their chance of pregnancy is just as good as with conventional treatment (and may even be better!)

We are now recruiting for another IBSA trial and, again, eligible patients will receive the gonadotrophins (Merional or Menopur and Gonasi) they require free of charge. If you would like further information about this new study, then please speak to nurse manager Mandy Godwin or fertility nurse specialist Donna Wassell who will be able to give you more information.

Private Prescriptions

Drugs for fertility treatment are usually sourced by MFS from a pharmacy which specialises in fertility drugs.  Drugs supplied via MFS include all the required syringes, needles and both the provision and disposal of the sharps bins too.  If required, top-up drugs can also be supplied for patients who get their treatment drugs via MFS.

However, some patients request a private prescription so they can buy their drugs from another pharmacy.  All such private prescriptions incur a £40 charge and patients also have responsibility for providing their own needles, syringes and sharps bins – for which they must also arrange legal disposal.  In addition, any top-up drugs for private prescription patients cannot be supplied by MFS and the patient has responsibility for sourcing and buying any required additional drugs.  To ensure patients don’t run out of drugs which are obtained from elsewhere, the private prescription may be for more drugs than may ultimately be required – the patient will bear this cost and no refund is available for any unused drugs.

For more information, email MFS finance manager, Gail Bellingham.

New FET Data Available On-line

The MFS website now includes detailed results of frozen embryo transfers (FETs) from treatment cycles where all suitable embryos have been frozen and any fresh transfer has been postponed because of clinical recommendation (‘elective freeze-alls’), as well as for standard FETs.  The action is in response to some patients’ requests for a further breakdown of existing information.  You ask, we do!

For more details on success rates, email Jyoti Patel, information analyst at MFS.

‘How Sex Works’

The BBC is looking for IVF patients to participate in interviews for a new science series called ‘How Sex Works’.

The programme-maker Pioneer TV is looking for people currently undergoing IVF treatment to take part in interviews.  As a science series, it will be use state of the art computer generated imagery to explain how IVF works.  Pioneer TV would therefore also like to interview patients to hear a first-person perspective of what the experience is like.

If you’re interested in finding out more – with absolutely no obligation – or in taking part, please email Harriet Matthews at Pioneer TV and let her know what stage of treatment you are currently at.

‘Floss for Fertility’


Women who want the best chance of having a baby should make sure they floss their teeth regularly, say doctors.  Poor oral health is as bad for fertility as obesity – delaying conception by about two months.

Experts at the ESHRE conference in July heard how women with gum disease took over seven months to conceive, compared to the usual five months.  They believe the underlying cause is inflammation.  Unchecked, this can set off a chain of reactions capable of damaging the body’s normal workings.

Peridontal disease has already been linked with heart disease, type 2 diabetes and miscarriage, plus poor sperm quality in men.  In this latest study from Australia, which involved over 3,500 women, those with gum disease had raised blood levels of markers for inflammation.  Read more . . .

Patients’ Support Group

MFS Forum

The Birmingham Support Group is a group of fertility friends receiving treatment at various clinics throughout the region, which meets every month in an informal setting for a chat and a shoulder to lean on.  It’s like the on-line MFS Forum, but with real live people!  Anyone going through assisted conception is welcome and the next event will be a BBQ in Erdington at 7pm on Monday 1 August.  For more information by email . . .