Latest News

MFS’ 25th Anniversary – What the Papers Say

Look out in The Daily Mirror and The Birmingham Mail on Tuesday 24 July for coverage of the MFS 25th Anniversary Commemorative Photograph. Both newspapers have interviewed the families of the clinic’s ‘milestone babies’ and will cover some of their stories in special features. In the meantime, or in case you missed them, take a look at Made In Aldridge, for a roundup of our anniversary milestones.

New Success Rates


To ensure patients can view the most up to date success rates, MFS has updated the on-line data since the last update in April 2012.

Check out the new success rates from MFS. Three types of success rates have been updated:

  • headline success rates – simplified single figures for an ‘at a glance’ understanding of the outcome of some treatments
  • summary results – statistics of the outcomes of key stages of each treatment, including the livebirth rate (LBR) for the cumulative three year tables (May 2008 – April 2011) and the pregnancy rates for the results of treatments carried out in May 2011 – April 2012 (some pregnancies from that period are still on-going and so LBRs cannot be produced yet)
  • extended results – comprehensive results of all stages of each treatment

Highlights include:

  • IVF: a LBR per embryo transfer for all ages of 32.6% for the 3 years May 2008 – April 2011 (up from 29.4% for the 3 years January 2007 – December 2009)
  • IVF: a LBR per embryo transfer for women aged 35 or less of 39.4% for the 3 years May 2008 – April 2011 (up from 35.8% for the 3 years January 2007 – December 2009)
  • ICSI: a LBR per embryo transfer for all ages of 32% for the 3 years May 2008 – April 2011 (equal to outcome for the 3 years January 2007 – December 2009)
  • ICSI: a LBR per embryo transfer for women aged 40 or more of 17.2% for the 3 years May 2008 – April 2011 (up from 11.8% for the 3 years January 2007 – December 2009)

Revised Costs

View the revised list of charges and use the unique Cost Estimator to calculate the approximate cost of a whole specific treatment cycle, with no hidden extras. Alternatively, download a hardcopy of the new list of charges. Any queries about the new costs, please contact Becky Cooves, patient liaison finance officer, or Kerry Poston, finance assistant for more information.

New Patients Guide to Services 2012-13

The new PGTS, summarising MFS’s key fertility investigations, treatments and preservation services, success rates and general information, will be available from mid-August in a handy full-colour A5 booklet. If you don’t receive a copy by post, pick one up from the unit or request it on-line.

ESHRE Round-Up

Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director, Heidi Birch, director of nursing services and and Mandy Godwin, nurse manger were the guests of Pharmasure and IBSA at the recent ESHRE meeting in Istanbul. Heidi was an invited speaker at the Paramedical Conference and gave a lecture about nurses doing surgical sperm recovery.

Here Dr Lockwood summarises some of the key discussions and announcements at the conference.

Dr Gillian Lockwood
Dr Gillian Lockwood

“The meeting was very well attended with thousands of delegates from all over the world and topics from cutting-edge science to practical patient management and presentations on ethical, legal and psychological issues.

“One of the most arresting statistics is that there are now more than 5 million IVF and ICSI babies in the world! The cumulative total births was put at 4.6 million last year, and this year has now reached an approximate total of 5 million.

“The technology has improved greatly over the years to increase pregnancy rates. The babies are as healthy as those from other infertile patients who conceive spontaneously. The technology is available globally in many different cultures. The major barriers to access are economic, and societal in some situations. With these accomplishments as a technology, and with recognition of Professor Robert Edwards as a Nobel Laureate, IVF is firmly established now in the mainstream of medicine.

“Adjusting to elective single embryo transfer (eSET) to meet the HFEA requirement that the multiple pregnancy rate does not exceed 10% has been a real challenge for clinics in the UK, but at MFS, we are very pleased to be able to demonstrate that eSET has not reduced pregnancy rates and an important presentation in Istanbul confirmed that this the right way forward.

“A policy of single embryo transfer (SET) reduces the risk of perinatal mortality in infants born as a result of IVF and ICSI. The conclusion emerged from an analysis of more than 50,000 births recorded in the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Technology Database between 2004 and 2008, where the introduction of a SET policy has been associated with a reduction in overall perinatal mortality for IVF and ICSI babies.

“MFS is very proud of the fact that we were the first clinic in the UK to achieve live births from frozen eggs: both those that had been ‘slow’ frozen and vitrified or ‘flash frozen’. Egg and ovarian tissue freezing are now a very important part of offering hope to young cancer patients who are facing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. At the conference, the birth of the first Italian baby born after the mother had ovarian tissue removed and frozen and subsequently re-transplanted, was reported. The case involved a 21-year-old patient scheduled for high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. Just before treatment, in July 2003, she was referred for fertility preservation, with ovarian cortical tissue collected by laparoscopy. Bilateral biopsies of ovarian cortex were sampled (ie, from both ovaries), frozen by slow freezing and stored in liquid nitrogen. As feared, chemotherapy was followed by ovarian failure.

“In March 2010, ovarian tissue fragments were thawed and grafted back. Over the following months spontaneous menstrual cycles were repeatedly evident and ovulation was confirmed in at least six cycles. In July 2011, 15 months after the ovarian tissue transplantation, the patient became spontaneously pregnant, and a healthy baby was delivered in March 2012.

“MFS patients are always very keen to know what lifestyle factors may influence the chance of their treatment working. Everybody knows that smoking and alcohol have a devastating impact on success rates, but many have been more cynical about our recommendation that women trying to conceive with IVF or ICSI should give up or cut right back on caffeinated drinks like coffee and cola. The conference provided overwhelming evidence that we are right! A Danish study found that women who drink five or more cups of coffee a day severely reduce their chance of success from IVF treatment. Indeed, Danish investigators who followed up almost 4,000 IVF and ICSI patients described the adverse impact as “comparable to the detrimental effect of smoking”.

“MFS patients are well aware that one of the biggest risks of IVF is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and we sometimes recommend that, rather than risk a fresh transfer, we freeze all the embryos and transfer one or two later after the risk of OHSS has passed. We have always been sure that this does not reduce the chance of pregnancy, although it is disappointing to have to wait! Some exciting research from Spain, presented at the ESHRE meeting, confirms that this is the best strategy!”

Today’s the Day

Samuel and Bethany Wakefield, 8 August 2008

Samuel and Bethany are 4!

‘We would like to wish our MFS twins Samuel and Bethany a very happy 4th birthday. Love from mommy and daddy xx’

Final Goodbye to the 1st IVF Mum

Professor Robert Edwards, Lesley Brown, Louise Bown and her son Cameron
Professor Robert Edwards and Lesley Brown with her daughter Louise and her grandson Cameron

MFS was saddened to hear of the death in June of Lesley Brown, mother of Louise Brown, the world’s first ‘test tube baby’. With Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, the inventors of IVF, she was one of the pioneers of assisted conception, and is owed so much by the mothers of the world’s 5 million other IVF babies.

Her husband John died in 2007 and she is survived by daughters Louise and Natalie, who were both born following IVF treatment, her stepdaughter Sharon and five grandchildren.

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!

Smoking Damages Sperm

man smoking

In a new research report appearing online in the FASEB Journal, scientists show for the first time in humans that men who smoke before conception can damage the genetic information of their offspring. These inherited changes in DNA could possibly render an offspring in the uterus susceptible to later disease such as cancer. For more information . . .