Patient News

ICSI is 20 at Midland Fertility

In 1994 Midland Fertility became the first clinic to introduce ICSI treatment to the West Midlands – so transforming the chances of genetic fatherhood for men with severe male factor infertility.

20 years on and almost half of all Midland Fertility’s (almost) 6,000 babies have been born as a result of ICSI.  And to mark the occasion, a very special visitor returned to the unit in April. Bethany Francis is Midland Fertility’s FIRST ICSI baby and she and her mum, Jayne, joined us to celebrate her 19th birthday and the 20th anniversary of ICSI at Midland Fertility.

Bethany's first visit to Midland Fertility in 1995 (aged about 3 weeks) - held by one of the embryologists, Su Barlow

Bethany’s first visit to Midland Fertility in 1995 (aged about 3 weeks) – held by one of the embryologists, Su Barlow

Bethany and her mum, Jayne, return in April 1995, just before her 19th birthday - pictured, again, with Su Barlow, now the laboratory director!

Bethany and her mum, Jayne, return in April 2014, just before her 19th birthday – pictured, again, with Su Barlow, now the laboratory director!

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Girl Scout Eve is far-east bound

Eve Gibbins and her mum Michelle returned to Aldridge to receive a sponsorship cheque of £250 from Midland Fertility, the clinic where the young Scout’s life began.

Su Barlow presents Eve and her mum Michelle with a cheque for £250
Su Barlow presents Eve and her mum Michelle with a cheque for £250

Twelve year old Eve of Wolverhampton has been chosen to represent The West Mercia Scout District at the International Scout Jamboree being held in Kirara-hama, Japan in July 2015. She is one of 3,500 Scouts from the UK to have been selected and each child has to raise £2,995 for the trip.

Life was very different for Michelle back in 2000 when she originally came to Midland Fertility for help after trying to conceive for six years.  “We had been trying for a baby for so long, it felt like an eternity!”

Following investigations Michelle and Eve’s dad, Les, underwent ICSI treatment followed by a frozen embryo transfer.  “I was ecstatic when I saw the positive pregnancy test result! I felt like the luckiest woman alive.  I was able to appreciate both sides of the fertility journey having experienced both despair then utter joy.”

Eve joined the Bushbury Scouts when she was 11.  She has since gained confidence and a range of interpersonal skills and is currently working towards three outdoor camps to prepare for the jamboree. Eve said: “I feel both happy and proud that I’ve been selected. It will be a life-changing experience to go to Japan and meet people from all over the world and learn lots of new skills-for-life.

“Thank you to Midland Fertility for the donation. It means a lot that the clinic is proud of me and wants to help me to raise the funds to go on this trip of a lifetime.”

“The team at Midland Fertility loves to hear about how our ‘MFS babies’ get on throughout their lives, and about their milestones and achievements,” said Su Barlow, laboratory director. “Eve has a wonderful opportunity to join the word-wide Scout Jamboree and we wanted to help send her on her way.  It’s all about ‘building futures, transforming lives'”.

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Patients invited to participate in drugs trial

Midland Fertility Services is seeking 60 IVF patients to participate in a comparative trial of two tried and tested fertility drugs.

It is the only UK clinic chosen to participate in the new European-wide study.  This follows the success of a previous trial at the Aldridge-based unit, which achieved very positive live birth rates, well above the national average.

The drugs trial is being managed by nurse manager Mandy Godwin and clinical resaearch fellow Dr Nirmal Felix

The drugs trial is being managed by nurse manager Mandy Godwin and clinical research fellow Dr Nirmal Felix

To participate, the woman patient should be 38 years old or younger, within a normal weight range, not suffer from polycystic ovaries (PCOS), and have had no more than two earlier IVF egg collections.  Tests at Midland Fertility will also establish that she has a normal ovarian reserve.  The couples should need either IVF or ICSI treatment, even with donor sperm, but not with surgically retrieved sperm.

“In previous similar multi-centre drug trials, Midland Fertility achieved the highest pregnancy rates,” said nurse manager Mandy Godwin.  “So we are delighted to offer patients the chance to benefit from a similar opportunity, which carries no more risks than any standard IVF or ICSI cycle.”

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