Routine Infection Screening

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As part of every patient’s care, Midland Fertility must undertake several blood tests.  Testing for specific infectious conditions is a mandatory part of treatment at all UK clinics and at Midland Fertility is carried out after the pre-treatment review tests and follow-up appointment, when patients are ready to progress with the appropriate treatment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) insists that these tests are carried out to reduce the risk of cross infection during the storage of sperm, eggs, or embryos in liquid nitrogen.  All Midland Fertility patients are screened before treatment begins.  Occasionally another blood sample may be required because of technical difficulties.

The blood tests are confidential and only Midland Fertility staff involved in the patient’s care will know the results.  No one else will be told about the results without the patient’s consent.

What infections does Midland Fertility test for?

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

-Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

Hepatitis B and C infect the liver.  They can remain in the blood for many years before causing signs of illness.  Without a test, a person may not know if they are infected.  If the test is positive, Midland Fertility will refer a patient for specialist help.

-HIV

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  Infection with HIV is less common than Hepatitis B or C.  HIV attacks the immune system and destroys the body’s defences against infection and disease.  Often someone will not know that they are infected unless they have a test.  If a patient’s result is positive for HIV, they will not be able to continue their treatment at Midland Fertility, but can be referred for specialist help and treatment.

How can these infections spread?

The main ways these infections can be transmitted are:

  • through unprotected sex with a man or woman
  • by receiving unscreened blood or blood products (all blood in the UK is screened)
  • from mother to child during pregnancy and birth
  • sharing needles or other drug-injecting equipment that contains traces of infected blood
  • having an injection of another person’s blood (eg by a needlestick injury or body piercing from contaminated equipment)

Any patient who wishes to discuss any of these issues before their next appointment should contact a member of the Midland Fertility nursing staff.

When are the results available?

Results will be available at the patient’s/s’ next appointment after the treatment planning appointment.  Results may only be given to the person who has been tested and so preferably, both partners should attend the results appointment together.  If any problem is found a member of the Midland Fertility team will contact them before their next visit.

Can a patient still get life insurance?

Having a test has no implication for current or future life insurance policies.  However, any positive result may need to be declared on insurance health questionnaires and could have important insurance implications.  A patient should check their own policy for further details.

What if a patient doesn’t want to be tested?

This information may be a lot to take in and a patient may postpone having these tests if they want more time to think things over.  However, Midland Fertility must do these tests before any treatment begins or before eggs, sperm or embryos may be stored.

What information is kept about these tests?

A patient who agrees to have these blood tests should be aware that:

  • Midland Fertility will keep a record of any test results as they may be needed in the future. This information will include a number of personal details such as the patient’s name, address and date of birth
  • information gathered from these blood tests may be used for research or audit purposes, to improve the clinic’s knowledge of these infections and also to improve the service Midland Fertility provides. Midland Fertility would seek a patient’s consent in advance of any research that requires personal information
  • all healthcare professionals have a legal duty to keep patients’ personal information confidential
  • all information that is collected is stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act

For more details about the information Midland Fertility keeps following routine infection screening, please ask a member of the Midland Fertility clinical team.

Costs

Routine infection screening is included in the cost of a pre-treatment review.  Where a patient has not had a pre-treatment review, the cost of the routine infection screening is chargeable separately.  Re-testing is required after 24 months for continuing or recurring patients and again, this is chargeable separately.

Cost of routine infection screening at Midland Fertility: £120.00

What is not included in the cost?

  • any non-standard investigations
  • any other fertility investigations, treatments or preservation services for either partner

More information

Go to the Midland Fertility Patient Treatment Information page and download:

  • this infosheet is currently being updated

LU: 9/5/16/JAA