Our Fertility Treatments

Our Fertility Treatments

Whether you’ve already had consultations and treatment, or you’re only just starting to read around the subject of infertility, we can give you tailor-made advice.

As a start, here’s our guide to the range of treatments on offer – for women and men at Bourn Hall Clinic:


The initials IVF stand for in vitro fertilisation, with “in vitro” being Latin for “in glass” – a reference to the glass test tubes used in the laboratory. This is where the phrase ‘test tube baby’, often used in the media, stems from. Read more


ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. The procedure follows on from egg collection and involves injecting a single sperm into the centre of each mature egg, to help fertilisation to occur. Read more

Blastocyst Culture

This term describes the process when the embryos grow for longer in the laboratory, and undergo critical developmental changes before being returned to the womb. Read more


Bourn Hall Clinic is one of only five centres in the UK and the only one in the East of England  to offer patients Eeva which has been described as the biggest breakthrough in IVF in the last ten years. Read more


IMSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection. The IMSI process involves the assessment of sperm, at very high magnification, using an inverted microscope. This digitally enhanced microscope provides a much greater magnifying power (about 6000x magnification) compared to the one normally used in ICSI (200x). Read more


The initials FET stand for Frozen Embryo Transfer. If you’ve had embryos frozen during a previous cycle, you can return to the Clinic to have some thawed and transferred to your womb. Read more


IUI stands for Intrauterine Insemination, a form of assisted conception treatment involving the injection of prepared sperm into the womb at the time of ovulation. You’ll need to take fertility drugs to stimulate egg production and ovulation, and to prepare the womb to receive embryos. Read more

Baby Scans

Your pregnancy should be one of the happiest events of your life; one that you want to share with your family and friends. At Bourn Hall Clinic, we also recognise that it can be an anxious time when you need reassurance, support and advice. Read more

Egg Freezing

Egg freezing is a relatively recent innovation and, so far, only a small number of babies have been born using thawed eggs. Read more

Egg Donation

For some women, the gift of donated eggs is their only chance to have a baby. However, there’s an acute shortage of egg donors. Read more

Egg Sharing

Fertility treatment often results in the production of more eggs than one woman may need. These could be used to help another patient who requires donated eggs to conceive a child – perhaps because of her age, early menopause or chemotherapy. Read more


When a woman agrees to carry and deliver your baby for you, she is referred to as the host or surrogate, and the process is known as surrogacy. We were the first clinic to offer IVF treatment with surrogacy to heterosexual and same-sex couples, and the first IVF surrogacy baby was born in 1989. Our experienced team will guide and support you throughout the surrogacy process. Read more

Embryo Donation

Couples who’ve had IVF and completed their families, and who have spare embryos in storage at Bourn Hall Clinic, sometimes decide to donate them to help others suffering infertility. We try to match the characteristics of embryo donors as closely as possible with those of the recipients requiring assisted conception. Read more

Embryo Freezing

Embryos are often frozen during an IVF treatment cycle when fresh embryos are transferred and additional embryos created in that cycle, but not transferred at the time, are frozen. However, ‘embryo freezing’ is a specific treatment that involves entering an IVF cycle with the express intention of freezing all the resulting embryos. These can be stored for your future use for up to 10 years. Read more

Sperm Donation

One in six couples seeks medical help to achieve a pregnancy and, for some, treatment with donated sperm is their only hope of conceiving a baby. Read more

Sperm Sharing

If a couple is attending Bourn Hall Clinic for treatment and the man has a particularly healthy sperm count, it may be possible for him to participate in our sperm sharing programme. Read more

Sperm Freezing

Sperm freezing and banking is a form of fertility preservation, intended to keep open your options for having a child in the future. Read more


Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR) is a minor surgical procedure that’s used to harvest sperm directly from your testes or epididymi. Read more


PESA stands for Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration. This is where a fine needle is inserted into the epididymus, above the testis, and sperm may be obtained by gentle suction. Read more


Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) occurs when a fine needle is inserted into the testis and samples of tissue containing sperm are obtained by gentle suction. Read more


Micro-TESE stands for Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval from the Testicle. This involves an operation performed through a small midline incision in the scrotum, through which one or both testicles can be seen. Read more

Artificial Oocyte Activation (AOA)

In order for fertilisation to be successful, the sperm must release a specific functioning enzyme called Phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) when it enters the egg. This induces waves of calcium oscillations across the egg to “activate it” allowing fertilisation to take place. Read more

Endometrial Scratching

This is a relatively simple procedure literally making a small scratch in the lining (the endometrium) of the womb, using a very fine catheter, to try and improve the implantation rate when embryos are transferred into the womb. Read more


Intralipid is a 20% fat emulsion that is administered routinely by the intravenous route, as a source of fat and energy, typically to patients who are unable to eat for prolonged periods of time.  The main constituents are soya oil and egg yolk, with trace amounts of peanut oil.  If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, then you should not use intralipid. Read more

SpermComet DNA Damage Test

What is the SpermComet Test? The SpermComet test is a second-generation investigation that can measure the actual damage in individual sperm. It can help us to... Read more

Assisted Hatching

Human embryos are surrounded by a protective outer coating called the zona pellucida. The thickness of this coat may vary between patients, and it has been shown that it may toughen after culture in vitro, and with increased female age. Before an embryo can implant it must hatch from this outer coating. Hatching occurs naturally when the embryos are in the womb. If the zona pellucida has become excessively thick or tough, hatching may be impaired or may not occur at all. When implantation fails with good quality embryos, failure of hatching can be considered as a possible cause. Read more

Looking for a Donor

One in ten fresh IVF cycles involves donated eggs or sperm to help people achieve their dream of a family. The reasons that someone may need help from a donor are varied and here at Bourn Hall we are pleased to be able to offer treatment with donor eggs, sperm and embryos. Read more

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