Clinic times and location: Mondays and Thursdays in the Gynaecology Outpatient reception 8.30 am to 11.30 am
Couples are referred from Primary Care for investigation and management of sub-fertility.
Contact numbers: 01206 742398 (Gynaecology Outpatient reception) or 01206 742977 (Secretary)
Current waiting times for new referrals 4 weeks.
The clinic offers investigation and diagnosis for couples with suspected fertility problems.
At the first visit:
- A thorough history will be taken from each couple including duration of sub-fertility; medical history including current medical problems and treatments; number and outcome of any conceptions with current or previous partner; social history including smoking and alcohol intake.
- The female partner will also be asked about the following: any past or current gynaecology problems; whether she has been pregnant previously and the outcome of the pregnancies; her menstrual history and any menstrual problems; cervical smear history; folic acid intake.
- Blood tests will be arranged for the woman on day 2-4 of the menstrual cycle for FSH, LH, Prolactin, Testosterone, Oestradiol and Thyroid function tests and on day 21 (depending on cycle length) for progesterone. Blood tests to confirm Rubella immunity are also arranged.
- A pelvic examination is usually performed and screening tests for Chlamydia taken. Cervical smears are taken if relevant.
- A Hycosy assessment for tubal patency is arranged if relevant (these are performed up to day 13 of the menstrual cycle in the Ultrasound department on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at midday).
- Semen analysis is organised for the male partner; two tests may be necessary one month apart.
- A follow-up visit is arranged for 8-10 weeks to discuss results and management.
At the follow-up visit:
- Results of the investigations are discussed with the couple.
- A care pathway is discussed and appropriate management of the sub-fertility arranged.
- Further care will depend on the underlying problem and could involve:
- Ovulation induction with Clomiphene.
- Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
- Follicle scanning to determine the growth of the follicle and approximate time of ovulation.
- Management of endometriosis.
- Further exploration of tubal patency if unconfirmed by Hycosy eg: laparoscopy and dye under general anaesthetic.
- Referral to Assisted Conception if and when relevant, subject to NHS North East Essex approved funding
The East of England now offers access to NHS funded specialist assisted conception for eligible couples; the full criteria can be seen by accessing the East of England web site www.england.nhs.uk
The selected fertility service providers for the East of England are:
- Barts and the London Centre for Reproductive Medicine
020 7601 7176 or 020 7601 8515
- Bourn Hall Cambridge
- IVF Hammersmith
- Oxford Fertility Unit
- Leicester Fertility Centre
Couples who are not eligible for NHS funded assisted conception will be given help and guidance relating to private clinics or adoption.