The average age of mothers in childbirth in the United Kingdom has been steadily increasing since 1975. In 2021, this number rose to a little over 29 years old. While this age is still ideal to conceive a baby, it can get hard for other people to get pregnant at this age. If you are in the same predicament, you should not fret because medical science has your back. In this article, we dive into the top IVF fertility UK clinics in 2023.
Age is one of the major factors in conceiving. Remember, as people age, the chances of getting pregnant decrease. Naturally so, because as you age, you are more likely to have developed health conditions that may affect the chance of getting pregnant. But before we enumerate the top fertility clinics, you need to understand what IVF is and how it works.
What is IVF?
IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation. If an individual has trouble conceiving a baby, fertility specialists commonly recommend in vitro fertilisation. After all, it is the most commonly used and effective treatment for fertility issues. But what is it exactly?
Going back to elementary biology, sperm travels through the uterus to one of the fallopian tubes to fertilise an egg. The combination of sperm and egg cells must be high quality in order to implant the embryo in the uterus.
Essentially, an IVF treatment is exactly that. The difference is that it is done in a laboratory. A fertility specialist collects sperm and egg cells and combines them. After which, they are implanted in the mother’s upper uterus. Now, the question is: how does IVF work?
How does IVF work?
If you are hoping to undergo IVF treatment, you should be aware of the common practices and the general process. In this section of this article, our experts detail the step-by-step process of an IVF treatment after you inquired about it.
Step 1: IVF Consultation and Fertility Tests
Like with every other treatment, you will undergo consultations and tests. It is important to properly diagnose your unique circumstance. By doing so, you will save a lot of time and not waste it on the wrong course of treatment. You may also not need IVF treatment if your doctor does not see the need for it.
In the initial consultation, you will discuss your medical history, current health, and the best course of action with a fertility specialist. At this stage, you should let your specialist know everything they need to know, as it will help them give you the most appropriate advice.
Then, your fertility specialist may need to perform specific fertility tests, which provide critical insights about your general health and the causes of your infertility. They will use the results to create a fertility treatment plant for you. Note that only some clinics offer free consultations, but fertility tests are certainly not free.
Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation
For an IVF treatment to be successful, you need to have the highest quality eggs and sperm cells. While quality is 100% prioritised, at this stage, fertility specialists need every egg they can get. To do so, they will give you fertility drugs, called gonadotropins, to stimulate your ovaries.
After administering this drug, your ovaries produce the maximum number of eggs. Furthermore, you will be monitored at this stage and told when to take the drug. After around one and a half days, you are ready for egg harvesting.
Step 3: Egg and Sperm Retrieval
If your specialist deems that your eggs are mature enough, you are ready for egg collection. You will be put under mild or deep sedation before the eggs are collected. Usually, egg collection occurs vaginally with the aid of ultrasound. However, in rare cases, eggs are collected abdominally. After all the quality eggs are collected, they are ready for fertilisation.
As for sperm collection, your partner or donor needs to ejaculate in a sterile, non-toxic plastic jar provided by the clinic. In special instances, a special nontoxic condom is used for sperm collection. This condom is far different from the over-the-counter condoms that kill sperm.
Step 4: Fertilisation in the Laboratory
A laboratory staff analyses each egg collected for maturity. After that, he or she places it in a culture medium and moves it to an incubator with a climate that resembles that found inside the body.
In this step, the eggs are combined with the sperm. In cases where the sperm quality is low, a sperm cell is manually inserted into each mature egg. This process is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI.
Then, the eggs need 18 hours before a specialist judges whether fertilisation occurred. For the next two to four days, embryos develop before they are ready for the transfer.
Step 5: Embryo Transfer
Now that the embryos have successfully developed, they are graded for quality, and the egg(s) that will be transferred are prepared. It is a known fact that multiple embryos may lead to multiple births. So, it is better to discuss this matter with your doctor.
With the aid of a catheter, the embryos are released into the uterus. It would be best to limit strenuous exercises for two weeks.
Step 6: Pregnancy Test
To determine whether the transfer is successful, you need to take a pregnancy test. Furthermore, a pregnancy test indicates whether the embryo is implanted. In isolated instances, you may need to repeat the pregnancy test.
For positive results, you can further verify whether the IVF treatment is successful by undergoing an ultrasound scan. This will 100% confirm that you are pregnant.
For negative results, our experts advise that you talk to a fertility counsellor. Furthermore, you can talk to your doctor for further action.
Facts about IVF Treatment
|Wait time after embryo collection
|around 5 days
|Duration of embryo transfer
|15 to 30 minutes
|Yes, propofol-based anaesthesia
|Mild to moderate cramping and abdominal pain
|hot flushes, feeling down or irritable, headaches, restlessness, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
|No strenuous exercise for two weeks post operation
|~£3,000 to more than £17,000 (excluding consultation and medication)
Best IVF Clinics in the UK
If you are looking for the top IVF fertility UK clinics in 2023, look no further than the following clinics.
London Women’s Clinic
113 & 115 Harley Street
Price: £7,750 – £8,250 for IVF Single Cycle, £16,700 – £17,000 for IVF Multi-Cycle, £9,100 – £9,600 for Shared Motherhood IVF, £2,990 – £3,500 for IVF with Egg Sharing
Success rate: 39% for under 35 | 35% for women aged 35-37 | 21% for women aged 38-39 | 14% for women aged 40-42 | 3% for women aged 43-44
Website: London Women’s Clinic (www.londonwomensclinic.com)
Contact Information: Call 0207 563 4309
The London Women’s Clinic was established in 1985 and has pioneered many routine techniques used today in treating fertility. Their goal is to help patients have healthy babies via fertility treatments that are both safe and affordable. They will give you a personalised treatment programme that puts you and the baby’s sake first.
While London Women’s Clinic is a pioneer in this field, they still possess state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories. Moreover, this seniority comes with significant experience that plays an important role in the success of your fertility treatment.
Speaking of success, their success rates are above the national average. Let us take, for example, their Harley Street branch. For women under 35, the success rate of their IVF treatment is 39%, while the national average is only 34%. Furthermore, the difference in success rates increases for women aged between 35 and 37. London Women’s Clinic has a success rate of 35%, while the national average is just 25%.
If you are interested in seeing the success rates of their clinics, please refer to the following page on their website: London Women’s Clinic – Success Rates.
As for the price of an IVF treatment, it varies from one package to another. But, generally, London Women’s Clinic offers IVF treatments at the following prices:
- £7,750 – £8,250 for IVF Single Cycle
- £16,700 – £17,000 for IVF Multi-Cycle
- £9,100 – £9,600 for Shared Motherhood IVF
- £2,990 – £3,500 for IVF with Egg Sharing
London Women’s Clinic offers other fertility treatments such as egg freezing, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine insemination (IUI), embryo screening, donor sperm and egg donation.
London Women’s Clinic has locations in Harley Street, London Bridge, Cardiff, Bristol, Swansea, Darlington, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Brentwood, Harrow, Colchester
Carlton House, High Street, Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, NN10 8BW
Price: £10,000 to £20,500 for IVF Unlimited Programme, £7,000 to £17,500 for IVF Refund Programme, £5,500 to £13,500 for IVF Multi-Cycle Programme, £7,000 to £17,500 for IVF Donor Egg Refund Programme
Success rate: 39% for under 35 | 34% for women aged 35-37 | 20% for women aged 38-39 | 13% for women aged 40-42 | 13% for women aged 43-44 (data from TFP Simply Fertility)
Website: Access Fertility (www.accessfertility.com)
Contact Information: Email email@example.com or call 03300 10 20 40
Access Fertility is a patient-centric fertility clinic. They make anyone’s fertility journey a breeze and easier to access (hence, their name). Moreover, their doctors coordinate with you and your own doctors to increase the success rate of your IVF treatment.
Access Fertility recognises that fertility treatments can be overwhelming. Aspiring parents have a lot of questions regarding fertility treatments and what they entail. That is why, Access Fertility offers a free fertility nurse consultation where you can get all the information you need before embarking on your fertility journey.
Going through an IVF treatment is stressful enough. Thinking about the financial side of it makes it a lot harder. For that reason, Access Fertility gives you the option to finance your IVF treatment. They partnered with an FCA-regulated credit broker, Kandoo, so you can spread the cost over time.
What’s amazing about Access Fertility is that they will refund you up to 100% if you do not have a baby. So far, they have already refunded over £8 million to patients.
Lastly, they have partner fertility clinics in other parts of Europe.
Park Lorne, 111 Park Road,
Price: £4,020 for IVF with fresh embryo transfer, £4,395 for IVF with an elective freeze of all embryos, £3,970 for IVF using own frozen eggs
Success rate: 33% for under 35 | 20% for women aged 35-37 | 20% for women aged 38-39 | 13% for women aged 40-42 | 1% for women aged 43-44 (data from Care London)
Website: Care Fertility (www.carefertility.com)
Contact Information: Call 0800 564 2270
Care Fertility has always been at the forefront of IVF treatments. Established in 1978, they are one of the pioneers in fertility research. Since then, they have made plentiful breakthroughs that are still used in fertility treatments around the world and in the UK.
One of their most remarkable discoveries is screening for an Annexin gene mutation that causes miscarriage. Moreover, Care Fertility is the first to use artificial intelligence in embryo selection.
Care Fertility considers you their family. Giving as many individuals the opportunity to start their own families is their main priority. Care Fertility boasts that they work so hard to give you the best care to cater to your needs.
Our experts do not see any drawbacks to Care Fertility. Expert doctors and embryologists? Check! State-of-the-art laboratories and incubators? Check! High success rate? Check! The cherries on top are their competitive pricing, NHS or Carepay funding, and refund programme.
13 Upper Wimpole Street, London, W1G 6LP
Price: £3300 for IVF (includes ultrasound scans, theatre charges, anaesthetic charges, and doctor’s fees). The cost of medication and blood tests are not included)
Success rate: 76% for under 35 | 63% for women aged 35-37 | 62% for women aged 38-39 | 43% for women aged 40-42
Website: ARGC Clinic (argc.co.uk)
Contact Information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7486 1779
If you want successful IVF treatment, look no further than the ARGC Clinic. They are currently the leading IVF clinic in terms of success rates since 1995. They are so successful that more than 90% of women under 35 had successful pregnancies. More often than not, they also have double the success rate than the national average.
Like previous fertility treatments, they also contributed to the field. The UK granted the ARGC clinic the licence to freeze and thaw human eggs. They were the first clinic to have this licence and the first to provide this service. Consequently, they are the ones responsible for the first UK baby conceived using frozen eggs.
The ARGC Clinic prides itself on the individualised care they give to its patients. They believe that every patient has their needs and unique circumstances; therefore, their care should also be individualised. While other fertility treatment clinics follow rigid protocols, experts at the ARGC closely monitor its patients using tests and scans and take them into account in their IVF treatments.
This close monitoring also entails that they are available seven days a week. Their staff work around the clock even at weekends and holidays to give you the best treatments possible.
Manchester Fertility, Amelia House
3 Oakwood Square, Cheadle Royal Business Park
Cheshire SK8 3SB
Price: £3950 for a single-cycle IVF treatment (exclusive of additional cycles), £600 – £2600 for medication, and £350 for annual storage of embryo/s following the first year
Success rate: 46% for under 35 | 42% for women aged 35-37 | 28% for women aged 38-39 | 23% for women aged 40-42
Website: Manchester Fertility (www.manchesterfertility.com)
Contact Information: Email email@example.com or call 0161 300 2737
Manchester Fertility is an award-winning clinic. They were honoured for their remarkable care and won awards, such as the “Best Fertility Clinic” in North West England and the “Patient Care Excellence Award” in Cheshire. These awards are a testament to their competent and loyal medical care staff. Manchester Fertility has already been a key player in the field of fertility treatments, so their competence is undeniably superb.
Similar to other renowned fertility clinics, they made significant strides in innovation. Combined with their noteworthy reputation for patient care, they are now one of the most trusted fertility clinics in the UK. Furthermore, Manchester Fertility is one of only a few clinics in the UK that has an in-house egg and sperm bank.
Manchester Fertility’s patient-focused approach has helped over 6,500 babies be born. This is strong proof that their personalised care and treatment plans are effective. Moreover, Manchester Clinic has matched or topped the national average in the UK in terms of success rates.
Their competence, expert knowledge, and competitive pricing make Manchester Fertility undoubtedly one of the top IVF fertility clinics in the UK.
Harley Street Fertility Clinic
134 Harley Street
London, W1G 7JY
Price: £4,800 for IVF – fresh transfer, £4,800 for IVF – freeze all cycle, £6,000.00 for IVF with Donor Eggs using a known egg donor, £5,600.00 for Reciprocal IVF, £800.00 for Reciprocal IVF for egg share donors
Success rate: 40% for under 35 | 37% for women aged 35-37
Website: Harley Street Fertility Clinic (hsfc.org.uk)
Contact Information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7436 6838
Harley Street Fertility Clinic is one of the new kids on the block. Since 2010, the clinic has been helping patients to have a family. Furthermore, they have been consistent in bringing precious dreams to come to life as they have one of the best success rates in the UK.
This clinic advocates for safe and successful treatment. Led by an acclaimed fertility expert Dr Deetha Venkat, they use techniques that are already proven to boost your chances of having a baby.
Since this clinic is family-run, its staff are friendly, warm and approachable. Even their patients can attest to this fact. One of their prominent patients is Alex Reid, a famous MMA fighter. He and his wife already had 5 miscarriages before they came to Harley Street Fertility Clinic. And, in 2021, they are proud parents of baby Reid. The Reid family is still growing; they will add a twin to their family as Mrs Reid is currently pregnant again.
Lastly, Harley Street Fertility Clinic also offers fertility check-ups to assess your fertility status and your ability to conceive.
Barts Health Private Care
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
Price: £3,175 for IVF treatment
Success rate: 25% for under 35 | 24% for women aged 35-37 | 18% for women aged 38-39
Website: Barts Health London Private Care (bartshealthprivatecare.com)
Contact Information: Email email@example.com or call (020) 7377 7000
Barts Health Private Care is a group of five hospitals that are all recognised as leaders in excellence and innovation around the world. However, you can get fertility care at St Bartholomew’s hospital, which is their Centre of Reproductive Medicine.
Experts at St Bartholomew’s hospital investigate your potential causes of infertility, offer sound advice and give effective fertility treatment. Moreover, you will be given a dedicated phone number where you can ask questions regarding your case.
After your initial consultation, Barts Health Private Clinic will discuss your treatment costs and will provide you with a fixed-price quote. They say on their website that their prices are transparent, but we did not find any price lists. To see their full price list, refer to the .doc file on the following page: Barts Health NHS Trust – Funding Treatment.
However, some of their previous patients say that IVF treatments at Barts Centre of Reproductive Medicine are cheaper than their competitors.
Barts Health Private Care also offers refunds as follows:
- Pre Stimulation (75%): £2381.25
- Post Stimulation (50%): £1587.50
- No Embryo Transfer (10%): £317.50
Elstree Road, Elstree
Borehamwood WD6 3BS
Price: £3,250 for Natural Cycle IVF, £3,700 for Stimulated IVF
Success rate: 47% for under 35 | 45% for women aged 35-37 | 64% for women aged 38-39 | 29% for women aged 40-42 | 33% for women aged 43-44
Website: IVF London (ivflondon.co.uk)
Contact Information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 075 8881
IVF London has experts for both female and male infertility. Thus, they can confidently recommend the range of options and the best way forward. Their IVF treatments include nutrition, genetics, and urology.
If you are a couple who only recently started trying a baby, professionally qualified specialists offer a reliable and honest second opinion. IVF London gives FREE 15 minute mini consultation.
IVF London’s philosophy is personalised care. Every patient who aspires to be a parent receives comprehensive advice, evaluation, and a world-class treatment programme. Additionally, their warm medical staff supports patients at every stage of their fertility journey to deliver the best outcome.
Their 35 years of expertise give you confidence and reassurance in your fertility treatment. Their medical team has specialists of all kinds (fertility, urology, nutrition, counselling, genetics, endocrinology, haematology and weight management).
While their top priority is comfort and care, they are honest and open about the chances of every individual’s treatment.
Their complete price list in PDF form is located on the following page: IVF London Price List.
Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (CRGH)
230-232 Great Portland Street
London, W1W 5QS
Price: £8,095 – £12,305 for the IVF treatment, £13,525 – £14,085 for IVF with donor eggs
Success rate: 47% for under 35 | 38% for women aged 35-37 | 25% for women aged 38-39 | 25% for women aged 40-42
Website: Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (crgh.co.uk)
Contact Information: Email email@example.com or call +44 (0)20 7837 2905
Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health knows that no two people are the same. They put effort into tailoring every aspect of IVF treatment down to the finest detail to meet your needs. That is why, CRGH provides consistent results that are above the national UK average. In fact, CRGH is still fine-tuning their attention to detail to increase the chance of conceiving.
CRGH works with the best of the best fertility experts. This unrivalled feat provides paramount treatment to current and future patients. Moreover, they contribute to the field of fertility. Their continuous research not only helps their patients but patients around the globe.
Since their mission is to provide outstanding fertility to everyone, they promote inclusivity. So, regardless of your background and circumstances, CRGH is ready to give you the best fertility treatments. Their dedicated team members ensure that every individual has their needs covered and has support before, during, and after their treatment journey.
CRGH’s three decades of expertise have already resulted in 12,000 patients achieving their dreams. While their price is on the high end, their trailblazing facilities and laboratories are unmatched.
St George’s House, 3-5 Pepys Road, SW20 8NJ
Price: £3,895 for Mild IVF, £3,495 for Natural/Natural Modified IVF, £6,990 for Reciprocal IVF, £5,950 for IVF using donor eggs, £4,995 for Mild IVF using Donor Sperm, £4,595 for Natural IVF using Donor Sperm
Success rate: 39% for under 35 | 26% for women aged 35-37 | 28% for women aged 38-39 | 26% for women aged 40-42 | 23% for women aged 43-44
Website: CREATE Fertility (www.createfertility.co.uk)
Contact Information: Call 0333 240 7300
CREATE Fertility is the UK’s leading Mild & Natural IVF specialist. What is mild IVF, you may ask? It is a form of IVF that uses less fertility medication over a shorter period of time than traditional IVF. As a result, your treatment time is reduced by roughly two weeks. Furthermore, this mild version helps prevent the unpleasant side effects of fertility drugs.
All in all, mild IVF treatments are considered more women-friendly because they ensure and protect the health of mothers and babies. CREATE Fertility’s approach centres on the quality of eggs, not their quantity. What our experts like about this approach is that it puts an emphasis on the long-term health of women and babies.
Mild and natural IVF treatments should be more expensive, right? Actually, NO. The IVF treatments at CREATE Fertility are priced competitively. Since both the treatment time and the dose of fertility drugs are reduced, the price is also proportionally decreased. Lastly, their success rate is also above the national average.
IVF Treatment FAQs
What causes fertility issues?
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, around 1 in 7 heterosexual couples are affected by infertility in the UK. And it does not stop there; it has been found that infertility rates are on the rise in the UK, as per several recent reports. This upward trend can also be seen in other developed countries around the world. But what exactly is the cause of infertility?
To sum up, the following are the main factors contributing to fertility issues for females:
- Ovulation disorders
- Uterine or cervical abnormalities
- Blockage or damage in the fallopian tube
- Early menopause
- Patient’s overall health
For males, the main causes of infertility are the following:
- Abnormal sperm production
- Blockage or damage in the testicle
- Environmental factors such as pesticides, chemicals, and radiation
- Frequent exposure to heat
Cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, marijuana, and anabolic steroids can also affect fertility.
How common is infertility?
It takes about five to six months for a couple to conceive. However, as a general rule of thumb, you may want to seek medical advice if you are under 35 and have had unprotected sex for about 12 months. Infertility is fairly common, as it affects 15 per cent of people in the UK. But you should also know that you are not alone if you are struggling to conceive. There are plenty of top IVF clinics in the UK.
How long does IVF take?
A full cycle of IVF usually takes about six to eight weeks. This time frame includes the consultation and the embryo transfer. However, it can also take longer depending on an individual’s circumstances. But generally, this time frame is often dictated by a patient’s menstrual cycle and how their body responds to each stage of the treatment.
If you do not have the time, you can get a mild IVF treatment, which uses less fertility medication over a shorter period. Mild IVF treatments usually take roughly two weeks less compared to a traditional IVF treatment.
Can anyone get an IVF treatment?
Yes. While IVF is the most suitable treatment for people with fertility issues, there are still guidelines that are followed. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, aka NICE, prepared fertility guidelines about who has access to IVF treatment in the UK.
According to these guidelines, IVF is only offered if the woman is under the age of 43 and has been trying to get pregnant by having regular, unprotected sex for at least 2 years. Or those who already had 12 cycles of artificial insemination (at least 6 of which used a method called intrauterine insemination, or IUI). Regardless, IVF is one of the most successful treatments for fertility issues, which is why it is the most commonly used.
What are the factors that affect the success of an IVF treatment?
Although IVF treatments are proven to be effective, there are still factors that affect their success. That is the reason why fertility clinics advertise their success rates: not everyone is successful in conceiving a baby. Several key factors affect the success of an IVF treatment, such as:
Similar to the causes of infertility, the lifestyle of an individual has a direct impact on an IVF treatment’s success. Lifestyle is an umbrella term for other sub-factors. These sub-factors include diet, smoking, alcohol, and weight.
If you are trying to get pregnant, cutting out vices is the best decision you can make. This not only increases the chance of conceiving a child but also ensures that you do not have a miscarriage. Furthermore, having a healthy diet and an average weight is a plus.
Diagnosis of infertility
In any field of medical science, an accurate diagnosis is critical to prevent wasting a patient’s time on the wrong course of treatment. For that reason, it is important to have the correct diagnosis from the get-go. To get the correct diagnosis, all fertility clinics conduct a series of tests.
For a successful IVF treatment, every little thing should go as planned. Every stage of the procedure should be done in the best way possible for the best possible results. Therefore, the embryo from the patient should also have the best chance. With ever-advancing technology, some clinics use the power of artificial intelligence to select the best embryo.
Sperm Health (Quantity and quality)
Fertility issues in men most commonly stem from the quality and quantity of their sperm. A single ejaculation contains at least 15 million sperm per millilitre for a successful conception. If this number is low, there are fewer candidates to fertilise the embryo.
Quality is equally important. In rudimentary science, we know that the best sperm is most likely the one that fertilises the egg. If the sperm is not of high quality, conception is a lot harder.
Is IVF safe?
Yes. IVF is safe, generally speaking. A high percentage of people who underwent IVF treatment experienced no issues throughout their pregnancy. However, an individual who plans to get one should also know the risks that it can entail.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the following are the risks that come with IVF:
- ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (the severe response to excess hormones from fertility drugs)
- multiple pregnancies or births (twins, triplets, or more)
- having ectopic pregnancy
- possible birth defects
Can I use donated sperm or eggs for IVF?
Yes, you can use donated sperm or eggs for IVF. The IVF procedure is still the same; you will still receive fertility drugs in preparation for egg retrieval.
Can I take breaks between IVF cycles?
Yes, definitely! Taking a break between IVF cycles is a personal decision, but you should notify your fertility specialist. We know that IVF treatments require a heavy commitment. So, if you have other, more important commitments, you can pause your IVF treatment. Our experts recommend that you talk to your doctor about scheduling your treatment.
How much does an IVF treatment cost?
Since IVF treatments vary from one person to another, the costs also differ. But, in general, an IVF treatment’s cost starts at around £3,000, excluding consultations and medication. However, it can go as high as £17,000 or more.
While it can get undeniably pricey, some fertility clinics offer refunds for unsuccessful IVF cycles. Additionally, you can get financing if you are not financially ready.
Can I still have sex during treatment?
Yes. It is completely safe to engage in sexual intercourse while undergoing IVF treatment. However, you should note that it can affect your sexual drive. Several studies have found that women taking IVF have lower libido and sexual satisfaction levels. Lastly, there may come a time in your IVF cycle that makes it uncomfortable to have sex.