NHS Fertility Treatment

BCRM has an NHS contract to provide Fertility treatment to NHS patients who meet the eligibility criteria in Bristol and surrounding areas.

Please see link below detailing how you can access NHS funded Fertility assessment and Treatment:

Bristol NHS CCGs referral form or  fertility_assessment_form_cba_v171830_ffenm8w_FWjUDoI

Arranging an NHS Sperm test at BCRM: please ask your GP to complete the this form.

Are you eligible for NHS Fertility Treatment?

Eligible for NHS IVF? Have your treatment at BCRM

If you’re eligible for Fertility treatment on the NHS, did you know that you may choose to have your treatment with us? and there is no waiting list.

BCRM is able to treat patients from the following or surrounding areas:

  • Bristol
  • Bath
  • Taunton
  • Swindon
  • Gloucester
  • Cheltenham
  • Exeter (Devon)
  • Plymouth (Devon)
  • Truro (Cornwall)

Contact us to Find out more about: NHS Fertility Treatment

NHS treatment in Bristol at BCRM
For enquiries about how to arrange your Fertility Treatment if you are eligibleinfo@BCRM.org.uk

0117 414 6888

Check whether you are eligible for NHS Fertility Assessment Treatment here

Am I eligible for NHS funded Fertility treatment?

Your local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) provides funding for patients who require fertility treatment. Each CCG has criteria that determine whether you are eligible or not.

In the Bristol and Somerset area you would be able to have treatment if-

The couple:

  • Have been not conceived a pregnancy for 2 or more years
  • Are non smokers
  • Neither partner has been sterilised
  • Neither partner has any living or adopted children

The Female partner:

  • Age is under 40 years
  • BMI is greater than 19 and less than 30
  • AMH is <4.5 pmol/l
  • FSH is <12 IU/l

Any decisions affecting your funding should be directed to your local CCG.

What happens to the referral letter once it’s received by BCRM?

All fertility referral letters are reviewed and an appointment for a consultation is usually arranged within 2 weeks of receipt

Is there a wait for treatment?

Once you have been given a diagnosis and treatment options, you may start your treatment as soon as you like. The start of treatment is not determined by whether you’re funded by the NHS or self funded, there is no wait time for treatment.

How do I get an NHS consultation at BCRM?

A referral is required from your GP or Specialist. This usually follows assessment in an NHS General Fertility clinic. Their referral letter will include a summary of all tests performed to date and any initial thoughts on diagnosis.

Can I come to the consultation on my own?

It’s important that if you are a couple both of you attend the consultation.

Does my partner need to do a specimen sample even if he has done one at the local hospital or previous clinic?

It is important that a semen sample is checked prior to your treatment at BCRM. We will determine if another sample is required to determine if it is suitable for a variety of treatments

Such as IVF or ICSI.

Will I require a scan?

Yes, a scan will be performed at consultation, even if you have had one performed before unless there is detailed information of your previous scan. A scan will be internal and it is important to empty your bladder on arrival at the BCRM.

Do we both need to be present for all appointments?

For consultation and treatment planning appointments – yes, as there may be specific issues or consent forms you will both need to consider. Both of you will also need to attend the first monitoring appointment so we can check your wishes and the consent forms for that treatment cycle.

Can I drink alcohol?

There is no clear evidence that small amounts of alcohol have any adverse effect on fertility treatment. We advise the female partner restrict her alcohol intake to less than 5 units each week during treatment. As the production time for sperm is up to 100 days, we suggest that men restrict their alcohol intake for about 3 months before treatment. 1 unit of alcohol = ½ pint beer, a small glass of wine or 1 measure of spirit.

Can I use complementary medicine – Chinese herbs, other herbal treatments, acupuncture or reflexology?

Whilst we do not have research to support the benefits of complementary medicine, we acknowledge that many people may want to use them. We would advise against the use of herbal treatments, which we know can have an adverse effect, such as Agnus Castus, or treatments whose ingredients are unknown. Physical complementary treatments may be more acceptable, particularly if they reduce stress. We cannot accept responsibility for the effects for any of these treatments but advise that, if you are using them, you attend a qualified practitioner and inform us of treatments you are undergoing. We are unable to facilitate complementary medical treatment sessions.

What pain medication can I take during treatment?

Paracetamol used accordingly to the normal dosage instructions is safe, even in pregnancy. If paracetamol does not work we ask that you call us for advice.

Will I need to have any more investigations?

It is possible at consultation that further investigations will be required prior to embarking upon the treatment and you will be advised accordingly at that time.

Can we have counselling prior to treatment?

Absolutely, all couples are entitled to a free session of counselling either before or during treatment.

Why do we need to fill in consents for each treatment?

HFEA consent forms: We will check with you at every treatment cycle what your wishes are relating to treatment and will only renew any relevant consent forms if you have changed your mind, e.g. relating to freezing of embryos. ‘In house’ consent forms; as some treatment options may vary from cycle to cycle; e.g. assisted hatching, we need to ask for new consent forms each time. We need to be absolutely sure of your wishes, to ensure the correct treatment is carried out.

Can we have sexual intercourse during treatment?

There is no evidence that sexual intercourse in the early stages of your treatment, or after embryo transfer or IUI, has any adverse effect. If anything, the limited information we have is that normal sexual intercourse may have a small beneficial effect. However, we would advise you to avoid sexual intercourse for 3 – 5 days before your egg collection or IUI treatment to improve the quality of the man’s sperm.

What is the average duration between starting treatment and egg collection?

Between to 2-6 weeks depending on your menstrual cycle dates, the treatment regime you are on and how you respond to the drugs.

Can I go swimming? Can I have dental treatment?

Yes. There is no evidence that any of these activities can be harmful. However, we would advise women to avoid water-skiing or using water slides during treatment. You should live your life as normally as possible during your treatment. It is important that you are relaxed and comfortable with yourself at this time and during any resulting pregnancy so that if you look back, you have no regrets about anything you might have done. Whilst we may advise a particular activity is safe (for example, to fly), if anything were to go wrong would you blame yourself, despite our reassurance? If you have concerns about any specific activity, please ask us.

What exercise is considered safe during treatment and early pregnancy?

Any exercise that is usual for you, however avoid excessive exercise. Treatment is tiring and you may find your stamina and exercise tolerance are not up to your usual level.

I have forgotten to sniff my nasal spray every 4 hours, what do I do?

If you think you have missed a spray please take another one as soon as you remember, occasionally if a nasal spray hasn’t been taken for a significant amount of time it might affect the treatment cycle. However, usually as long as you sniff as soon as you remember there shouldn’t be a problem.

My period hasn’t started before my blood test, what do I do?

Do not attend for your blood test as organised, please inform your nurse when your period does start so alternative arrangements can be made. Keep sniffing the spray during this time.

How long does 1 bottle of buserelin nasal spray last?

One bottle of buserelin nasal spray will last 2 -3 weeks, 2 bottles are usually required for one treatment cycle. Do not throw away after 1 week (as instructed in the paperwork) please use until the bottle is empty.

Will having a cold prevent the dose going in?

If you have a cold during your nasal spray, blow your nose prior to the sniff and the spray will work.

When do I take my pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test is usually taken 2 weeks and 2 days after your egg collection.

I have spotting after the transfer of embryos or blastocyst, what do I do?

Sometimes there can be a brownish discharge after the embryo transfer or egg collection which is normal due to having an egg collection and transfer. Please continue to use your pessaries. Following your treatment cycle, you would normally expect a period 2 weeks after egg collection and sometimes, even though you are on the pessaries you may have a bit of spotting prior to your test. If it is only spotting, continue with the pessaries and take a pregnancy test at the right time. If you have bleeding prior to your pregnancy test, please phone for advice.

I have symptoms of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), what do I do?

You would have been advised to drink plenty of fluids (up to 2 litres a day) after your egg collection and take paracetamol regularly. It is important to continue with fluids and take paracetamol on regular basis. If you are short of breath, have nausea, not passing water enough please phone the on-call nurse at the weekend or the doctors out of hours for advice.

What are the best times to call BCRM with non-emergency queries?

Generally, our administrators will try and answer patient calls during any part of the day; however, if you wish to speak to one of the nursing team, please be aware that they are usually in clinic/theatre every morning. Therefore, better times to call are in the afternoon on the main nursing number 0117 414 6888. Should your call not be answered, the team will try and contact you by the end of each day.

Who do I make a compliment or complaint to?

Please write to the Quality Manager Joanne Tyrrell at the BCRM address.