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Our research

Backed by some of the world’s most advanced medical research, we are committed to excellence and innovation.


Research is vital to transform IVF success rates, because current success rates world-wide are significantly lower than for other elective treatment such as cataract surgery or hip replacement which are generally over 95% successful. The likely success rate for many patients, even at the very best clinics, can be below 10% for poor prognosis patients.

Our aim is to achieve the best success rates in Europe. Our approach to date has been largely based on learning from the latest techniques, equipment, diagnostics and drug protocols being used by clinics worldwide.

Achieving the fundamental improvements that we are aiming for requires research. It is for this reason that we had three staff at the European Society for Human Reproduction annual conference where the latest research is presented.

Our Lead Nurse attended a conference in Italy that was held to consider the latest research on optimising Luteinising Hormone (LH). An optimal level of LH is critical for egg and therefore embryo quality.

Two of our senior clinicians have reviewed practice at one of Europe’s leading clinics in Spain and our team have been working with a leading clinic in Germany and leads in the UK.

One of our lead clinicians attended the world’s largest conference on fertility medicine in the United States, where the very latest research world-wide was presented.

Recent studies and research

We are currently focusing on the following areas, using audits and analyses to optimise treatment and participating with research partners on novel areas aimed at achieving a ‘step change’ in success rates.

Individualising medication

Estradiol - used in patients treatment cycle, when indicated, to ensure synchronised follicular growth.

Lutenising hormone - used in patients treatment cycle, when indicated, to help support the improvement of the quality of the oocytes during the follicular development.

Follicle stimulating hormone - results of pre-treatment diagnostic bloods and ultrasound scans are used to ensure that the type and dose of FSH prescribed for use during treatment optimises follicular development.

Progesterone - progesterone levels are checked at specific points in a treatment cycle to enable clinicians to advise the optimal course of treatment prior to planning for an embryo to be transferred. This could either be an elective freeze of embryos or the addition of additional progesterone support.

Automation of ICSI where an individual sperm is injected into an oocyte.

If successful, this research will enable us to transform the process, increasing the fertilisation rate and embryo quality.

Sperm selection

Sperm selection has changed very little over the last 40 years and is complex for a large number of reasons:

  • Sperm are the smallest human cells
  • Even in a good semen sample it is likely that over 95% of sperm are not suitable for fertility treatment
  • Sperm are extremely susceptible to damage and any handling needs to be exceptionally rapid and careful to maintain quality
  • There are often tens of million sperm in a single sample and it is only possible to select from a relatively small proportion of the sample because of the need to complete the assessment quickly to avoid damage to the sperm

We are working with companies and researchers aiming to make fundamental improvements in equipment and techniques to address these issues.

Whole Genome Sequencing

We are aiming to be at the forefront on Whole Genome Sequencing. We believe that the research that we are completing with international leads will help us to transform IVF outcomes.

If this research is successful it will enable us to individualise IVF by treating patients according to health conditions - ones that they may not even know they have.


Pictured left to right: Bev Kimminau - Lead Nurse, Elisa Ferraro - Andrology Team Leader and Stephen Harbottle - Consultant Embryologist