Pregnancy Rate Increase

May 20, 2004

Patients at The University of Nottingham's infertility treatment centre are reaping the benefits of a major refurbishment of its facilities, the recruitment of leading experts in the field and a research programme worth in the region of £1 million.

NURTURE (The Nottingham University Research and Treatment Unit in Reproduction), in the School of Human Development, has seen a significant rise in the number of clinical pregnancies among patients throughout the last 12 months. In 2003, for women under the age of 38 years having IVF, clinical pregnancy rates of 48.5 per cent were achieved.

The increase follows a major investment from the University of more than a quarter of a million pounds for the refurbishment of the unit's facilities, including £100,000 being spent on new equipment and a state-of-the-art air ventilation system in one of its laboratories and theatre. The system, the only one of it's kind in use in the UK, prevents embryos from being exposed to impurities from the air which could cause them to die or compromise their ability to develop properly. The refurbishment has enabled NURTURE to focus on the waiting room area, creating a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for patients and their partners.

These improvements have been reinforced by the recruitment of eminent new staff members. Dr James Hopkisson, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in reproductive medicine has been joined by Dr Cecilia Sjoblom, one of Europe's leading embryologists from the Fertility Center Scandanavia in Gothenburg, Sweden, as director of embryology.

Academics at the unit are currently working on research projects worth more than £1 million. Among the work being done is stem cell research into fertilisation and early embryo development, which aims to increase our understanding of what happens during the first few days of fertilisation. Experts are also using a state-of-the-art 3-D ultrasound scanner to look at blood flow in the wombs of fertile and infertile women and how this might affect their ability to conceive.

Director of NURTURE Professor Ian Johnson said: "The primary focus of NURTURE is to provide an excellent clinical service and we do this by bringing together the expertise of our staff and the cutting-edge research of the University. Our aim is to provide all of this in a friendly and stress-free environment."

The unit has recently re-launched its website, which offers patients and potential patients up-to-date and easy-to-understand information about the clinic, the treatments it offers and the research behind it.

A new feature of the site is a web community that allows patients to contact each other online, drawing support from other people who may have had similar experience of infertility and treatments.

All the pregnancy rates for NURTURE can also be found on the website.