Posts by Holly Scott

Are Celebrity Pregnancies Spreading Misconceptions about Pregnancy Later in Life?

In today’s society, where many can become obsessed with social media and celebrity culture, we have to ask ourselves whether fertility is being fairly represented within the media or whether it is in fact being distorted with many celebrity pregnancies in later life being publicised. Celebrity pregnancies are always highly reported on, often making the front covers of the news we see around us every day, so it makes sense that this sort of coverage influences our perceptions of fertility. Confusing messages? Doctors have suggested that the disproportionately large number of celebrities who get pregnant during their forties might be
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Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) in IVF

Is Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) beneficial in IVF? Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS), also called PGT is a technique for testing whether embryos have any problems with their chromosomes, which is thought to be the most common reason why IVF treatment fails. During PGS, also known as PGT, a single cell or a small number of cells is / are removed from the embryo and the DNA in these cells is then tested to see whether the embryo has any chromosomal abnormalities. Until now, there hadn’t been many significant trials run on PGS to show clinicians whether the test could improve
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Egg Freezing

I read an article today in The Telegraph entitled “warning over last ditch attempts at egg freezing by women in late 30s” and felt obliged to write about it in my blog this week. Being a woman in my early 30s, who currently has no children and works within the fertility industry, these articles are always of interest to me. Daily I am reminded of my ageing eggs and diminishing ovarian reserve and the constant tick tock of my fertility clock and often wonder whether I should be freezing my eggs given the insight I have. But then, like most
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Fresh vs Frozen Embryo Transfers

The topic of fresh or frozen embryo transfers often comes up as it is a popular belief that fresh embryo transfers are preferential to frozen embryo transfers. By no means am I speaking from a clinical perspective, but I find it a very interesting topic to discuss so thought I could give some general information about what’s going on in the world of fertility to investigate this at the moment. In the UK, there is currently the E-Freeze study taking place across 12 hospitals that is looking into this very discussion point. The aim of this study is to determine
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The Effect of Smoking on Fertility

The health risks of tobacco smoking are well known with regards to disease of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, but the impact on reproductive health has never been fully appreciated. There is now substantial research evidence which suggests that smoking reduces a couple’s chances of a successful pregnancy and increases the possibility of adverse health effects on any children born. At Assured, we do ask that all parties participating in the plan are non-smokers by the time they get accepted onto the plan. Many people can appreciate and understand why it would be necessary for the female party to
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What is ICSI and do I need it?

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is still a relatively new procedure to the IVF world and refers to the technique of injecting a single sperm into the centre of the egg. In natural conception, a large number of sperm surround the egg and many attach to the outside, but only one sperm penetrates and fertilises each egg. In IVF embryologists mimic what happens naturally by adding a large number of sperm to the dish containing the egg. When fertilisation does not occur, it is usually because the sperm cannot attach to or penetrate the egg. This can be because of a
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Endometrial Scratching – What is it and is it beneficial?

I am often asked about endometrial scratching and it seems to be the topic of the moment with studies being published recently as to its effectiveness in a treatment cycle, so I thought this would make a great topic for my blog this week. Well firstly, what is an endometrial scratch? An endometrial scratch is a procedure used to potentially help improve the chance of embryo implantation in the womb after In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) or frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles. Research has previously shown that disturbing the surface cells of the lining of the womb can
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Online Fertility Information & Support Groups

Whilst I was in post at my last job (a fertility clinic), Dr Google really was one of our biggest contenders. I would often have calls from patients questioning their pathway due to things they had read online and although I am a massive advocate of doing your research and knowing what to expect, unfortunately there is also a lot of misinformation out there regarding fertility, so you have to be careful.  There are also now, a huge number of online forums for people to share their experiences and I do think it is completely person dependent as to whether
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Single Embryo Transfer – Myth Busting

Often people assume that they can increase their chance of success by having more than one embryo transferred at a time but this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, this happens more often than not when people travel abroad for treatment and you hear (horror) stories of people having 8 or even more embryos transferred at a time. These are obviously extreme scenarios but I do often find myself having to explain why we believe in a single embryo transfer policy (where possible).  The HFEA (the governing body in the UK over all fertility treatment and every clinic must work within
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IB Egg Donation

I recently attended a conference in Alicante at the Instituto Bernabeu (IB) which is one of the clinics we work with to deliver our egg donation program. I am frequently asked about the selection process and criteria so thought this week, I would delve a little more into that. IB have 600 active donors registered with them and even have a dedicated egg donor clinic where the donor attends for all their appointments, and this clinic is separate from IB’s main IVF unit in order to maintain the donor’s privacy.  IB donors are put through extensive selection criteria prior to
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