Colchester open evening

Our Colchester open evening gives you an opportunity to find out more about the fertility tests and treatment options available at Bourn Hall.

Come along and learn more about our success rates, fertility testing, treatment costs and funding. Our team of doctors, nurses and patient services will be on-hand to answer your questions.

This hour-long event, which begins at 6:15pm, will be at our Colchester clinic – Bourn Hall Clinic, Charter Court, Newcomen Way, Colchester, Essex, CO4 9YA.

If you would like to be there, please fill out the form below to reserve your place.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Bourn Hall family.

IVF Study Course

Build a Strong Foundation in IVF

Why choose this course?

  • Focused on IVF Fundamentals: Specifically designed for clinicians with some to no experience in IVF, our course lays the groundwork for understanding and practicing IVF procedures.
  • Practical Learning Experience: Engage in hands-on sessions with simulators, offering a basic yet essential understanding of key IVF techniques.
  • Expert Guidance: Learn from fertility experts who specialise in educating newcomers to the field, providing a supportive and informative learning environment.

Course highlights:

  • Introduction to IVF Procedures: Gain a solid understanding of the IVF process, from pre-treatment consultation to embryo transfer.
  • Insights into Ovarian Stimulation and Oocyte Retrieval: Learn the basics of ovarian stimulation protocols and the crucial steps of oocyte retrieval.
  • Fundamentals of Embryo Transfer: Get acquainted with the principles of delivering a highly successful embryo transfer.
  • Andrology: Learn how the andrologist assesses and manages male factor infertility.
  • Alignment with RCOG ATSM in Subfertility and Reproductive Health & BFS Assisted Conception Modules: While the course covers the basics, it aligns with the learning requirements of the RCOG ATSM in Subfertility and Reproductive Health and the BFS Assisted Conception Module.
  • AI in the IVF sector: Learn how to evolve in your job role as a fertility specialist in order to thrive in the era of AI.

Course programme:

Day 1: Friday, 2 February 2024

09:30 Welcome and introduction
10:00 Conducting a structured, comprehensive pre-IVF consultation
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Ovarian stimulation protocols – striking a balance between success & safety
12:00 Interactive ovarian stimulation scenarios
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Interactive ovarian stimulation scenarios (cont.)
14:00 Coffee break
14:30 Working towards an OHSS free clinic
15:00 Interactive OHSS case scenarios
15:30 A common-sense approach to IVF Add-ons
16:00 Be a sought-after fertility specialist in the AI era
16:30 Close of day 1
18:00 Course dinner

Day 2: Saturday, 3 February 2024

09.00 Oocyte retrieval: How to be a safe & ‘smooth’ operator
09:30 Oocyte retrieval simulator (one-to-one session with simulator followed by personalised feedback)
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Male infertility: Sperm matters too
11:30 The IVF laboratory: A hard look at the ‘heart’ of IVF
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Embryo transfer technique: How to get it ‘right’
13:30 Embryo transfer simulator (one-to-one session with simulator followed by personalised feedback)
14:30 Coffee break
15:00 FET & luteal support: What works, what might work & what doesn’t
15:30 Real case scenarios
16:00 Are IVF pregnancies riskier?
17:00 Closing remarks and close of course

What to expect:

  • Building Blocks for IVF Practice: Equip yourself with the essential knowledge needed as a foundation for further training in IVF.
  • Realistic Expectations: Understand that this course is a starting point; it prepares you for further learning and experience.
  • Certificate of Attendance: Receive a certificate recognizing your participation and foundational understanding of IVF.

Who should attend?

This course is ideal for:

  • Healthcare professionals who are early on in their journey in the field of reproductive medicine and IVF.
  • Healthcare professionals who are working towards the RCOG Subfertility and Reproductive Health ATSM, the BFS Assisted Conception Module or Subspecialty Training in Reproductive Medicine.

Course details:

Dates: Two-day course – Friday, 2 February and Saturday, 3 February 2024

Venue: Bourn Hall, High Street, Bourn, Cambridgeshire, CB23 2TN, UK

Course fee: £360 per person (£300 + VAT). Includes training materials, simulator sessions, refreshments and lunch both days and course dinner on the Friday evening.

Accommodation: Course tickets do not include accommodation, however we have negotiated special rates at two local hotels:

– Cambridge Belfry hotel – bed & breakfast rate of £115/night. To book your accommodation at the special rate call 03301 071 599 to book and quote Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic.
– Holiday Inn Express Cambridge West -to book your accommodation at the best available rate, click here.


  • Dr Sharleen Hapuarachi MBChB MRCOG, Consultant Gynaecologist and IVF specialist, Bourn Hall Clinic Cambridge
  • Dr Nausheen Mawal MD MBBS FRCOG, Lead Clinician, Bourn Hall Clinics Norfolk & BFS Trainer in pelvic ultrasound, management of the infertile couple, assisted conception treatment, IUI & embryo transfer and fertility preservation
  • Mr Martyn Blayney, Science Director of UK Bourn Hall Clinics
  • Mr Oliver Wiseman MA FRCS (Urol), Consultant Urologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bourn Hall Clinic Cambridge
  • Dr Thanos Papathanasiou MD FRCOG FHEA, Chief Executive and Medical Director of UK Bourn Hall Clinics and RCOG author

Begin your IVF learning journey:

Spaces are limited for this introductory course. Register now to take your first step into the world of IVF!

Bourn Hall – Pioneering IVF and a Legacy of Training Excellence

The history of Bourn Hall Clinic is closely intertwined with the extraordinary journey of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), a revolutionary technique that has brought hope and joy to countless couples across the globe.

The Birth of Bourn Hall
Bourn Hall Clinic, situated in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, was founded in 1980 by the pioneering team of Dr. Patrick Steptoe, Professor Robert Edwards, and Jean Purdy. Dr. Steptoe, an experienced gynaecologist, and Professor Edwards, a trailblazer in reproductive biology, had devoted years of effort to perfect the IVF technique. This method aimed to help infertile couples achieve their dream of parenthood. Their dedication culminated in the historic birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first “test-tube baby,” in 1978.

Legacy of Excellence
Bourn Hall’s significance transcends its role as the birthplace of IVF. Over the years, the clinic has been at the forefront of research, innovation, and clinical care in the field of reproductive medicine. Their commitment to excellence in patient care, ethical practice, and ongoing research has made Bourn Hall a centre of excellence in reproductive medicine.

Training at Bourn Hall
For healthcare professionals, Bourn Hall offers a unique and invaluable opportunity to learn from leading experts in reproductive medicine. The study course encompasses both theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical experience.

The first ever IVF conference was held at Bourn Hall in 1981, including (seated from left) Robert Edwards, Jean Purdy and Patrick Steptoe

42 years on from the first ever international IVF meeting – Human Conception in Vitro – held at Bourn Hall, the clinic’s commitment to education continues. Hosting study days, conferences, and workshops that provide a platform for sharing the latest research and best practices in reproductive medicine. These events offer the chance to network, collaborate, and stay updated on the latest advancements in the field.

If you have any questions or require more information about the course, please contact our team on [email protected].

Surrogacy 101

Are you considering a journey to expand your family through surrogacy? Our Surrogacy 101 webinar will explore the process and the possibilities it holds for you.

At this event, you as in intended parent will have the opportunity to:

Discover surrogacy: Learn about the surrogacy journey and the options available at Bourn Hall.

Understanding the process: Gain insights into the surrogacy process, from finding a surrogate to the legal and emotional aspects.

Educate yourself: Understand the legal and medical intricacies of surrogacy, as well as the support we provide.

Explore costs and funding: Get an overview of the costs associated with surrogacy and explore funding possibilities.

Ask questions: Engage with our experienced team, including our lead surrogacy doctor and nurse who are here to answer all your queries.

This hour-long event will be hosted over Zoom on Wednesday 10 January 2024 and is designed to empower you with knowledge and guidance on your journey toward parenthood through surrogacy.

To join, please fill out the registration form linked below.

Register here

We look forward to welcoming you into the Bourn Hall family.

Cambridge open evening

Join us at our Cambridge open evening for an opportunity to find out more about Bourn Hall and the tests and treatment options available.

You will meet some of our doctors, nurses and clinic teams and have the chance to ask any questions you might have. You’ll also be able to learn more about our success rates, treatment costs and funding options.

This hour-long event will be at our Cambridge clinic in Bourn, Cambridgeshire, CB23 2TN.

If you would like to join us, please fill out the form below to reserve your place.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Bourn Hall family.

Essex open evening

Our Essex open evening is a great opportunity to find out more about the fertility tests and treatment options available at Bourn Hall.

Come along and ask our doctors, nurses and clinic teams any questions you may have about our success rates, fertility testing, treatment costs and funding.

This hour-long event, which begins at 6:15pm, will be at the Essex clinic, in Wickford – 25 London Road, Wickford, Essex, SS12 0AW.

If you would like to be there, please fill out the form below to reserve your place.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Bourn Hall family.

Understanding Fertility Testing 

Would you like to know how to increase your chances of starting a family? Do you have questions about your fertility health?

Join our fertility nurses in this free webinar where we will talk you through the testing and diagnosis options available at Bourn Hall.

We will explore male and female fertility tests and talk you through the procedures included. From this webinar, we also aim to give you a deeper understanding of your reproductive system and the tests available at Bourn Hall.

We will explain what the outcome of our male and female fertility tests might mean for your ability to conceive naturally, and what lifestyle changes might increase your chances of achieving a pregnancy.

We will also discuss the options, support and advice you will receive if we identify treatment or surgical intervention is indicated.

Our events are run via Zoom and will last no more than an hour.

This webinar is now over, but you can watch the recording below on-demand.


Safe and successful – options for lesbian couples who want a baby

There is much more to consider than ‘finding’ a sperm donor if you are a lesbian couple wanting to start a family. Although its tempting to ask a friend, or to go online, there are many risks involved. So if you are looking to have a baby together, this webinar is the one for you.

We have invited two lesbian couples to talk about their very different fertility journeys and the decisions they made, we have a legal expert who specialises in LGBT+ family law, and Bourn Hall fertility nurses to answer your questions.

This webinar aims to cover the key information that couples need to take into account before having a baby together.

After three short video presentations there is a Q&A session with Senior Fertility Nurse Specialist Jackie Richardson and former patients Katie and Ali.

Speakers at the webinar include: 

create a family with two mums Sarah White, Family Law Solicitor at Family Law Group
Sarah White, Family Law Solicitor at Family Law Group

Legal expert: Sarah White, Family Law Solicitor at Family Law Group – avoiding the pitfalls

Sarah sees the consequences when LGBT+ couples don’t have sufficient advice. She says: “Legal parenthood not only has an impact upon a child’s nationality, inheritance rights, and who has financial responsibility to them, but it’s also important for a child’s sense of identity.”

She will describe some of the situations she has encountered and give advice to help avoid them.

Ali and Katie
Ali and Katie

Former patients: Katie and Ali – IUI treatment worked first time 

Katie and Ali from Essex knew from the beginning that they wanted to use an anonymous donor and initially tried getting pregnant at home using ‘DIY’ kits using sperm shipped from abroad. After three failed ‘DIY’ attempts the couple came to Bourn Hall, where tests revealed Katie had irregular ovulation (release of a mature egg). “I realised that there would have been no way that we would have ever have got pregnant using the home kits,” says Katie. 

The couple had Intrauterine Insemination Treatment (IUI) at Bourn Hall which Katie describes as “the most natural fertility treatment there is” and they now have two sons, Harry and Oliver. 

Laura and Mel
Laura and Mel

Former patients: Mel and Laura – IVF after a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 

Mel and Laura from Cambridgeshire explored the option of finding a sperm donor on the internet. They decided this was too risky and came to Bourn Hall, after Mel was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common caused of infertility and tests revealed a low reserve of eggs. IVF was recommended. Mel says: “I would strongly recommend to other lesbian couples to use a regulated clinicThe sperm donor has no legal rights over a child born through a UK fertility clinic.”

Fertility nurse specialist Jackie Richardson
Fertility nurse specialist Jackie Richardson

Senior Fertility Nurse Specialist, Jackie Richardson – fertility options for lesbian couples at Bourn Hall 

There are many treatment options for same-sex female couples – IUI or IVF, shared motherhood, using known donors or a sperm bank – and the fertility health and well-being of both partners need to be taken into consideration when planning treatment. Counselling is also available at Bourn Hall to help make crucial decisions and to explore the implications of using donor sperm.


This webinar will explore the fertility options for lesbian couples available at Bourn Hall  and the wider issues to consider if you are looking to start your own family.   

Watch on demand here

Endometriosis and fertility

“I normally have quite a high pain threshold but this time it was really bad. Initially the doctors thought I had appendicitis but then they opened me up and saw the mess. I thought the odds were stacked against me ever having a child.”

Up to half of women with endometriosis – where tissue can grow over the ovaries and fallopian tubes – are affected by fertility issues. Worryingly, few women know that surgery to alleviate the symptoms may also cause damage to their reproductive organs.

In our on-demand webinar we discuss endometriosis and the impact on fertility. We have two guest speakers: Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Bourn Hall’s Medical Director, and former Bourn Hall patient Victoria Key.

Endometriosis and fertility 

Dr Papathanasiou is concerned that people aren’t accessing good advice

Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Bourn Hall’s Medical Director, will explain some of the common, as well as lesser known, symptoms of endometriosis and the treatments available to women who have been unable to conceive

“Endometriosis is a progressive condition, so being aware of the options at an early stage can help improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.

“Women with severe endometriosis symptoms may need complicated and delicate hospital surgery. We are concerned that many women are not aware that this may sometimes result in long-term damage to their tubes and ovaries. So, it is important that women are informed before such a procedure that they have an option to freeze their eggs. This would preserve their fertility should they want children in the future.”

Victoria’s story: “emergency surgery uncovered a 6cm ovarian cyst”

Former Bourn Hall patient Victoria Key will talk about her experience of finally being diagnosed with endometriosis after years of painful periods culminated in emergency surgery – and how IVF enabled her to become a mum.

Victoria and Alex
Victoria and her son Alex, her endometriosis was undiagnosed for many years.

Victoria had always suffered with painful and heavy periods, but it was only when she was rushed into hospital in an ambulance in the middle of the night in excruciating pain that the cause was found. “My surgeon told me that my emergency surgery had ‘tidied things up’ but that he expected to see me again in a few years,” says Victoria.

When Victoria was admitted to hospital, she and husband Neal had already been referred for fertility tests after being unable to conceive for two years. “We thought the odds were stacked against us ever having a child, but our consultant told us we were eligible for NHS-funded IVF.”

Now mum to Alex, aged 7, Victoria recently had a hysterectomy to alleviate the pain and discomfort of her endometriosis. “I am 42 now and I wish that when I was younger I had pushed a bit harder for some answers,” she says.

She is speaking out about her experiences to encourage others to seek advice sooner.

Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family. 

March is Endometriosis Awareness Week organised by Endometriosis UK – to find out more about their work 

To support the work of Endometriosis UK click here.

It’s a game of two halves – tackling male infertility

“I’ve got plenty of really close mates, but it feels almost like a taboo to talk about it down the pub. Because blokes aren’t naturally caring… the default way is to laugh it off with a bit of banter and a bit of humour. That’s great, because it alleviates that glumness, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone.”

In our on-demand webinar about male infertility, Matt O’Malley talks about his experiences and how he found it helped him to open up about the issue. He is be joined by Mr Oliver Wiseman, urologist and male infertility specialist at Bourn Hall, who explains what a semen analysis reveals, how to improve poor sperm quality, and the treatment options that are available.

Mr Wiseman says: “A semen test is just the starting point of a fertility journey. Many issues with poor sperm quality or quantity can be resolved naturally or by surgery and/or medication, increasing your chances of becoming a dad.”

Matt’s story: “I was like ‘no, I’m absolutely fine’, when I knew I wasn’t…”

poor sperm quality
Matt is now a dad to baby Elle after treatment at Bourn Hall

At the age of 31, Matt O’Malley and his partner Laura found themselves in the middle of a baby boom. All around them, friends of a similar age were all starting to have children. But after 18 months of trying, the couple had still not been able to conceive.

“Laura’s cycle is irregular and we thought it was that,” says Matt. “It came as a complete shock that the issue was with my sperm. I think as a man you just automatically assume you can have children – it’s a given.

“We mentioned to friends and family ‘we were going for treatment’ but didn’t go into details.

“I’m very much a happy-go-lucky person, but after Laura suffered two miscarriages I changed… I really struggled,” he says.

“Friends had noticed I’d changed. It was only when I started talking more openly about male infertility and what I’d experienced that it made me realise that I should’ve been doing it a long time ago. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s nothing to hide, it’s part of who you are.”

Male infertility specialist: overcoming poor sperm quality and quantity 

Mr Oliver Wiseman says: “In 50% of cases, there is a male factor contributing to fertility problems, so early assessment of the male side is important, and that can be done with a semen analysis.

Oliver Wiseman, specialist on male infertility
Oliver Wiseman, specialist in male fertility

“Sperm is produced in the testicles. The testis have only two jobs: to produce the male hormone testosterone and to make sperm. Unlike the female, where all her eggs are present at birth, sperm is produced continuously and even a short period of illness can impact production.

“This is why, if there are abnormalities in a semen analysis, it is important that these patients are seen by a male infertility specialist, because there may be things we can diagnose or advise that will improve sperm count.

“If we can improve sperm quality then the couple may be able to conceive naturally, or if they do need IVF treatment, it will make it more successful.” 

Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family. 

Female same-sex couples’ paths to parenthood

Options for lesbian couples

If you are in a same-sex partnership, then some type of fertility support is inevitable if you want to have a baby.

To learn more about testing, treatment, sperm donors and the funding options available to you through our clinics, watch Dr Sharleen Hapuarachi, Bourn Hall Clinician, and our guest Olympia Karagianni from our partner company Access Fertility.

Our on-demand webinar will discuss the fertility and IVF treatment options available for you to create your family, as well as addressing some key areas, including:

  • Benefits of using a clinic
  • Fertility testing
  • IUI or IVF?
  • Success rates
  • Sperm donor options
  • Legal parenthood and donor rights
  • Shared motherhood
  • Costs and funding options
Olympia Karagianni, Access Fertility

Olympia Karagianni, Assistant Clinics Manager, has worked for Access Fertility for four years now, supporting the partnerships that are so important to making IVF accessible across the UK and Europe. Olympia speaks five different languages and is passionate about helping individuals and couples achieve their family-planning dreams.

Olympia will be discussing Access Fertility’s IVF Refund and Multi-cycle programmes, how they work, and how to get started with Access Fertility to support your IVF journey.

Dr Sharleen Hapuarachi is a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and is been part of the Bourn Hall family based at our Cambridge clinic.

Bourn Hall gives female same-sex couples the very best chance of having a baby

If you are interested in finding out more about your fertility options and the funding routes available, this webinar will give you the opportunity to hear from our experts and to ask any questions you might have.

Watch now

If you have any questions or require more information about the webinar, please contact our team on [email protected]. You can also read stories shared by our patients about their journey.

Fertility Support Group

The Christmas period with its focus on children and family events can be particularly stressful. Our December group meeting, without a speaker, is an opportunity to share coping strategies and gain support from others that understand what you are going through.

Please note the revised date of 13 December

Our Fertility Support Group, held virtually, is led by our independent fertility counsellor, Jackie Stewart, and members of our Bourn Hall family.

Joining this group gives you the opportunity to talk to other people experiencing infertility, with members supporting each other on what can be an emotional journey. The aim is to create a safe and confidential space to talk freely.

Register here

To achieve this, we ask that you join the meeting with your camera on so that you’re visible to the whole group and can talk and support each other,  also that you participate from a private location. Do take a couple of minutes to read the group’s helpful information and ground rules here.

Held monthly using Zoom, for approximately an hour and a half, we invite experts to speak on a range of topics that reflect the needs of individual members.

The group offers:

● Free attendance for all experiencing infertility – Bourn Hall patients and non-patients
● Guest speakers
● Facilitated meetings with Question & Answer sessions
● Caring, supportive staff
● Opportunity to meet other people who empathise
● Helpful information

Register to join the group meeting

If you would like to join our group, please register to join here. Once registered you will receive further information and the details for joining the group via Zoom.

(Please check your spam folder if you don’t receive a message and add Zoom messages to your safe senders list)

If you have any questions or require more information about the support group events, please contact our team on [email protected]. You can also access more information about support available in our blog.

We look forward to welcoming you to the group.