Saddened by the lack of funding available for couples needing IVF, the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown is heading up an initiative by IVF Babble, the online IVF and fertility magazine, that has so far donated 24 cycles of free IVF. Bourn Hall is the latest clinic to contribute a cycle of treatment.
Since Louise’s 40th birthday last July the campaign has given away 24 cycles of IVF and five women are currently pregnant as a result. The first baby was born on 11 July 2019.
Louise explains why she became involved: “My mum would be amazed at the way IVF has developed and the techniques available to people today. I was given the middle name of Joy, because they felt IVF would bring the joy of children to so many people.
“I hear so many heart-breaking stories from people who are unable to make their dream of having a baby come true, that I was happy to support this campaign by IVF Babble.”
Bourn Hall supports the initiative
Louise’s parents were patients at Bourn Hall and her sister Natalie was conceived at the clinic in Cambridgeshire, which was the first in the world to offer IVF as a medical treatment. Bourn Hall is the most recent clinic to support the initiative.
Tanya Jackson-Turner, Head of Patient Services at Bourn Hall, says: “Giving away one cycle of treatment is not going to solve the wider problem, but we have excellent success rates and even one chance has been life-changing to many of our patients.
“As Cambridge is the home of IVF and Louise has joined us to mark many milestones we are pleased to get involved.”
IVF Babble co-founders, Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page, said they were delighted to be working on the project with Bourn Hall:
Tracey said: “Bourn Hall is world-renowned for its work in fertility and we cannot thank them enough for supporting our campaign. It has been a devastating time for so many people across the UK who have been affected by the decision of the CCGs to restrict or remove IVF treatment.
“This initiative is just one small way we can do our bit to help a community that needs our support and without clinics such as Bourn Hall getting on board we would not be able to do it. We know how much it means to our followers as we only have to look at our inboxes each day and see the heartbreak they feel when refused help from the NHS.”
IVF Babble and Bourn Hall give free IVF cycle
To be considered for the free cycle of IVF, potential patients need to complete the form on the IVF Babble website.
The package includes initial consultation, pre-treatment tests, one cycle of IVF treatment, plus ICSI if required. It excludes the cost of medication. The person must have a healthy BMI and the upper age limit for IVF with own eggs is 43.
IVF treatment typically takes about six weeks. It has an intensive period of monitoring during the first few weeks, which means that it is best to attend a clinic close to where you live – Bourn Hall has full service clinics in Cambridge, Norwich, Colchester and Wickford.
Bourn Hall is also offering to all those that apply and live within the east of England a free fertility nurse consultation to review their medical history and make recommendations for next steps. Some of these applicants might also be able to gain free IVF treatment by participating in an egg or sperm-sharing programme or may wish to participate in the money-back guarantee programme, which reduces the risk of treatment.
IVF Babble and Bourn Hall give free IVF cycle – this includes:
- Cycle monitoring appointments (Blood work and ultrasounds)
- Egg retrieval procedure with anaesthesia
- Fertilisation of eggs using ICSI
- One embryo transfer (Fresh or frozen)
- Cryopreservation of remaining embryo and one year of embryo storage
- It excludes medication and donor treatments.
BMI must be below 35 and the age limit is 43 for treatment with your own eggs.