Why is pre-treatment screening necessary?
HFEA (the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which is the regulatory body for all assisted conception clinics in the UK) requires that all our patients must be screened for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C before commencing treatment. This applies to everyone seeking fertility treatment that involves using their gametes (eggs and/or sperm) in the laboratory.
Pre-treatment screening ensures the safety of all patients and staff. It also minimises the risk of infectious agents being transmitted from one patient to another whilst eggs, sperm, and embryos are being manipulated and incubated in the laboratory, or whilst in storage. Both partners will need to be tested unless donated eggs or sperm are to be used.
If the screening tests prove negative then you will be able to proceed with your fertility treatment at Bath Fertility. In the event that screening tests prove positive, we would not be able to offer you treatment, but would provide information about other hospitals that may be able to help.
What tests are involved?
We will take blood samples to test for HIV and hepatitis B and C. We will also need results from other tests that you may have already have had done (female partner):
- Rubella serology
- Chlamydia serology
- Thyroid function
- Recent Day 1 FSH & LH
For a very small proportion of men with unexplained azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia, it may be appropriate to conduct a genetic screen to identify any genetic factors contributing to infertility. In rare cases genetic disorders affecting the ‘sex’ or Y chromosome (the chromosome containing the genetic material unique to men) may be seen. Treatment of the couple does not change in such cases, but genetic counselling may be offered if appropriate to advise of the risks of such conditions being passed on to children, and other issues and options explored.