FERTILITY TREATMENTS: The 6 Most Common Treatment Pathways for Couples TTC

FERTILITY TREATMENTS: The 6 Most Common Treatment Pathways for Couples TTC

Since 1977, when the first IVF fertility treatment was performed*, resulting in the conception, pregnancy and birth of the world’s first ever ‘test-tube-baby’ Louise Brown in 1978; there have been remarkable advancements in the realms of knowledge and clinical methodologies covering the fertility treatment sector.

Nowadays, as success rates continue to rise, more individuals and couples are turning to fertility treatment with the aim of achieving a pregnancy when they have encountered difficulties conceiving naturally. 

According to a report by the HFEA on fertility treatment statistics, there were 83,000 IVF and DI (donor insemination) cycles carried out in 2021 compared to 76,000 in 2019, prior to the pandemic. The HFEA also revealed that record numbers of patients are now freezing their eggs for future use, with 4,000 treatments in 2021 compared to around 2,500 in 2019; a rise of 64%.

There are several types of fertility treatments available which vary in complexity, cost, and success rates. The popularity of fertility treatments in the UK reflects a range of options available to individuals and couples experiencing infertility, with fertility medications, IUI and IVF being among the most commonly sought after pathways.

Ovulation Induction / Fertility Medications

One of the most common and treatable causes of female infertility is anovulation - when an egg does not release (or ovulate) from the ovaries. Fertility medications are often the first line of treatment for women who are diagnosed with irregular menstrual cycles or absent ovulation. 

Fertility medications such as Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and Gonadotropins (FSH, LH) are commonly prescribed in treatment to stimulate ovulation so that you can increase your chances of conceiving naturally. 

Learn more about Ovulation Induction

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination is a non-invasive fertility treatment that can encourage pregnancy. 

Often referred to as IUI, it uses a method of artificially inseminating prepared healthy sperm directly into the uterus at the same time as ovulation (the woman’s fertile window). 

Couples who access IUI do so because they’re struggling to conceive with mild male factor infertility or cervical issues, or are perhaps unable to have sexual intercourse. 

It's a less invasive and less expensive option compared to IVF and may be offered as a first-line treatment.

Learn more about the Fertility Treatment - Intrauterine Insemination

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is one of the most well-known and advanced fertility treatments. 

During IVF, a woman’s eggs are removed from her ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory, resulting in the development of blastocysts under the watchful eye of an Embryologist. These blastocysts develop into embryos in a few days. The embryologist will then choose the strongest embryo to be returned to the woman’s uterus on ‘transfer day’ to grow and develop into a fetus, resulting in a successful pregnancy. 

IVF is suitable for various infertility causes, including blocked fallopian tubes, severe male factor infertility, advanced maternal age, or unexplained infertility.

Learn more about IVF 

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is available to couples at risk of passing on genetic disorders to their children. It is available as an IVF treatment add-on and involves screening embryos for specific genetic abnormalities before embryo transfer.  

PGT increases your chances of a healthy, successful pregnancy by filtering out embryos with chromosomal abnormalities.

Learn more about Preimplantation Genetic Testing

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Frozen Embryo Transfer is when a cryopreserved embryo - an embryo that is kept in storage following a round of ovarian stimulation and sperm injection or insemination, is placed back into the uterus after thawing, to implant in the endometrial lining of the womb, as it would in a natural pregnancy. 

Whilst the procedure of the transfer itself is relatively short, a FET cycle can take 6-8 weeks. After transfer, your Fertility Specialist will advise a date to take a pregnancy test to see if the embryo has taken.

Whether natural or medicated, FET offers a streamlined pathway to pregnancy with personalised care. 

Learn more about FET Fertility Treatment

Fertility Preservation

Fertility Preservation Treatment offers a proactive solution to those not yet ready to start a family but who wish to preserve their fertility for the future. This process involves freezing and storing eggs, sperm, or embryos through a fast-freezing process called vitrification, ensuring their viability for later use. 

Fertility preservation may be considered, or recommended by your doctor as a means of safeguarding your fertility if you want to wait to start a family, or if you require treatment for a medical condition which will likely impact your fertility later in life. 

Learn more about Fertility Preservation


The most appropriate option depends on factors such as the underlying cause of infertility, personal preferences, and financial considerations. Consulting with a Fertility Specialist is crucial to determine the most suitable course of action for you when seeking fertility treatment. 

Book an Advisory Call 

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Review Fertility Treatments from IVF Matters 

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