How do we work?
The time when people with fertility problems choose to come to a fertility centre differs from one couple to another. They can come to the Leuven University Fertility Centre at any time, either at their own initiative or following referral by a general practitioner, gynaecologist, andrologist or a collaborating fertility centre. Couples who are referred have sometimes already undergone some tests.
We always check the available information in order to avoid unnecessarily repeating tests. The following plan provides a summary of how the LUFC works:
The following table lists the minimum and maximum ages for the treatments. This table applies only to women from the age of 18 years. The maximum age excludes the day when you turn 46/48 years.
|Embryotransfer with frozen embryos, provided request before the age of 46||48|
|AI||Till the age of 48, provided request before the age of 46|
|Ovulation induction and fertility surgery||48|
The initial consultation
This consultation with the attending gynaecologist offers the opportunity for detailed discussion and a physical examination. During the discussion, the doctor asks targeted questions in order to form a clear picture of the problem and of the further tests and support that will follow. If tests and/or treatment have already taken place, it is recommended that the patients themselves bring a copy of all existing information (reports, possibly copy of the file) to this initial consultation.
The diagnostic phase
During this phase, which can last two to three months, the necessary tests are performed on both the man and the woman.
The multi-disciplinary staff meeting
Following the series of tests, the team discusses all the test results in a multi-disciplinary staff meeting. As well as gynaecologists, this meeting also includes the nursing team, andrologists, geneticists, fertility consultants and, sometimes, people from the fertility laboratory, referring doctor as well as, occasionally, specialist doctors in other fields (urology, infectious diseases, etc.). This enables the meeting to bring together all the skills and science so as to be able to draw the best conclusions and ultimately make the best proposals for each individual problem. Sometimes, the general practitioner is also contacted in order to gain a better understanding of the broader medico-social background of some specific cases.
The discussion consultation
Following consultation with the multi-disciplinary staff members about the test results, a discussion consultation is held during which the gynaecologist gives the information (the exact problem, possibly the cause, the treatment possibilities and chances of success) to the couple in question with the aim of reaching a joint decision concerning the potential treatment.
The treatment phase
If the chance of conceiving naturally is very high, a wait-and-see attitude is sometimes taken for a period of 6 months to one year. This is the case in particular if the woman is still young and no abnormalities have been found. Sometimes, a decision is made to wait until after a medical procedure to remove a major cause of infertility, such as an operation to remove endometriosis and/or pelvic adhesions, or a reversal operation following male or female sterilization. In other cases, stimulation of ovulation, insemination, IVF or ICSI are proposed. We then discuss the stimulation schedule, we provide a pack outlining all the practical arrangements and an intake appointment with the nurse is scheduled.