Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
Infertility affects 1 in 6 couples globally, and 3% of all babies born in the UK are now conceived using ART – also known as the ‘test tube baby’ technique.
The first NHS-funded ART clinic was founded at Manchester’s St Mary’s Hospital, and now provides up to 1,000 treatments each year. Our research and development focuses on increasing the success rates and safety of these treatments.
We focus on the following areas.
Clinical trials to improve ART treatment outcomes, for example a study on whether freezing embryos as part of the ART process might improve the results (EFREEZE).
Studies of the way sperm work and fertilise the egg. We study the impact of the dad’s diet and health, as well as environmental conditions on sperm health.
We recently discovered that eggs can choose sperm from certain men over others.
The impact of environment including ART procedures and parents’ lifestyles on embryonic, baby and child growth.
For example, we have discovered that children born after embryo freezing have slightly different growth patterns.
We are establishing a special clinic to provide evidence-based pregnancy care for couples who conceived by ART, and to better understand the pattern of a baby’s growth and the mother’s blood pressure after ART.