Assisted conception unit (ACU)

How to get an appointment

To apply for NHS funding your GP or hospital can refer you.

If you are eligible for NHS funding, we'll apply for the funding on your behalf and tell you when the funding becomes available. It usually takes up to 6 weeks for the funding application process.

More information about NHS funding for IVF is on the NHS website.

Changing or cancelling your appointment

Phone 020 7188 2300 to change or cancel your appointment.


To understand why you're having difficulty getting pregnant, you'll have a series of tests and investigations. The NHS website has more information about fertility tests for women and men.

Starting IVF

IVF is a complex process with several different stages. Your treatment can start once:

  • you've had your first appointment with an assisted conception unit (ACU) doctor
  • you've signed consent forms
  • we have results of virology tests for both partners, these are taken within 3 months of your expected treatment date and check for viral infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV
  • we have the result of a sperm assessment, within 1 year of your expected treatment date
  • you've been taught by a nurse how to carry out your own injections
  • funding is agreed, if you are eligible for NHS funding you'll receive a letter confirming this

The NHS website has more information about starting IVF.

Your treatment start date depends on your menstrual cycle. On the first day of your period, email [email protected] to say that you want to start treatment and include:

  • your name
  • your hospital number (if you know it)
  • a contact number
  • the date of the first day of your period

We'll contact you in 2 to 5 working days to arrange the next steps.

What happens in an IVF treatment cycle

Step 1: medicine to produce eggs

Step 2: egg collection

Step 3: sperm collection

Step 4: fertilisation

Step 5: transferring embryos to your womb

After embryo transfer

We'll give you a pregnancy test kit and explain how to use it.

Please do not take the test earlier than the date on the information sheet we give you at embryo transfer. You should take the pregnancy test 16 days after the egg collection.

Please contact us to tell us the result.

A positive test result means that 1 or more embryos have implanted. We'll usually arrange for you to have a scan at around 7 weeks of pregnancy.

A negative test result sadly means that the treatment has not been successful. We know this can be a very disappointing time and it is important that you phone or email us with your result and speak to one of our nurses. We'll offer you an appointment within 4 to 6 weeks to come in and see a senior doctor to discuss the cycle and possible treatment options for the future. You might also find it helpful to see one of our dedicated fertility counsellors.

More information about what happens during IVF is on the NHS website.

Last updated: January 2024

Contact us

For more information, please contact us.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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