The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

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Celebrating Fertility in Leeds

Wednesday 25th July 2018

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first baby born following IVF treatment.

As Louise Brown celebrates her 40th birthday, we have been looking back at the achievements of our own Leeds Fertility team over the past 28 years.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals developed one of the country’s leading and most successful NHS IVF services in 1991. Leeds Fertility is the premier IVF unit in the North of England treating patients from as far afield as Whitehaven on the West Coast and Scarborough on the East.

The Trust has seen more than 15,200 births of babies from assisted conception treatments - a number that equates to the population of Yorkshire market towns Skipton and Ilkley.

Dr Anthony Rutherford, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at the Trust who was instrumental in the establishment of the service in Leeds commented: “As we celebrate 40 years of IVF it’s important that we also celebrate how far we have come, particularly in Leeds where we have been responsible for some important developments in our understanding of infertility through ground breaking research.”

Research started in Leeds has paved the way to enable the freezing of ovarian tissue for fertility preservation in the face of cancer with many patients benefitting from this over the years.

The dedicated team of doctors, nurses and scientists have an outstanding reputation, both nationally and internationally, helping to promote the importance of NHS funding in IVF. The team, which includes five subspecialty trained doctors, four senior nurses who have Master of Science Degrees in Reproductive Medicine and a team of outstanding scientists and embryologists, has been responsible for developing national and international guidelines to help those treating women and men with infertility to offer the most up to date and evidence based approach to treatment.  

Jenny Smith was a patient at Leeds Fertility and is extremely grateful for the help and support the team provided to her and her family. After conceiving daughter Amelia naturally in 2010, Jennifer and her partner Andy experienced unexplained infertility. Following their fourth IVF attempt through Leeds Fertility the couple welcomed their second daughter Hannah into the world in May weighing 6lb 11oz at Leeds General Infirmary. 

Jenny said: “The service we received at Seacroft was second to none, and the support given to us not only through the happy news, but also through the sad times was incredible. The nurses and the private patient staff were there to hold your hand through times of worry, and followed our journey from the start right through to hearing about our new arrival. Nothing was too much trouble and any question was not considered to be silly.  We are so grateful to all the staff at Seacroft for their help throughout our journey to welcoming our second daughter.”