With a higher detection rate than the combined screening available on the NHS.IONA® – a non-invasive test for genetic diseases All Agora patients are offered an early pregnancy scan following their treatment – usually at around seven weeks – along with any additional scans or tests that are required. However, we are now able to offer the IONA® test... Read More
In the late 1990s, Carole Gilling-Smith, Founder and Medical Director of The Agora, established the first treatment programme in the UK to enable HIV positive men to have children without the risk of passing on the virus. This programme involved using a technique known as ‘sperm washing’ which meant HIV negative partners could safely become pregnant via insemination. Carole... Read More
Earlier this week I had the huge privilege of meeting Perry and Heather Evans and their two children, Isaac and Cerian at their home, eighteen years after I’d helped them to conceive their first child. It was one of those special moments in my career – and one that I will never forget as it has been such an... Read More
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have produced "The Agora Book of Fairy Tale Endings", a collection of ten stories featuring Agora patients and their fertility journeys. It has since been showcased in a piece on BBC South East Today, which also featured interviews with our Founder and Medical Director, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, and with some of... Read More
A very happy birthday to our very first baby here at the Agora, Caitlin Newbury, who turned 10 this weekend! And many thanks to her mum Lorna for the pictures and this wonderful quote: “I feel thankful every day to you all for my little miracle! Much love, Lorna Newbury” x (more…) Read More
As part of National Fertility Awareness Week, the Agora is sponsoring a #FertilityCycle event on Friday 3rd November Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton between 1pm and 7pm. Why not come down and have a go on one of our static bikes and help raise awareness of fertility issues and funds too? Compete... Read More
Kerrie's story: My miracle daughterMy husband, Ant, and I had wanted to start a family but, before we had the chance, Ant was diagnosed with advanced cancer. However, before his treatment began – and with the help and support of the Agora – we were able to freeze some sperm so that we could begin our IVF treatment straight... Read More
Sandra’s story: my journey through breast cancerI was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer shortly after I turned 36. At the time, I was planning to start a family and had already looked into the possible treatments offered by the Agora. Once I was diagnosed, I had the choice of whether or not to have chemotherapy as it was found... Read More
"On World Cancer Day, we have an opportunity to collectively examine cancer control strategies to identify winning formulas that will accelerate progress. The goal for all of us is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are successfully treated and that there is a better quality... Read More
If your child is born from sperm that’s donated through an HFEA registered clinic in the UK, the baby will be the legal child of you and your partner (if you have one). This means that the sperm donor has no legal rights or responsibilities for your child, although the child can find identifying information about their father once... Read More
In most cases, the younger you are, the greater the chances of fertility success. National figures published by the HFEA show that as a general : If you’re under 35, the success rate is around 14% If you’re 35-39, the success rate is around 11% If you’re 40-42, the success rate is around 4-5%
Am I more likely to conceive if I use... Read More
The UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), responsible for inspecting and licensing UK fertility clinics and regulating research in this area, reports that an increasing number of websites are offering online services matching women with private sperm donors. These sites put donors and recipients in contact with each other to make their own arrangements for insemination without the... Read More
at this year’s Pride festival in Brighton. Heather and her wife Ellie became parents following treatment at the clinic, which involved egg donation between the couple leading to the birth of a healthy baby girl. We asked Heather to tell us more about her experience…
Why did you choose the Agora?There were options for us in London, but we chose... Read More
Being fit and healthy will boost your fertility, right? Absolutely! But excessive exercise can actually have the opposite effect. The reproductive system of both men and women is tightly tied up with energy balance. Both extremes of the energy spectrum can impact negatively on fertility: at the one end is chronic energy excess, due to lack of activity against... Read More
You probably know that taking illegal drugs during pregnancy is not a good idea. But if you are trying to get pregnant, there is compelling evidence that recreational drugs could reduce your fertility. Recreational drug users often claim there are no side effects to moderate use. However, if you’re struggling to conceive and like to indulge occasionally, you owe... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 20: If I have fertility treatment, I will probably have twins or triplets - June 9th, 2016
Infamous cases such as the Californian woman who had octuplets as a result of IVF fuel the myth that fertility treatment will necessarily lead to a multiple pregnancy. But changing techniques and guidelines means the chances of having twins or triplets as a result of fertility treatment is now very much reduced compared to only a few years ago. The... Read More
It’s the kind of fertility myth that seems to make sense: if you hold back on sex, the quality of sperm will be better when you need it to count. But, in fact, the exact opposite is true! It’s a common misconception that if you’re trying for a baby, you should abstain from sex for up to 10 days... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 18: If you stop worrying about getting pregnant, you will conceive - June 2nd, 2016
It’s the kind of advice well-meaning friends and family offer if they know you are struggling to conceive: “Just stop worrying about it, and it will happen”. While it’s true that stress can reduce fertility, stopping worrying about conceiving unfortunately won’t guarantee a positive pregnancy test.The link between stress and infertility is well known. It’s been shown in... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 17: If you’re young, you don’t need to worry about infertility - May 29th, 2016
While it’s true that fertility for both men and women declines with age, it doesn’t follow that younger men and women never face difficulties trying to conceive. Infertility can, unfortunately, affect couples of any age. There is substantial evidence that fertility reduces for both men and women as they get older, but for every Read More
The Agora Clinic is now able to offer patients the very latest embryo selection technology – the Embryoscope. This state-of-the-art incubator provides continuous time-lapse monitoring of embryos to help improve the chances of pregnancy, particularly for women who have already had two or more failed IVF cycles… Read More Like other... Read More
If only this fertility myth were true! We’d love to wave a magic wand and know that every couple that steps through our doors would fulfil their dream of becoming a parent, but it’s not that simple. The scientific advances that we have seen since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978, have been phenomenal.... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 15: If you can’t afford IVF, there’s no point seeking treatment - May 22nd, 2016
Private fertility treatment is not within the pockets of everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a parent if you’re struggling with infertility but can’t afford to pay for IVF.Not only is fertility treatment available on the NHS, leading fertility clinics, such as The Agora, offer treatment to NHS-funded couples, and the treatment... Read More
Fears that oral contraceptives may have long-term effects on fertility have been around for as long as the Pill itself. The concern is a natural one, but there is no evidence to support it: as soon as you stop taking birth control pills, your fertility should return to its natural level.
The Pill first became available in... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 13: Couples who ‘work hard enough’ at having a baby will eventually get pregnant - May 15th, 2016
This must be one of the most hurtful myths you can hear if you are struggling to conceive; it implies that if you’re experiencing fertility problems, you’re just not trying hard enough. Needless to say, there is absolutely no truth in it whatsoever. While having sex is an inevitable prerequisite for conceiving, there are any number... Read More
“Cycling just five hours a week ‘could damage a man’s fertility’” – that was a Daily Mail headline in 2010. But is there any truth in it? The Daily Mail article summarised findings from a research project at Boston University, which surveyed 2,200 men attending fertility clinics. This found that, once other factors were balanced out, exercise levels... Read More
It’s widely known that Charlie Chaplin became a father at 73, but does that mean men don’t face a biological clock and that male fertility is unaffected by age?There are many famous older fathers: Robert deNiro was 68 when he became a father with his second wife; Pablo Picasso was 68 when his fourth child, Paloma, was... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 10: You’re more likely to experience fertility challenges if you’re a first timer - May 5th, 2016
If you’ve never been pregnant, you don’t know whether you will have problems or not conceiving, so statistically you must be more likely to face fertility challenges than a woman who is already a mother… true or false?
It may seem logical that first timers are more likely to face fertility problems than... Read More
ZIKA VIRUS AND MICROCEPHALY: Our advice to pregnant women and those hoping to get pregnant - April 27th, 2016
The spread of the Zika virus in South America has been in and out of the headlines over the past couple of months, with particular emphasis on the potential risk for unborn babies of contracting microcephaly, which has recently been established. If you’re pregnant – or trying to get pregnant – it’s the sort of story that can... Read More
When you’re struggling to conceive, you are under enough pressure, so you don’t need to hear that you could overcome your problem if you upped your performance. Being told you need an orgasm to conceive is unhelpful, and could even be counter-productive. Fortunately, it’s not true.
If you’re worrying that not orgasming might be preventing... Read More
If you’re desperate for a baby and struggling to conceive, hearing that fertility is a women’s problem is not only extremely unhelpful – it simply isn’t true.
Fertility is complex, and so are the causes of infertility. One in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving – a staggering 3.5 million people in the UK.
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 7: You can get everything you need from diet and don’t need to take supplements - January 20th, 2016
You can get everything you need from diet and don't need to take supplements
If you’re trying to get pregnant, you can find yourself bombarded with conflicting advice. What you eat can be crucial for conception, but does that mean you can get everything you need from a healthy, balanced diet?
It’s true that lots of women... Read More
A leading fertility expert has said the amount IVF providers can charge the NHS should be capped. Professor Geeta Nargund said some providers charge the NHS more than twice as much as others, and a cap would allow some regions to offer treatment to more women and couples. As a leading private fertility centre in the South... Read More
The 18th century lover Casanova famously used to breakfast on 50 oysters every morning. But does that mean that eating oysters can boost your chances of getting pregnant? Oysters have long been hailed as a natural aphrodisiac, and if you start looking online, you will find a whole heap of newspaper articles from 2005 quoting a study by a team... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 5: Lying down with legs raised after sex will increase chances of conceiving - January 4th, 2016
It’s an oft-repeated fertility mantra: waving your legs in the air will boost your chances of conceiving. But if you are trying for a baby, you need to sort fact from fiction. So, is there any truth in it? The short answer is no – this is nothing more than an old wives’ tale. It may make you feel as... Read More
We talk about ‘time of the month’ and periods being affected by the phases of the moon, so a ‘normal’ menstrual cycle must be 28 days, right? Wrong! Normal menstrual cycles are much more varied than that – and if you are trying to conceive, the only important fact is the length of your own menstrual cycle and the... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED 3: You can only conceive from sex on the day that you ovulate - December 16th, 2015
If you’re trying for a baby, you may think you need to have sex on the day you ovulate to increase your chances of conceiving – after all, it seems to make sense. But like so many fertility myths, the truth is more complicated. It is true that an egg needs to be fertilised within 24... Read More
The popular myth that you can’t get pregnant when you are menstruating is as old as the hills. While it is true that you are unlikely to get pregnant while you have your period, it is not impossible to conceive at this stage of your monthly cycle. The Agora Clinic experts explain why.
It is... Read More
FERTILITY MYTHS BUSTED: 1 – Having sex every day will increase our chances of conceiving - October 21st, 2015
If you’re trying for a baby, you will come across all kinds of old wives’ tales about what you can do to boost your chances of success. Some of them are merely bizarre (but you may have fun giving them a go), while some could actually reduce your fertility. So we’ve decided to bust those fertility... Read More
If you’re dreaming of holding your own baby in your arms, giving your diet a boost with supplements may help you conceive – but make sure you get expert advice first.
The importance of supplementing your diet to help you conceive and to give your baby the best possible start in life is well known: one of... Read More
If you’re trying for a baby, there is some evidence to suggest that avoiding chemicals on or in your food could help boost your fertility – and so improve your chance of conceiving.
Many a delicious cake was eaten and a great success all round! £188.09 raised in total for Macmillan. Many thanks to all who contributed and of course not forgetting our talented bakers, Ali Boots, Victoria Powell, Vanessa, Rick's children and Angela Bacchus Emanuel. And of course to Ali Boots for arranging and organising the whole thing! WELL DONE! Read More
If you’re trying to get pregnant, passing up on a few skinny lattes could help you achieve your dream of holding your own baby in your arms.
One theory is that consuming large amounts of caffeine can interrupt the smooth, rhythmic waves that your fallopian tubes make to help your egg on its journey to... Read More
10 DIET CHANGES THAT COULD BOOST YOUR FERTILITY: 7 – PREPARE YOUR FOOD SAFELY - September 16th, 2015
It’s widely known that certain bacteria can be harmful to unborn babies, but they can also impact on your fertility. Preparing your food safely can help you conceive, as well as helping your baby to develop.
Taking extra care over food preparation may not only help your baby to grow properly once you’re pregnant, it may help... Read More
If you’re struggling to conceive, the cause could be the role that anti-oxidants are playing on your partner’s sperm. There is lots of research to suggest that, where quality of sperm is an issue, supplements could help.
Oxidants are molecules containing single, unpaired electrons; they roam our bodies on the lookout for electrons to pair up... Read More
If you’re struggling to conceive, it may be that you need look no further than your diet. We all know that a healthy diet is a key element of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body, but it can also have a significant impact on your ability to conceive and carry a baby.
There is plenty of research... Read More
We’ve been told to follow a low-fat diet for decades, but there is some evidence that full-fat might be the solution if you are having trouble conceiving.The research was carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health who followed 18,555 married, premenopausal women without a history of infertility over... Read More
You may have seen the headlines that olive oil could boost fertility, but that may be jumping the gun a bit.The truth behind the headlines is that a team at Southampton University is investigating whether olive oil, together with Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, could help fertility among couples undergoing IVF.... Read More
You may well know that you need to take folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy. But did you know that you should be taking it before you even become pregnant?
If you only make one dietary change as you try to conceive, taking folic acid supplements is the one you should opt for. ... Read More
Diet is really important for couples who are trying to conceive. But there are a lot of myths out there. So before you start introducing weird old wives’ practices or new fads into your food regime, follow our new series of blogs in which we look at 10 diet changes that could boost your fertility, and... Read More
Want to get pregnant? Reducing your stress could make all the difference to your chances of conceiving.
We all know that stress isn’t good for you. But it may not only make you feel tense or disturb your sleep: it can also reduce your fertility. Several studies have shown that stress can reduce the... Read More
You may only be a moderate, social drinker, but if you are struggling to conceive, cutting our alcohol altogether could be the change you need to make to fulfil your dream of having a baby.
It’s probably not a surprise that heavy drinking damages your fertility. In one study, only 12% of the men who were... Read More
Many couples who are looking to conceive use lubricants, but they can have unexpected adverse effects.
Experiencing some vaginal dryness during sex is normal. It can be even more of an issue for couples who are actively trying to conceive: a self-reporting internet study of 1,500 ‘trying-to-conceive couples’ found that 75% had increased incidences of vaginal... Read More
You may have seen the news that a woman has recently given birth to a health boy after ovarian fragments, frozen when she was only 13, were transplanted into her body. At the Agora, we applaud the scientific advances in reproductive medicine that has enabled this young woman to enjoy motherhood after enduring cancer as a teenager.
Fertility has once again been in the headlines with a mother’s bid to use her dead daughter’s eggs to carry her own grandchild.
The High Court in London ruled that the unnamed 59 year old should not be allowed to do so. High Court judge Mr Justice Ouseley said: "I must dismiss this claim, though I... Read More
If you want to get pregnant, eliminating chemicals could help boost your chances of conceiving.
Some of the research in this field has focused groups of professionals and tradespeople who handle chemicals all the time:
Giving up smoking is one of the best steps you can take to boost your chances of having a baby – whether you are a man or a woman.
If you want to boost your chances of getting pregnant, the solution may lie in stopping your partner getting too hot!
It’s not a myth that exposure to heat can reduce sperm production: research from a three-year study analysing data from infertile men has shown it can have an impact, whether it’s dry heat (saunas) or... Read More
If you’re hoping to get pregnant, changes to your diet could boost the fertility of both you and your partner and to give you the best possible chance of conceiving.
If you are hoping to get pregnant, one of the best self-help steps you can take is to get fit.
Moderate exercise can improve fertility in both men and women. The word moderate is key here, as excessive exercise can adversely affect fertility. Physically active men who exercise at least three times... Read More
We love helping people realise their dreams of becoming parents, and we dedicate ourselves to keeping up with the latest advances to make sure we can give them the very best possible chance of holding their own baby in their arms. But there are lots of things you can do yourself to help boost your chances... Read More
EmbryoGlue is helping more women to become mothers – and that’s why we won’t charge you for it if we think it could increase your chances of success.
If you’ve been researching fertility treatments, you’ve probably heard of the new product EmbryoGlue. But is it right for you?
EnbryoGlue does what its name suggests: it helps embryos stick. It therefore helps with implantation. The magic ingredient is hyaluronic acid (HA), which is found naturally in the fallopian tubes, the oviduct and the uterus. No-one quite... Read More
EmbryoGlue has had a lot of attention from the press for increasing take-home baby rates. But how much difference could it make to your chance of successful IVF?
EmbryoGlue is a relatively new product that has had some exciting results in terms of improving IVF success rates.