Access the Service

How you get referred to NUH Life

The patient journey normally starts with a visit to the GP. This tends to be because you’ve been trying for a baby for more than a year. Alternatively, there might be circumstances which you are already aware of that may prevent you from conceiving. Either way, the GP can start any investigations and refer you to our department.

If you’re outside of Nottingham and your GP is unable or unwilling to send you to our centre, there are a number of options. If you’re NHS funded, you will need to go to a clinic which has the local contract for fertility investigations and treatment. However if you are self-funded, you are free to choose your own clinic – you could still be referred by your GP by letter or you can make an appointment yourself. Click here if you need to ‘self refer’  for private services.

Who gets NHS funding?

Your GP can refer you to NUH Life for NHS-funded fertility advice and investigations regardless of your sexual orientation, relationship status or whether you already have children. Your GP can refer you to NUH Life for NHS fertility outpatients services even if you know you aren’t eligible for NHS-funded fertility treatment. The only referral criteria for NHS services that needs to be met is female BMI <35.

Fertility treatment criteria (for IVF, IUI, DI or OI) are not set by NUH Life or the hospital, but rather your Integrated Care Board (ICB) who decide how NHS money gets spent locally.

Currently, NHS funded treatment is restricted to couples who:

  • have no children either together or from previous partners
  • where the female partner is <40 years old (extended to <43 for IVF)
  • are non-smokers
  • are not considered over or under weight, according to body mass index (BMI 19-30)

Visitors from overseas and asylum seekers will not be funded for treatment or investigations, unless they have confirmation that full UK residency status is to be granted.

If you don’t qualify for NHS funded treatment, NUH Life can provide fee-paying investigations and some treatments, just like any private centre can. As NUH life doesn’t provide IVF treatment, we can direct you towards one of the local providers if investigations find that you need it.

Waiting for your appointment

Your GP should begin some basic investigations. This will help to speed up the process and make sure your visit to the clinic is valuable. This will include the following:

For regular menstrual cycles:

  • Day 2-5 FSH and LH within 6 months
  • Chlamydia within 6 months
  • Semen analysis within 12 months (not necessary if single lady or same-sex couple)

For irregular cycles:

  • FSH and LH (random) within 6 months
  • Prolactin/TSH within 6 months
  • Chlamydia within 6 months
  • Semen analysis within 12 months (not necessary if single lady or same-sex couple)

Once these baseline investigations are complete, you can be seen by a consultant at NUH Life.

You’re also likely to be asked to complete a patient/couple questionnaire and Welfare of the Child Assessment at this time, too. This is required by law and must be signed off by the clinic before any patient can receive fertility treatment. Read here for more details on either the patient questionnaire or welfare of the child assessment.

For more information on what you can do while waiting to be seen, click on this link to read our guidance for pre-conceptual care.


If possible, we like to provide face to face consultation. However in recent times, this has not always been possible. Instead, we conduct some of our consultations online using one of the commonly used technologies: Doctor Doctor or MSTeams.

Let us know whether you have suitable technology in place to have an online consultation. The consultant will take further details and organise further investigations.

Further fertility investigations

During the first consultation we review the initial results, take a more detailed history and check the welfare of the child assessment.

If necessary, additional investigations may be organised to try to establish why a couple hasn’t conceived yet, and guide the clinic to the most effective fertility treatment. A test to determine whether the Fallopian tubes maybe blocked (tubal infertility) will follow, and this will ultimately determine the course of treatment. For more details on fertility investigations, click here.

If tubal infertility is diagnosed, a referral for IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) treatment is likely to be the recommended treatment. If not, a number of other options may be possible. To learn all about all the main treatment options available, click here.