This page is for professionals considering referring their patients or couples to our service.
Referring couples for fertility investigations/ treatment
Although any patient/couple can be referred to us for either investigations and/or fertility treatment, in order to qualify for NHS funding:
- They must have be in a stable relationship, and heterosexual couples must have been trying to conceive naturally (regular mid-cycle intercourse) for at least 12 months.
- An earlier referral (at 6 months) may be considered when the woman’s age is 36 years or over, and when there is a known clinical cause of infertility or a history of predisposing factors for infertility e.g. prior chemotherapy.
- The female (or recipient) age must be between 18 – 42 years in general – however the recommended upper age limit for female patients will vary according to treatment.
- Female BMI should be between 19 – 30.
- Female FSH should be equal to or less than 9u/L.
- Neither partner should have living children from this or a previous relationship(s).
- Both partners must not be current smokers. This will be indicated on the GP referral form.
Any couple who do not meet these current criteria may still be referred, but will be asked to ‘self-fund’.
Requesting semen analysis
As sperm quality can change significantly with time and delay, it is unlike many other laboratory tests. We have to be very prescriptive about the way we collect semen samples for analysis. We will send you our request cards and specimen collection kits on request.
Dealing with semen analysis results
As the referring doctor, the semen analysis test result will be returned to your practice for filing.
Semen parameters are compared to the World Health Organisation reference range and the outcome will normally be summarised for your benefit. The comment often uses WHO terminology* but is usually translated into more conventional terms.
If you have questions about the interpretation of any result, please contact the senior andrologist on ext 82831.
As a general rule of thumb, any one-off test showing an abnormality is often repeated – however this can be organised after referral to fertility outpatients.
Click here for more information on how to interpret the semen analysis
Referral for erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction
As these issues are not always or often associated with fertility, specific referral information is obtained through the CHANDOS clinic based at NUHs City campus.
Referral for sperm banking (fertility preservation)
The majority of sperm banking referrals are for men or adolescent males receiving one of the following:
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Urological surgery e.g. Prostate, Bladder, Testicular Biopsy, Vasectomy
- Spinal Surgery
- Gender re-assignment
- As part of an assisted conception procedure
Those with a cancer diagnosis or receiving chemotherapy for a serious non-malignant condition will always take priority in terms of urgency, and can often be seen within 24 hours.
For an urgent referral, please telephone the service on 01159709417 or 01159249924 ext 82749.
Patient details can be sent by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideally, our sperm banking request form should be used.
Failing that, a letter should be sent confirming:
- Patient name, address, DOB, hospital or NHS No
- Diagnosis (or suspected diagnosis)
- Treatment and start date
Please don’t fax or post a referral without phone or email follow-up.
For NHS funded referral, approval should be obtained through using the blueteq system. This online approval system speeds up the approval process through the CCG. However, please be assured that we will not delay seeing urgent referrals by waiting for approval. If you do not have access to the online system you can download the below and email it to the CCG.