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​Fertility Services

The Fertility Unit opened at Dorset County Hospital in 1996. Since then the unit has continued to grow and we now see a significant number of patients each year. We offer a diagnostic service and a wide range of treatments.

Referral of couples and preliminary tests

When you are first referred to Fertility Services you will receive an appointment to see one of the Specialist Nurses.

At this appointment we will explain the service, take a history and discuss the nature of the investigations required and treatments which are available to you.

We will discuss your referral with you and discuss what you require from the service.

You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions. We will also advise on lifestyle issues such as smoking, stress and weight.

You will then be seen again once all the results are available and your treatment options discussed. This can range from weight loss to starting ovulation medication through to assisted conception.

All patients are treated as couples and both partners need to be seen in clinic before any treatment is started.

Please be aware that the outpatient waiting area is a general waiting area and other clinics including breast care, early pregnancy, general gynaecology and antenatal may also be in progress.

From time to time a member of our staff may themselves be pregnant. If you would find this difficult please contact the Nurse Specialist who will be happy to discuss the options available to you.

The Fertility Team

Consultant: Mr Michael Dooley

Nurse Specialist: Lita Greening

Clerical Support: Michelle England

Our office is open 9am to 12pm Monday to Friday but closed on Thursdays. Outpatient clinics are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

We run a confidential voicemail answering system on which messages can be left 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please ensure you leave your name, telephone number and date of birth so that we can contact you.

Patient Line: 01305 254141

Fax:  01305 254455


In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Criteria

In some cases, couples may require In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or similar assisted conception treatments. In order to receive these treatments on the NHS couples need to fulfil the following criteria:

Dorset Wide Assisted Conception Criteria

  • Both partners registered to the same Dorset GP Practice
  • Both have no living or adopted in/out children
  • Women must be aged 30 - 35
  • Men must be aged below 55
  • Couple in a stable relationship for at least three years
  • You need to have been trying naturally for at least three years unless cause of infertility known
  • Women must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of between 19 and 30 for at least six months
  • Men must have a BMI of less than 35 for at least six months
  • Both partners have been non-smokers for at least six months
  • Previous cycles will be taken into account

NHS Somerset Assisted Conception Criteria

  • Both partners registered to a Somerset GP Practice
  • Women must be aged 23 - 39
  • One partner must have no previous children
  • You need to have been trying naturally for at least three years
  • Women must have a BMI of between 19 and 30
  • Both partners must be non-smokers


Some Facts and Figures

  • 30% of couples fall pregnant in the first month of trying
  • 50% of couples fall pregnant in the first six months of trying
  • 80% of patients fall pregnant in the first year of trying
  • 1 in 6 couples will seek help with fertility concerns


How to Help Yourself

  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Don’t smoke
  • Keep your alcohol intake to less than five units per week for the woman
    and no binge drinking for the man
  • Keep your weight within the healthy range - not too overweight, not too underweight
  • In accordance with NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines we do not offer treatment to women with a BMI of 30 or more


Helplines and Useful Links

The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA)
020 7377 5077

Infertility Network UK
08701 188088

British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)
Skyline House, 200 Union Street
London SE1 0LX
020 7593 2000

The Miscarriage Association
c/o Clayton Hospital, Northgate, Wakefield
West Yorks WF1 3JS
01604 601606