Assisted Conception Unit

The Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Birmingham, England, is one of the UK's leading centres for infertility treatment and care. Having been running for over 26 years it is also the longest established fertility clinic in the Midlands. Based in an NHS hospital the clinic is noted for providing integrated care to both NHS and private patients with internationally recognised staff known for their work in the field of infertility. The clinic also run active programmes of egg-sharing, sperm donation and egg-donation.


The current HFEA Person Responsible and Director of the ACU is Dr Sue Avery, a clinical embryologist of International profile who undertook her PhD with Professor Robert Edwards, who had been responsible for the conception of Louise Brown, the world's first IVF or ‘test-tube baby’ in 1978.

Care Advances

The ACU was one of five clinics selected around the UK to receive Medical Research Council funding to elevate the IVF laboratories to ‘cleanroom’ levels. This is fundamental for producing human embryonic stem cells that are suitable for human use, as all stages of development were in strictly controlled conditions. These opened in summer 2006 and the clinic has maintained good clinical results at the new operating levels (see HFEA).


The clinic has a recognised international research profile through its academic wing the Centre for Human Reproductive Science (ChRS). This has included notable high profile achievements in translational medicine such as the invention of the male Fertell over-the-counter home fertility test cite web | title=Development of a novel home sperm test | work=Björndahl L, Kirkman-Brown J, Hart G, Rattle S, Barratt CL. 2006. Hum Reprod. Jan;21(1):145-9. PMID: 16267078 | url=|] For more information see Centre for Human Reproductive Science (ChRS).


External links

* [ ACU website]
* [ Male Fertility Kit Invented in Birmingham BBC news]
* [ Fertell home fertility testing kit commercial website]

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