ARGC - any experience?(15 Posts)
We are looking into where to go for IVF and this clinic is the one the keeps bouncing out at me from all my research.
Has anyone been treated at the London clinic? I'm interested in exactly how the monitoring works as the website suggests daily visits for up to two weeks. I don't live in London and my boss has agreed to one week off work (I'm a teacher, so can't just take annual leave). Will this be enough, or does it put it out of the question?
Also, my FSH was 10 on my last blood test and I read on the OMG ARGC thread that this might mean they wouldn't accept us. Does anyone know if this is true? I can't find details of acceptance criteria on their website or the HFEA site.
Thanks so much for any information. I am bewildered, currently.
I was/am with ARGC. Your FSH has to be below 10 or they will not let you cycle. Mine is double that so we are now looking into egg donation abroad, but may well be heading back to ARGC for post transfer monitoring blood tests and scans. I have had some immune treatment with them and a course of humira.
The clinic is open from 7.30am, so dependent on when you are in the first week of stimms you could make it into work only missing the start of the day. In the second week you would need to be there all day in case you need repeat scans/blood tests, then you would need another week off for EC and transfer. I never got that far, but I think they advise you to rest for the 2WW and avoid stress, which makes sense given how much money you are spending - you would want it to work.
If you get a BFP the monitoring is every other day blood tests in the early days, then scans as well for a good few weeks.
Good luck, and feel free to PM if you want any more details..
Thank you! It sounds as though I may not be a candidate for their treatment anyway, then, due to my high-ish FSH, and I'm pretty sure that the time off work needed would be prohibitive anyway. Lovely as it sounds to 'avoid stress' during the 2ww! Maybe during the summer holidays though... Will ring them to find out more. Did you find their receptionists helpful with starting information? Thanks for your reply, anyway.
Hi. The Argc are amazing! Yes it's very intense and yes you are expected to be there loads but they are the best at what they do. After failing elsewhere (we have complicated IF issues), we have dd from our first cycle with them and DTs from our second cycle. I cannot praise them enough. Go for a consult. They test your fsh each month and will cycle you on a low month as they believe this increases your chances. Get signed off sick if necessary!
Pm me if you wish. Good luck!
Hi Laladipsy, thanks for your reply. Can you answer a few questions for me? I really know very little so please feel free to treat me like an idiot!
I'd like to know about one cycle.
How many times did you go in for consultations, checks etc?
Did you have to go in every day? More than once a day? How long did this go on for?
Did you have extra tests or treatments before starting the cycle, eg for NK cells?
How much did it actually end up costing you for one cycle? I've looked at the price list and the basic package costs much the same as everywhere else but if there are a lot of extra checks I imagine it will mount up.
My main concern is that I won't be able to manage it from where I live - I'm about 2 hours from London on the train, although links are direct and easy. My boss has promised me a week off, but if daily visits are necessary for longer than this, I don't think it will be possible. I'm also concerned about the stress of travelling and the way it will completely take over our lives. Plus the cost, obviously.
I'd really appreciate it if you have the time to answer these for me - I just can't seem to find out what it's actually like anywhere else. Thanks.
have you looked on the Fertility Friends website?
There's a whole section dedicated to ARGC clients past and present. Ask your questions there and you'll get a good response.
Hello, My ARGC Miracle is 14 months old now we also had several failed cycles elsewhere .. I second Nancy with the fertility friends recommendation, it really will help. However, happy to share what I can with you here. Disclaimer: I am not a medical person and some memories may be a bit hazy!
I actually counted my visits to London from initial consultation, through to 12 weeks pregnant and there were 41 It certainly may not be so many for everyone and you do not have to have the pregnancy monitoring afterwards if you dont want. The really intense bit is during stims (around 5 - 10 days or so) where you are in everyday and often hang around for second blood tests until the afternoon. You possibly will need more than the week off, hope there could be some additional flex from your boss on this.
I had cytokine issues and NK issues - depending on your history they may well reccomend the the "chicago tests" which are a range of blood tests to identify any immunes issues before you start. My cytokine problem meant the IVF cycle was delayed a few months while it was treated with a drug called Humira. NK issues are managed during the cycle (I think) depending on the type and severity.
Our total costs include travel (and a trip to the amazing pain quotidion every day!) but they really mounted up. We estimate around 15K or so. I do have frozen embryos so hope that the costs will be much lower for a frozen cycle.
It is intense, really intense - like IVF Bootcamp. The office is so busy, and it seems like chaos but they do know what they are doing. I would reccommend ARGC to anyone. I really hope it can work for you, FSH can be something that fluctuates slightly so if you are just 10 it may be worth a bloodtest.
All the best on your journey
Thank you so much for all the information. It's really helpful. I have looked on Fertility Friend but I'm not as familiar with the site and haven't found the ARGC board yet.
£15K! Wow - I thought that would be the cost of three cycles. Really would be 'all my eggs in one basket'. Will talk to my husband about it and see what his views are. Hate hate hate that we have to do this at all. Thanks everyone.
Just had a look on Fertility Friends.
It's under Clinic Boards Section.
ARGC and Lister are most expensive IVF clinics in UK
Hi. I will give more details when I can get on a laptop rather than phone. Our cycle was <whisper> £20k but £5k of that was pgd.
Hi. Still can't get on laptop but will answer bit by bit on phone.
Before tx at Argc we had 2 failed cycles elsewhere (£5k each - waste of money IMO). Discovered H has chromosome disorder as well as low sperm count. Additional tests - we had the Chicagos showing I had immune issues too, plus we had bloods taken and sent to America for PGD purposes.
Tx starts you have blood test day 1-2 to check fsh. If low enough you can cycle. You use ovulation kit and Bloods again mid cycle after positive result and scan to check ovulation then probably a hysteroscopy (Mr T believes a 'nice clean womb' provides best chance of success PLUS
They measure and check where to place embies and for any polyps/cysts etc. If all clear start stimms.
For approx 1 week go down daily to arrive 7.30-10am (I also live 2hrs away but well worth it), have bloods taken then you're free to go apart from a scan every 2-3 days. 2nd week you have bloods at 7.30am and stay in the area til they call about 11.30-12.30 to say if u need a second blood test. Once had this u are free to go.
Another ARGC success story here - 2 cycles, 3 children. We lived in London during the treatment - I probably had 6/7 clinic visits before the cycle started in earnest and then daily visits for 12 days (twice daily on 2 days towards the end). Then in every couple of days in early pregnancy. The reason it takes up so much time is because they monitor you so carefully - I was at high risk of OHSS and they timed things pretty much to the hour. We didn't need any of the immune tests etc (fairly straightforward case of male factor, with mild PCOS on my side), and I think our first cycle (including monitoring the pregnancy up to 12 week mark) cost about 6-7k in 2006.
We were in the hugely fortunate position of not having to worry about the cost of treatment (thanks to inlaws), but I think we would have thought the extra cost was worth it on balance as you're likely to need fewer cycles for it to be successful (I had decided I thought I could cope with 3 IVF cycles before we started treatment - I don't know if I would have changed this if I'd had to).
They are chaotic, but they really know their stuff. Obviously, now I have the family I had no chance at all of having naturally, I can't praise them highly enough. I also know several people who've had a cycle of IVF at a clinic that allows the treatment to impact less on your day to day life and have decided to do their 2nd try at ARGC and accept the fact you might need to be signed off work etc as worth doing for the greater chance of success.
I wish you loads of luck whatever you decide - it's a horrible process.
Another ARGC fan!
Cycle 1, £12k, massive nk issues, plus knackered progesterone. Result: BFP, aged 3!
Cycle 2, £8k (less monitoring cos they knew what was wrong), result twins currently trashing playroom, hence brief reply.
My immune issues meant I would have failed elsewhere apart from maybe lister. The most expensive cycle is one that doesn't work and ARGC is your best shot.
(Other friends there had 2xbfp and 10 frosties, twins at 44, and triplets after 6 losses.)
ARGC turned our dream into reality! Our daughter was born in June 2014. Who cares if receptionists are not friendly? We'll be grateful forever to Dr Ranieri and Taranissi and to anyone who has contributed to our IVF success.
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