Choosing a fertility clinic - any experiences or help much appreciated

(32 Posts)
worriedmum100 Tue 12-Nov-13 20:12:08

Hello

Quick back story. Been TTC DC2 for 18 months after no problems conceiving DC1. I am nearly 38 and DP is 43. Had all the tests the NHS provides and nothing seems to be wrong. I ovulate naturally no blocked tubes, fibroids or cysts. DP has a slightly low count but not anything to be concerned about according to consultant. Really good motility etc.

I have recently discovered a cyst on my thyroid which is being investigated but I doubt this is the cause of the unexplained secondary infertility because I don't really have any symptoms to suggest hypothyroidism.

So, we have decided to seriously consider assisted conception which we will have to pay for privately.

I have started to research clinics. I've looked on the HFEA website. I live in the South East and seem to have a wide choice but I don't really know where to start with narrowing it down. Is word of mouth best?

A friend went to the Oxford Fertility Unit and says they were good. Success rates seem about in line with national average. But then I looked at ARGC which seems to have double the success rate for women my age (40% vs 23%). Can this be right?

I don't really know how to choose. Can anyone who has been through this offer any advice. Where did you go? How did you find it? What qualities should I be looking for.

Also I'm finding it hard to estimate a realistic cost. The prices for IVF are listed but I have no idea what will be added on top - blood test, drugs etc. I had a figure of 10k in my head - is that about right?

Many thanks in advance.

OinkGlitter Fri 15-Nov-13 23:12:33

Make sure it's somewhere you can get to easily -- you'll be there a lot (every other day during parts of treatment).

If it is just 'old eggs' IVF might still help, because you'll (hopefully) get lots of them at once.

I reckon inc drugs we spent about £4.5k/cycle with maybe another £4k on 'the Chicagos'.

Don't go entirely by success rates -- perhaps the ones with lower rates are treating people with 'harder to fix' problems.

I didn't take any time off work except for treatment days and a day or two after transfer. I didn't really feel I needed to and it would be hard to book as leave because you don't know when you're going to need it. At one of the companies I worked for during treatment, I was able to take it as sick (though that meant telling my manager when I really didn't want to) and at the other it didn't count as sick and I had to use leave.

Good luck!

worriedmum100 Sun 17-Nov-13 10:10:50

Thanks everyone. I feel like I've narrowed it down in my mind to Lister, ARGC,UCH and poss oxford fertility unit or herts and Essex.

The logistics are potentially going to be tricky because of having ds but sure we'll work something out.

I just wish we knew what the problem is. Maybe the thyroid cyst is causing issues. I also keep going back in my kind to dps count (13 million). Consultant said this was the lower end if satisfactory but that the good motility etc made up for it. Also we got pg with ds so quickly I can't understand why this would be a problem now.

Sorry, drivelling on. AF is here so I also go a bit odd for a few days!

Callofthewild Mon 18-Nov-13 22:31:51

Another vote for ARGC here. Personally I didn't find it too intensive and the attention to detail by them when you are cycling is meticulous. All your treatment is tailored to suit you as an individual and they are open 7 days a week 365 dyad a year so if for instance they think that the best day for your embryo transferred is Christmas Day well then that's when they'll do it.

It is however very expensive, our cycle (my first IVF cycle) came to around £18k but we now have beautiful twin daughters. Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about the clinic.

BettyBi0 Tue 19-Nov-13 03:11:51

We started at Homerton and had a pretty mixed experience (mainly negative/ verging on dangerously neglectful/ wasted a lot of time!)

Then moved treatment to CRGH and the difference in personal care and attention was just amazing. They were really on the ball with latest research and tailored everything to fit. It wasn't cheap though. Although the basic cost of an IVF there was about 3 to 3.5k, once I'd added the cost of my tests, drugs, pre-cycle d&c, ongoing meds in early pregnancy etc it came to about £9,000. Eeeek!

But we were lucky on our first IVF cycle there. I had to use 3 weeks of annual leave to do the cycle as I normally work fixed inflexible shifts and CRGH wanted me to do daily blood tests to monitor my response to the stims drugs. Then every day the senior drs review progress including latest scans and a nurse would call with my exact dose to inject that day. I think this attention to detail is what gets them such great results.

Whereas when I cycled at Homerton they only checked my bloods a couple of times during the stims phase, scanned every 3-5 days, missed some critical things like my thyroid, and I ended up with OHSS which was very scary. They also still went ahead and still transferred 2 blastocysts which was really dangerous considering I already had OHSS. But I guess any positive pregnancy test would help their stats.

So in short I really do think you get what you pay for.

Best of luck x

Monkfish79 Wed 27-Nov-13 10:38:37

I had a great experience at Oxford. Did two cycles through them with satellite care nearer home in Cambridge for monitoring appts. Loved speaking to their embryologists directly in the days after fertilisation and felt they had a caring yet honest approach. The care I received during egg collection and embryo transfer was fantastic. Dd is now 14 weeks old! I had previously had treatment at Bourn Hall in Cambridgeshire, which I would not recommend.

triplespin Fri 06-Dec-13 13:57:39

Hello - I am also just in the initial stages of researching IVF options and am veering towards CRGH based on review so far. ARGC looks great but probably a bit too expensive for us to afford and also CRGH is much closer to work (so more convenent from that perspective).

Does CRGH go the 'chicago' /immunity tests? Would those even be relevant if I have had a successful natural pregnancy before?

worriedmum100 Sat 07-Dec-13 09:43:06

Hello

Just a quick update. I went to open evening at CRGH last week and also took up their offer of a free 15 minute consult. I really liked them. Not swish or corporate and seem caring. Dr said that in our particular circumstances he wouldn't necessarily recommend IVF straight away but probably IUI with super ovulation. I need to look into that a bit more but pleased that we may have cheaper less invasive options. He also recommended a closer look at dps sperm (Dna fragmentation test?) And a 3d scan of my uterus to check for any adhesions caused by EMCS. CRGH is convenient for work ans railway station we come into so think we will probably look to start with them after Christmas.

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