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Top Tips on dealing with frustrating and unhelpful fertility clinics!

(7 Posts)
ladygray Mon 19-Sep-11 11:56:13

Hello all,

Just wondering if anyone can share advice, on how to get the best experience from a fertility clinic that so far has been a bit rubbish!

We are currently under St Mary's in Manchester; had a raft of bloods, sperm test and scan and met with our consultant for the first time last week.

The meeting didn't go so well - she hadn't read our file beforehand, didn't know what tests we'd had done, and we had to ask her to check my partner's results and my results before she did do.

She also almost missed something fairly critical; it was only after looking for my partner's results in the file that she spotted a result of mine that indicated that I had (her words) "low reserves".

She didn't say what this test was (although having researched afterwards, I assume it was FSH?) but she did say - "you're 10.5, and it should be nearer 15" (???? again, research tells me that's just not right, and lower is better??)

In a nutshell - it really really knocked me for six - and all the questions that I did have fell out of my head! I didn't even ask for copies of my results! (DAMN!)

Anyway, I've gathered my thoughts now, and have A LOT of questions to ask. I also have questions about the Clomid prescription that she's given me.

I rang the hospital this morning, and was told:

- They don't give patients their test results, or tell that what tests have been taken (although I've since spoken to the legal team, and found out I can pay to get these - although it can take 40 working days - EIGHT WEEKS!)
- Consultants don't speak to patients outside of a formal appointment, and the next appointment is in February
- There is no one else I can speak to

WHAT!!????!!!!!

Does ANYONE have any tips about cracking this crazy system, and getting some answers to genuine (and not crazy neurotic!) questions that I feel I have a right to ask - like - what tests were taken, clarification on the results, and side effects of the medication.

Thank you in advance!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 19-Sep-11 13:19:25

I would talk to the GP and at that time ask to be referred to another subfertility unit. It is certainly fair to say that some units are far better than others.

If there is PALS (patient liaison) use their services to complain.

Do not be fobbed off; if the service is poor then it is unlikely to get any better. It is poor practice as well to be given drug treatment like clomid before a proper diagnosis.

MiniH Tue 20-Sep-11 10:41:26

Agree with Attila. Fwiw we had our tests done by gp before referral to consultant and I got my results read out over the phone and a hard copy to take to the consultant. If your gp referred you, then they should get a copy too so try them. I found my consultant rubbish too in a lot of ways, so I do think we have high expectations of them, BUT yours sounds like it fell very far short. clomid is only useful if you are not ovulating and it sounds like they gave you no feedback on that or other tests which is wrong.

Cally35 Tue 20-Sep-11 13:24:39

Lady - sorry you've had such a crappy time and sounds appalling treatment. Agree with Attila as well. Also, if she mentioned low reserves that suggests you had an AMH blood test. Above 15 is 'Satisfactory' below is 'Low'. But don't be too freaked out by that, people have much lower and can still get pregnant naturally.

eurochick Tue 20-Sep-11 14:09:49

It sounds like you are getting terrible service. I second the suggestion to ask to be referred somewhere else. And you might as well put in the request for a copy of your test results. If it's anything like our local hospital they will manage to lose some of them so it would be a good idea for you to keep a copy safe at home.

whereismywine Tue 20-Sep-11 14:22:30

I don't know how referrals elsewhere work but I'm currently at Stepping Hill. It is early days and I've only seen the consultants nurse yet..but so far she has been lovely and available on the end of the phone as we are trying to arrange my hycosy. They've also seen us very quickly. PM me if you'd like an update. But...Stockport pct not currently funding ivf...

Keziahhopes Tue 20-Sep-11 15:00:00

Lady - that sounds a frustrating appointment. We went to another NHS hospital and found we saw a different registrar each time, took 13 months to get to treatment stage (straight to IVF/ICSI sadly) and one time the registrar told me the wrong time of my cycle to have a test which would have delayed things further if I didn't happen to know they were wrong. However we got copies of all our NHS tests there and then, printed out for us, each time we went - no issue.

We acted, by finding we could take our NHS funding elsewhere as long as it was before treatment started and went to another fertility hospital/clinic and were much happier. For eg if you are Manchester based there is Manchester Care which takes NHS funding. I am not recommending Manchester Care (went to a different Care clinic) but they do free open evenings, so might be worth booking one of those (they are monthly) and you will find you can ask, for free, lots of questions as well. I learnt more in that 2hr open evening than after 13mths under the hospital we were under.

If you are private, then you can choose where to spend your money and you are not happy at St Mary's so can shop around.

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