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2 month wait for NHS SA.. really?!

(28 Posts)
MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 16:32:56

For various reasons my GP has referred us both for basic infertility testing (me - FSH/TSH and progesterone, DH a sperm analysis) He went to book his today, and was told the closest appointment was two months away.

Obviously there's not much we can do about it (and wouldn't it be wonderful if we didn't need it but I am not holding my breath..) but I just wondered if that sort of wait was normal.

twinklestar2 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:22:55

That's not normal in my experience. Mine took a week.

EuroShagmore Tue 22-Jan-13 17:26:44

That's certainly longer than we had to wait. They do have to spread out the tests though, so they can get to each one while it is fresh (as I understand it) - that is why the men are given an appointment time to arrive with the pot.

bugoven Tue 22-Jan-13 17:28:55

Normal. Just had to reschedule due to a funeral and now have another month to wait. I suppose all this waiting will be a good way of testing patience ready for parenthood smile

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 17:31:14

Thanks - that's what I thought. I've already had half my blood tests (just waiting for CD21 now) so it seems we can't make any more progress for another 2-3 cycles at least. I'm even more glad I really pushed it with my GP now as they had been trying to put me off until June, well against NICE guidelines given my age and several high risk factors.

Marrick Tue 22-Jan-13 17:34:32

Ours took around that long - his first test was at least a month after my results had come in. Now we've been referred, it was around 6 weeks to get my first appointment with the specialist, so it's my turn to wait. It's very frustrating!

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 17:44:05

bugoven - I'm sorry to hear of that - what sad timing :-(

Yes, they only do Tuesdays and Thursdays at this hospital (not even a local one..) at 9am or 2:30pm.. so no wonder there's a backlog.

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 17:47:06

Sounds like a postcode lottery then really as regards wait times! Awesome.. hmm

I'd be amazed to get a referral appointment under a few months too and then it'll be another set of blood tests etc etc all taking forever.

Anyone have any tips on getting an HSG privately because I'm 90% sure it's what I need (I suspect I have Asherman's Syndrome). At this rate it's going to take another year I am sure. I have private health insurance through Cigna thanks to DH's work but they don't cover anything related to infertility.

lyndsey90 Tue 22-Jan-13 20:19:28


Bearface Tue 22-Jan-13 20:26:16

I was referred for blood tests and had them the very first cycle I was referred - a few days after the referral if I remember. I went to a Saturday walk-in clinic at a hospital which is about a twenty minute drive away, not my most local one as they didn't do a Sat clinic and I needed that day. My second lot of tests have been this cycle and they have all been the same in terms of speed and accessibility. I think it is a bit of a lottery I'm afraid.

DH has had no trouble booking in SA either. Think he managed to get it within a week or so, but could have had it within days if he wanted. We live in quite a populous area though, which might be why we have lots of speedy local services.

Sorry for the guys having to wait. That's crap. angry Could you not go for a clinic which is maybe further away, but has appointments sooner for you?

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 20:31:57

I'm extremely grateful to the NHS for the treatment I've had once I've actually managed to see a consultant.. but getting to that point is always a nightmare! Especially when most medical professionals don't believe it's possible you might have some insight of your own into your possible issues and just ignore you.

If I hadn't researched and pushed and pushed I wouldn't have my little boy right now, but I'm eternally grateful to the doctor I finally got to see, one of only a handful in the country who could perform the only surgery (by his own admittance) that would save his life when I was 13 weeks with him.

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 20:34:09

Thanks Bearface. I have no idea if there are other clinics he can go to - I may ask to look at the paperwork he picked up from our GP. I've also heard that NHS standard SA is not that thorough either, so maybe we should think about private although that does depend on the cost!

We live right outside of London, so hardly the sticks, but it looks like the hospital (St. Albans) seems to cover all of Hertfordshire according to DH shock

moggle Tue 22-Jan-13 20:41:10

We are in Surrey and didn't have to "book in" for DH's SA. We got a pot from the GP and told to, erm, do the deed and then drive it to the local hospital's pathology department within an hour. The results were back with our GP within a week but with Christmas and new year and a busy husband it was a month before we had an appointment to discuss them.
For my day 21 blood test I had it done at the surgery by a nurse, again same time scale for results.
I hope it bodes well for getting my referral to the gynae...

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 21:12:52

I had to go to our more local hospital for my blood tests but I'm fine with that (it was the same when I lived in London) although obviously it would have been nice to have had it at the GP surgery!

Amazing how much things vary around the country.

Bearface Tue 22-Jan-13 21:22:07

Murder - I don't know if this helps at all but I did a quick Google and found this:

Maybe you could try Hemel Hempstead or Watford General instead? At the very least there are some phone numbers on the link which might help.

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 22:23:30

Thanks Bearface! We actually live in Hemel, and that's where I had my blood tests done at that hospital. Just had a look at the paperwork DH was given - it has the "West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust" logo at the top and says "BY APPOINTMENT ONLY AT ST ALBANS CITY HOSPITAL" so it looks like that's presumably the only place it can go. Looks like the same phone number listed to ring as on that site as well so he's already rung it and this was what he was told.

I suppose it's only covering West Hertfordshire and not the whole of Hertfordshire, but still. With only 2 x 2.5 hours worth of appointments a week no wonder there's a two month wait.

Darksideofthe80s Tue 22-Jan-13 22:32:24

We found the same, however if you are in a position to pay about £85 iirc you can generally get an appointment within a couple of days. We are in south west don't know if that makes a difference.

MurderOfProse Tue 22-Jan-13 22:35:57

Thanks! Do you mean privately at another clinic, or offer to pay the NHS clinic money as a private patient?

HavingALittleFaithBaby Wed 23-Jan-13 10:40:50

We waited 3 months, then he couldn't attend due to an unavoidable work meeting so it ended up being 6 months! shock

Depends on your area and how they approach it. Some areas have a 'drop-in' set up but our local hospital have limited resources hmm so you go on the waiting list, have an appointment time to drop off - the key thing is they have to have the staff to analyse the sample quickly (ideally within a hour of delivery!).

MurderOfProse Wed 23-Jan-13 12:40:07

6 months!! I think I would go quietly mad in that time (because after all by the time you get to SAs being approved, it's already been a while..)

Sounds like our hospitals are quite similar.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Wed 23-Jan-13 13:21:48

Yes 6 months...only to find that was where the problem lay and another three month wait for a repeat! It took almost exactly a year from when we went to the GP to when we found out what the problem was and could started treatment....did get pregnant 8 months after starting treatment though! smile

MurderOfProse Wed 23-Jan-13 14:13:10

I'm glad of the happy ending!! Out of interest.. what is the treatment for sperm issues? Or does it very much depend on the issue? I'm guessing there's more to it than a bit of zinc?

HavingALittleFaithBaby Wed 23-Jan-13 14:30:22

Well zinc and reducing alcohol intake helped a bit....definitely depends on the cause though. Ours was a hormonal imbalance caused by a pituitary growth. Treated with meds. We were told IVF was likely to be successful even if the SA didn't improve because they could 'spin' and concentrate the sperm prior to use! hmm

MurderOfProse Wed 23-Jan-13 14:45:07

That makes sense! It's amazing what they do with fertility treatment these days.. once you're past the GP stage anyway, ha ha!!

Darksideofthe80s Wed 23-Jan-13 21:06:29

Murder Still NHS, same clinic etc, just paying for a speedt app, imo it was worth paying for my sanity!!

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