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Private IVF

(25 Posts)
porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 12:06:51

Hi, I am wondering if anyone who has had/is having IVF privately could help me. I'm pondering my options at the moment, in terms of clinics, timings and costs and I have an appointment at the London womens' clinic early next month which will hopefully answer many questions but obviously they will have an agenda insofar as wanting me to use them!

Firstly, for ivf with icsi plus donated sperm I am looking in the region of £4500. Do I need to pay this all upfront immediately or is this paid over a period of time - deposit then more following treatment, for example.

Secondly, is any particular time of year that is best? Initially I was going to try in the summer but due to costs I think it will more likely be between December 2013-march 2014. People say its invasive and while I'm prepared to go through it to get a baby I obviously don't have a clue what it is really like.

Probably a very silly question (but if you can't ask here ... grin) can ivf take place any time any day - in other words you don't need to be ovulating? I assume then it would be easy to work out an initial due date of nine months approx following treatment?

Thanks very much for replies smile

Melissakitkat Sun 24-Mar-13 12:24:30


I have had 5 ivf cycles (all unsuccessful) so will try to answer your questions:

With regards to payment - I had to buy the drugs (circa £1k but this varies) upfront before cycling as needed to start on the down reg drugs.

The rest (ivf, icsi etc ) cost needed to be paid by the time of the down reg scan.

With regards to timing this is how my cycles tended to work - period starts day 1 - scan on day 10 to check ovaries etc - start down reg injections on day 21 - phone clinic to book down reg scan when period starts (period can be delayed a week or 2 due to drugs) day 7 have down reg scan - start stim injections (approx 10-12 days) (2 scans in this time) date and time for egg collection given - do last injection - have egg collection 2 to 5 days later have embies put back - 14 day wait do pregnancy test to see if it has worked.

I remember reading a study that ivf is slightly more successful in spring.

For me did not find it invasive - did all my own injections and the scans are internal.

You will get a time & date for egg collection - based on how quickly your follicles grow as they want to collect the eggs at the optimal time.

Good luck x

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 12:32:25

Thanks smile

I feel silly but while I've read all the literature I still don't fully understand what is going to be done to me grin hence silly questions.

Will I need to have any time off work? Hopefully not if I can get it done during a holiday (am a teacher)

Many thanks for your reply, and I really hope you have a successful IVF treatment soon x

Melissakitkat Sun 24-Mar-13 14:27:34

It's ok we have given up :0) no more ivf for me we did 5 cycles privately and the expense was enormous! Lol.

The clinic I used tended to do the scans very early in morning from about 8am but yes you will end up having to take time off for them if they can't fit you in when it suits you best. Also egg collection is done under local anathestic so that day you will have to take off as afterward I felt like had been kicked by a horse for a day! Then during the two week wait I was told to take it easy.

Best of luck


EuroShaggleton Sun 24-Mar-13 14:32:04

At my clinic we did pay the entire cost upfront, and then paid for extra blood tests and drugs on an ad hoc basis as we went along.

Some people take a chunk of time off. Personally, I didn't feel the need to. I took the day of egg collection off (it will probably be done under a GA or sedation, so treat it like minor day surgery) and was back at work the next day. Embryo transfer took a couple of hours so I just stepped out of work for that time. I also just stepped out for an hour or so for scans and blood tests, but that's probably not so easy for a teacher. Some people get very uncomfortable from the drugs and want to take longer off, or want to rest as much as possible after embryo transfer (although I couldn't find any evidence that this helps to get a positive result).

Melissa's helpful post sets out timings for long protocol, which basically takes 2 months from start to finish, including the wait to see whether it has worked. Some people do short protocol (depending on clinic preference and test results) which takes place within one cycle. You skip the "downreg" part to shut down your natural cycle and go straight to taking the stimming drugs during the first half of your cycle.

Good luck!

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 15:01:45

Thank you smile I think a lot of what I read will (hopefully!) make sense after I've had it.

It sounds then as if I would be best trying to arrange IVF over a holiday period - probably it will be Christmas! grin Merry Christmas indeed, lol!

MewlingQuim Sun 24-Mar-13 15:16:34

IME its probably helpful to have some time off as some of the scans are short notice. I work close to the clinic I go to so its not so bad for me. We had NHS treatment last time and are doing private now and we have paid up front but we get a partial refund if eg I have no eggs. I've had ICSI but I think ivf is pretty similar.

JethroTull Sun 24-Mar-13 15:25:21

I've recently had a successful IVF cycle. I didn't take much time off. Like Euro says it depends how close you are to your clinic as you will need to be there regularly whilst they are scanning you.

I had a long protocol which started in December & I started taking the stimms just after new year. For me this was good as I had lots of time off over Christmas anyway so wasn't trying to fit everything in around work.

Good luck grin

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 15:25:25

Mewling I am planning to have ICSI - myunderstanding (probably incorrect!) is that I pay for IVF + ICSI, have I got that wrong? x

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 15:27:20

Jethro - congratulations! The clinic I am thinking of using is about an hour away? Some clinics don't treat single women sad

JethroTull Sun 24-Mar-13 16:06:59

Don't feel silly. There are a couple of really good books that helped me understand exactly what was going to go on. Zita West's guide to Assisted Conception & ABasic Guide to IVF (sorry cant remember who wrote it but its on Amazon!)

Our clinic was about 30 mins away which was great. We also had ICSI which you pay extra for. It was a CARE clinic & they were brilliant. We'd had a lot of issues with our NHS hospital wasting time so it was a relief to go somewhere to be told the truth (that our chances were slim) but also be treated as individuals.

If you need any details / have any questions feel free to PM me.

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 16:21:45

Ooh thanks Jethro - I am such a novice. I also am planning to pay extra for ICSI - I just want it to work and I'd struggle to fund repeated rounds of IVF. I haven't got further than thinking "what if the first lot doesn't work" at the moment!

Which clinic did you attend? PM me if you don't want to say on here! smile

JethroTull Sun 24-Mar-13 16:38:57

CARE Nottingham. They have other clinics around the midlands & North England

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 16:47:52

I was looking at NURTURE in Nottingham! How funny! grin

JethroTull Sun 24-Mar-13 16:51:47

We looked there too & the results are quite similar I think. It was CARE's open evening that decided it for me. The clinic director did a talk & he was great, he stayed around for ages at the end answering everyone's questions & basically giving out fre advice. He actually started Nurture as well.

HindsightisaMarvellousThing Sun 24-Mar-13 16:52:58

Just a thought - but I've used 2 clinics and both of them shut down over Christmas for a few weeks. This is really to prevent starting cycles that would then need egg collection and embryo transfer over the holiday period, when there aren't the staff around. I've started downregging for cycles over Christmas though, and had scans etc in early/mid Jan, but this may not suit your timing.

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 16:54:52

Thanks for that smile

Hindsight - yes, that occured to me hmm annoying! The other option would be February half term so October/November 2014 baby?

EuroShaggleton Sun 24-Mar-13 17:08:52

TBH, I'd try to avoid that kind of planning. Most clinics have a success rate around the 35% mark per cycle, so it is more likely to not work than work. I didn't look beyond the next step most of the time and found it easier that way.

EqualsX Sun 24-Mar-13 17:20:14

Hi Porridge. Just to say that although they try and give you a predicted week for egg collection and then transfer a few days later (these are the only two days i took off) the date can change significantly. First of all your start date for the drugs depends on your last period. Then there can be delays if for example your down-regulation takes longer than expected or if there are other problems such as cysts developing etc. You have a series of scans over the last few weeks and then they fix you a date for Egg Collection. So it is a bit of a moveable feast unfortunately, you'd be lucky for it to fall perfectly in a week's half term holiday. Good luck with everything!

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 17:23:52

Euro - I am terrible for over-planning blush; I think because to get to this stage so much planning has had to be involved in terms of finances and decisions and so on and it's ard relinquishing that control. I'm getting better but I just can't help myself!

Equals, many thanks. Looks like time off work will be needed then - bit of a pain as I'll have to lie state it's a hospital appointment/illness, I imagine!

EuroShaggleton Sun 24-Mar-13 17:33:10

Slightly off subject, but if you don't need IVF for fertility reasons, have you considered donor insemination? It's a lot cheaper and less invasive.

piprabbit Sun 24-Mar-13 17:55:49

What happened with us was (roughly) as follows:
1) Got GP to refer us to our prefered clinic.
2) Paid a couple of hundred pounds for an initial assessment and meeting with consultant, he talked everything through and basically said "now it's over to you. Once you decide you are ready to start, call us when your next period starts and we'll fit you in for the following cycle.
3) Phoned them at start of next suitable cycle - they sorted out the dates.
4) Went in paid them a large wedge of cash. They sorted out the dates for each phase of the treatment, I paid for the drugs as I needed them. No wriggle room on the dates at all - you follow their protocol to the letter if you want results.
5) Phase one - self-injected drugs to put you into mini-menopause so that the doctors are in control of your cycle.
6) Phase two - drugs to stimulate egg production.
7) Phase three - scans to see how eggs were doing.
8) Phase four - drugs to release eggs - all very carefully timed, needs to happen immediately prior to going in to hospital for egg retrieval.
9) Egg collection and fertilisation.
10) Daily phone calls for updates on progress of eggs - how many were progressing and would they make it to blastocyst stage.
11) Balstocysts ready to be put back after 5 days. Back to hospital for procedure. More drugs to help eggs stick.
12) A couple more scans to make sure everything progressing OK.
13) Once pregnancy confirmed with test and scan - pay final balance and off to the NHS midwives.

All in all, about two months and about 8 visits to the clinic. Once you start a cycle, you go on the days you are told to (so work has to take a back seat). My eggs were put back on a Saturday which was lucky. But I was quite ill after egg retrieval and had to have a week off work do to extreme pain and bloating, so that was an unexpected downer.

Once you actually choose and talk to a clinic it should become much clearer. Good luck.

porridgewithblueberries Sun 24-Mar-13 18:11:35

Euro, I have, yes, but the success rates are very low (16%) and the costs involved are such that it would probably work out cheaper to have one or two tries of IVF rather than straightforward insemination. Also, while I don't have fertility problems that I know of, my periods aren't regular either making ovulation harder to detect.

Many thanks for that pip. My appointment next week is at the London Women's Clinic where I'll get a fertility MOT grin but I'm not sure if I'll actually use them - it seems nice but not the best location-wise for me.

hopethesnowgoessoon Sun 24-Mar-13 18:16:39

I would second what the others say about Care Fertility clinics esp the one in Northampton - they were wonderful and very helpful and would happily answer any (however small or silly) questions. Good luck xx Ps it worked out for me but after several attempts there and an earlier rubbish local clinic

FabiOne Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:11

Hi porridgewithblueberries

I am expecting to start Ivf at the London's Women's clinic in August if no miracle has happened between now and then. How did your fertility MOT go? Have you decided to use them for treatment? I went for an open day there last month and spent over an hour with the medical director asking him loads of questions. I was really Impressed with the place and with him. Just need to not eat for the next few months so we can afford to go there!

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