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NHS referral times?

(16 Posts)
Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 17:55:59

Okay, I know nothing about fertility clinics and referrals etc. My GP has said she is going to refer me to a fertility clinic but as there’s a few, the one with the shortest waiting list will take me on and I’ll get a letter from them regarding an initial appointment. I’m in the north west (more North Wales, between Chester and Liverpool) but have no idea what waiting times are generally like round here. How long did you wait from referral to initial appointment? I keep seeing people saying they waited up to a year. I don’t know if my patience can take that lol. My GP said they will want to do a HSG first but I’m guessing that’s not the first appointment so how does it work? Is the first appointment a kind of introduction then you book another appointment for the HSG? What are times like in between appointments in general? Sorry for all the questions, I just have no idea what to expect!

MouseLove Thu 09-Nov-17 19:23:00

You can contact your local CCG to enquire about waiting times. Usually the initial appointment is within 12 weeks but treatment thereafter can usually be up to a year wait. Unfortunately unless you go private you just have to wait. You also need to fit their criteria for treatment.

Have a look here https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Clinical-Commissioning-Group/LocationSearch/1

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:34:22

Thanks for the link mouselove is there a general criteria or does it vary depending on the clinic? We’ve been ttc for a year with no pregnancies at all, bmi and general Heath is fine (non-smokers, non-drinkers) blood and semen tests all normal with a history of suspected uterine scar tissue. Or is the criteria more specific? We don’t know if we will need IVF referral just yet but as I have a daughter from a previous relationship, I don’t think we’d be entitled to any help from the NHS anyway

OverinaFlash Thu 09-Nov-17 20:08:51

bubble criteria includes age, which varies between ccgs. As you say I think it's universal that the NHS won't fund ivf for those with children from previous relationships. I'm not sure if that applies to other forms of assisted conception though. (Waves to mouse! I try, but I can't always keep off the conception board!)

MouseLove Thu 09-Nov-17 20:18:08

I think the fact you already have a daughter may effect your eligibility for any treatment but they may offer you exploratory treatment and referral to private treatment. Usually initial appointments are all done without question.

Oh flash it’s my sad limbo land hanging out in conception boards since I’ve not accepted the “infertility” tag quite yet (even though I’m totally there)

OverinaFlash Thu 09-Nov-17 20:21:34

Me too mouse, no judgement from me!

anothernetter Thu 09-Nov-17 20:26:44

I think I had to wait a couple of months. I think the best you can hope from the NHS is they might fund some investigative procedures but I'm pretty sure you won't be eligible for funding for any actual IVF treatment. I think you can self refer for private treatment though. Good luck OP I really hope you have your much longed for second child

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:26:54

Thanks ladies. Obviously I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to IVF but I’ve always known that I’d have to go private if that’s what we had to do. I’d probably go down the egg sharing route as we probably couldn’t afford to fund private on our own. We are both 28 btw smile so I’m guessing scans and regular testing (bloods, HSG etc) would be covered but we wouldn’t be eligible for actual treatment?

MouseLove Thu 09-Nov-17 20:32:34

Yes that’s true. Your GP should do bloods before the referral too, well they can if they haven’t!

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:36:39

Yeah I’ve had my bloods done already with my GP, but I’ve heard sometimes clinics like to do their own as well. And that’s good, it’s really only a diagnosis I’m after at this stage. I believe I have either blocked tubes or scar tissue up near my tubes. I have symptoms that make me think I have one or both. Hopefully an HSG can show me. Patience is not my strong point but I’m working on it haha

MouseLove Thu 09-Nov-17 20:48:50

Have you had an ultrasound?

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:10:30

I’ve had two. I had one in Dec last year as I was having severe lower abdominal pain and they wanted to check for ovarian cysts and also to make sure my appendix hadn’t burst. That’s when the dr said she “thought she could see scar tissue” in my uterus. I had a few symptoms of Asherman’s syndrome so I asked my GP if she could have another look (scar tissue gets worse over time so wanted to get it checked ASAP) I had another US in March and my dr compared the two and said she couldn’t see anything on the second US. I’ve since learnt an US can’t disgnose scar tissue and 12 months on, I’m still having the symptoms (much shorter, lighter periods which are 90% old brown blood, compete infertility i.e. not been pregnant at all since ttc) so I think I need an internal exam of some kind

Maidmummy Thu 09-Nov-17 21:15:38

Im not sure about your area but im in yorkshire and when i was referred to a fertility specialist i waited 8 weeks from the referral to seeing the doctor but after that the appointments were every 6 months. Took a few years to get pregnant with DD as i had to do something different to help myself before they would help me i.e lose weight then 6 months later at next app i had to have a smear then 6 months later had to have rubella vacc then finally 6 months later was prescribed clomid and fell pregnant on the 2nd month so all in all nearly 2 years. I hope its not that long for you but thats the NHS for you.

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:19:19

Thanks maidmummy that’s a long time! But congrats on finally getting pregnant after all of that, you must have been over the moon smile I’m up to date with all my vaccines and smear tests and thankfully my BMI is fine. All I know about my fertility at the minute is that I DO ovulate regularly and my OH’a sperm is perfectly fine. So in theory, we should be able to get pregnant but I’ve always know deep down that there was something wrong with me since we started ttc and it seems I was right. Hopefully I’m in a good position to get a fairly “quick” diagnosis but like all things ttc, I’m not going to get my hopes up too much!

RiverRose Thu 09-Nov-17 22:13:28

Hi OP,

Whether or not you will receive NHS funding for IVF depends on your ccg - so I would read the policy for your area thoroughly.

I am in the North West near to Manchester and we have been given funding for IVF treatment even though I have two children from a previous relationship.

My DH has male factor infertility (which is the issue for us) but that wasn't why we received the funding - it was because he has no natural children of his own.

Funding for IVF is very different across the ccgs and often not very fair! We feel super grateful for our chance, I've had to lose 3 stone since April 2017 to qualify but that was nothing really when we'd been given this chance.

Oh and our referral times weren't too long, referred in March 2017, consultation and bloods/scan May 2017, waiting period in between whilst I lost weight and then back again September 2017 for BMI check, signed off for funding and we've commenced our first cycle this month.

Good luck!

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Nov-17 22:31:03

Thanks for your reply RiverRose smile I have heard that IVF funding can vary depending on where you are, I’m not sure how I can find what it is for my area. My partner has no biological children but I’m going with the notion that we won’t be eligible as I don’t want to get his hopes up! That’s a good waiting time, did you have your bloods redone at the clinic or had you not had them done with your GP already? Fingers crossed that it won’t take you too long to get pregnant now! Lots of luck to you smile

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