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can anyone give me some advice about how to choose an IVF clinic

(21 Posts)
katierocket Sun 15-May-05 09:57:05

I really don't know the first thing about it. Reckon we could stretch to two cycles but it's such a big undertaking as obviously might not work. Anywhere I can get clinic info and or figures on success rates?

thank you
(on CD1 and feeling very peed off after 12 months ttc

bran Sun 15-May-05 10:53:34

This website has lots of information and a list of all the clinics in the UK. Best of luck whatever you decide to do.

Pes Sun 15-May-05 17:07:39

Hi katierocket, the HFEA website as bran says is best starting point. If you ring up the clinics that you could realistically travel to and ask for their info, most of them can provide more up to date statistics than are published by the HFEA, and also more of a breakdown of the figures. Very best of luck.

mancmum Sun 15-May-05 17:46:15

have you seen any one about your problems conceiving... IVF is not the only treatment... there is IUI which is a lot lot cheaper and worked for me! There are other things like chlomid which can be used before having to have invasive treatment... I know how hard it is trying ttc but 12 months is still within the "average" timescales so don't lose hope and think you have to go for IVF... there is a lot to do before that! Good luck!!

bayleaf Sun 15-May-05 17:48:38

Wherarobnds in the country are you? If within travelling distance of Nottingham I can HIGHLY recomend the park hospital - part of the CARE network ( see - I was a satellite patient with scans in Leicester - they also do satellite at peterboro and northhants - and do have other hospitals in the group. The team at the Park are incredibly speciaised ( cutting edge stuff on immuno etc - look at the web site), don't turn you away just becasue you're not a 'good bet' for thier stats - and are very nice.
All the best

katierocket Sun 15-May-05 18:07:38

thanks everyone.
mancmum, 12 months seems ages, I thought by 12 months 85% of couples had conceived?
What is IUI?
I've had hormone test which was ok and am about to have the other test at hospital where they check if your tubes are blocked etc (how ill informed do I sound?!)I'm in Manchester bayleaf so probably too far from nottingham

katierocket Sun 15-May-05 18:08:31

should also say that although 12 months feels like ages I do realise that lots of couples try for a lot longer; I probably sound very self centred which is not my intention.

katierocket Mon 16-May-05 07:48:02


(I wish! not that I'm obsessed honest)

mancmum Mon 16-May-05 08:45:59


I am in manchester too and so totally recommend Manchester Fertility SErvices in Whalley Range -- I got my DD from there!! IUI is basically artificial insemination where they boost your ovualtion with injections and then use a turkey baster type thing to put DH sperm into uterus... I had 2 goes and got PG on second... only costs about 500 quid... where as IVF is 3500 ish...

When I was trying for #1, my GP said that average fertility is upto 18 months to conceive.. I know eexactly how you feel as I got majorly depresed about it after 1 year and I know doctor was trying to cheer me up.. trouble was she was spot on as I did conceive DS exactly 18 months after I started... could not face all that sex again when I wanted #2, so tried for 1 year and then had the IUI...

the test for checking your tubes is good as it does increase your chances of conceiving... my friend had been trying for #2 for 3.5 years and had the her tubes blown -- she was pg 2 weeks later!!

IS this your first? If you have any questions about treatments, ask away -- have become a bit of an expert over the years!!

katierocket Mon 16-May-05 09:28:33

thanks so much mancmum, it's great to 'speak' to someone who has been through it. I do have one DS already (3.5) and I'm very aware that I'm lucky to have him but so desperate for him not to be an only child. The place in Whalley sounds interesting. It's so weird isn't it, everyone says, "relax and it'll happen" but when you've been trying for so long it's impossible to relax. What are the injections they give you (when you undergo IUI)?

mancmum Mon 16-May-05 09:36:32

Katie - know exactly how you feel, I could have hit my MIL and mother at DSs 2nd party when I overheard them saying how I should be pregnant with the next one by now... I still hate people who take getting pregnant for granted and women who get pregnant within 2 minutes of trying... rant over -- should be better now that I have my 2 but the pain still lingers...

OK, with IUI you have to inject yourself everyday for about 6 days with follicle stimulating hormones and are scanned every couple of days to check they are growing. you then do an injection to release the eggs and 36 hours later they do the insmeination... I found it totally painless and very unstressful, even the injections!! MFS have a web site -- there is another clinic near St Mary's in Manchester called CARE -- will find their URLS for you later... I did MFS as my neighbour got pregnant with them using IUI as well... in fact it was the same nurse who inseminated us... we love her!!

katierocket Mon 16-May-05 09:39:02

that does sound really interesting, I'd never even heard of IUI before. Big difference in cost between that and IVF isn't there. Sorry to be dim but what do they do differently with IVF?

whereabouts are you in manchester BTW? (just being nosey feel free not to answer!)

MeerkatsUnite Mon 16-May-05 09:41:19


I would be wary of going for IVF until you know exactly what the problem/s is. It is certainly not the answer to all subfertility problems.

It does not look like you've had much done in the way of tests - one blood test is insufficient to determine if there are any problems. Did they go through the results of this thoroughly with you - I would think not. You seemingly have not been well informed thoroughout by this unit. It seems like you are going to have a HSG done - this is a tubal x-ray where dye is inserted through your cervix into your uterus to see if there are any apparant blockages. This is a useful test to have done.

Your man should also be tested to confirm or rule out any male factor problems. If he has not been tested to date I would ask the unit why.

You will need to be persistant in order to get answers. It is all too easy to get fobbed off with poor treatment and little information. You need to know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. If they keep on like this I would seriously consider dispensing with their services altogether.

mancmum Mon 16-May-05 09:43:43

I live in Didsbury.... where are you? There is a big difference between IUI and IVF... IVF requires stronger drugs that make you hyper ovulate -- they try to get 10-20 follicles and then when they are ready, you have a general aneasthetic/strong local and they remove the eggs by using a syringe via your vagina... they are then fertilsied with sperm and left to grow for a couple of days... they then replace 2-3 embryos and hopefully you get a +ve test 2 weeks later... lot more fraught and invasive... IVF is mainly used when there are blocked tubes... IUI is good for uneplained infertilty -- especially for secondary infertility which is was you have...

If you go on the HFEA web site there is a very good guide that explain all this a lot better than I can... but please ask any thing you want!!

mancmum Mon 16-May-05 09:45:17

BTW meerkats post is spot on... you have to have a load more tests and investigations until you consider treatment... the main issue is getting the test and diagnosis with the NHS.... can take years... I could not wait (age!!) so I paid privately...

katierocket Mon 16-May-05 09:46:56

thanks meerkats, I should explain that currently I have only been to see the GP about it. She just said that the hormone test was fine and all the levels were way above the minimum. Yes I think that is the test I am having, when they put the dye through to check the tubes,. DP's sperm is being tested this week.

Thanks mancmum, I will do some reading up and get myself a little bit better informed; that is really helpful though so thanks. we're in heaton mersey so not far at all; used to live in didsbury a few years ago.

welshmum Mon 16-May-05 12:02:50

Hi Katie Rocket - just thought I'd add my tuppenceworth. You don't always need to have injections with IUI either. I took clomid while they monitored my eggs, then at the right point there was just one injection to release them and then two inseminations on successive days - it all depends on what they think might be the cause of the problem. IUI worked very well for us 3 pgs out of about 7 attempts (we now have 1 dd, one due in a week or two and we had one m/c)
I had all my treatment on the NHS too - so it's definitely worth exploring what the policy is before you go private.
Good luck.

MeerkatsUnite Mon 16-May-05 13:26:18

Hi Katierocket,

Hate to say this but some GPs can actually misinterpret results of blood tests particularly when it comes to subfertility and say hormone levels are fine when infact they are not. If she did not compare your LH (luteinising hormone)level against your FSH level(follicle stimulating hormone)) then this particular result should be discounted.

LH and FSH are important in that these two determine whether ovulation happens or otherwise. An imbalance of these two (particularly if LH is higher than FSH) can be indicative of hormonal problems that can be treated.

Your GP should refer you to a gynae as a matter of course - she should have already referred you to such a person rather than seeing you further and then having to refer you anyway.

Not certain how you feel about educating yourself re subfertility but I would recommend you seek out some publications on the subject. The more knowledge you yourself have the better off you will be.

Be persistant, ask lots of questions!!. You will need to be persistant in order to get answers.

katierocket Mon 16-May-05 15:17:27

crikey, I'm not sure to be honest meerkats. SHe checked 2 figures in particular and said both were fine. I'm kind of ambivalent about reading up tons about it before now mainly because I'm the type of personality that gets slightly unhealthily obessesed with these things and I didn't think that would really help matters! however, I will definitely read up before I go to GPs again on Friday. Should I ask to be refered to a gynae? or will this happen automatically when I go for HSG?
can anyone recommend a good book?!
welshmum thanks for that too - very positive and good to hear

bubbly1973 Mon 16-May-05 15:30:03 did you get all your treatments after having a child on the nhs? i was told that the guidelines are that if you have one child then you cant have any more on nhs which is why we are private at the moment

apparently it is a government guideline and not depending on which area you live in..your very lucky...good luck and best wishes and hope your little one arrives safely, will look out for the birth announcement on the boards

bayleaf Mon 16-May-05 19:00:23

Katie - the Clinic referred to as CARE in Manchester IS part of the same group - same website - - they would do ivf/icsi/iui/ private investigations into infertility.
YOu definitely shouldn't jump to ivf before other investigations tho ( not that your drs will let you usually - I was begging mine to let me try it as I was 38 and soooooo fed up and he was suggesting clomid ( which I'd already tried under the GP)until dh's sprem test came back, apparently after dd they had just stopped swimming - so it was icsi or nothing...)as iui is a lot less hassle and a lot cheaper - but only in some circumstances - it still involves drugs and scans and all the putting your life on hold - and often with lower chances of success.
you can find all the info you might need on the web - e.g. the bulletin boards at
good luck

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