IVF - Where?(12 Posts)
Firstly, I should probably say that this is 'him' talking. 'Her' first language isn't English, so when it comes to all things investigative, it usually falls on my shoulders. I also want to apologise in advance if there's any part of this/these question/s that breaks with the forum's usual code of conduct. Who knows? We're somewhat overwhelmed at the moment!
So the story is, I'm 44, she's about to turn 40. We've had the only round of IVF that our LA will pay for (3 rounds before 40, but we only got started around 10 months ago, so missed the boat for more), and found out a couple of weeks ago that it didn't work. So having given ourselves a little breathing space, we're know trying to work out next steps.
Just a little more background: We were told that there was no reason that we shouldn't be conceiving naturally - apart from the biggie, i.e. age. She had a very early miscarriage about 5yrs ago - when we'd only just got started trying.
We're fairly sure we want to have one more go at IVF. We're ok for money, but we're far from rolling it and whilst who knows how we'll feel in a few months, I doubt we'd keep chucking money at the problem.
I've got so many questions it's difficult to know where to start.
One of the things that's really started to bother me after reading some of the threads here is the idea that IVF is just an industry, and that we're being sold an unrealistic dream in order to part with our cash. So, I guess it would be good to hear from some of you of a similar age/situation who've been successful.
Also, where to go? I'm guessing that I can't mention specific clinics (or can I?), but my research thus far (particularly on HFEA) has thrown up one particular clinic in central London which suggests outstanding results - but then I've spoken to a couple of people who've been there and it was a horror story. By what criteria should we be judging these things? We could go to a few for consultations to see which 'just feels' right, but I'm assuming that just walking through the door of these places is going to cost £2-300 a time.
I'm also curious to hear from anyone who's at a similar stage/age and is now considering surrogacy as the next step before adoption.
Don't even get me started on adoption. There we were, enjoying the happy fantasy that if all else fails we'd give a great life to an unwanted child, but having started the research the harsh reality is starting to dawn. It's not so easy to adopt if you're a white couple in your 40s? WTF?! Or have I misunderstood something? And adopting a baby is, what, a zillion times harder than adopting a toddler?!
Please trust that I've been no stranger to Google lately, but it's information overload so I've decided to try you lot ;-)
With huge thanks in advance x
Firstly, I'm sorry that you're in this situation. It can feel like a very lonely place to be.
We are quite early in the process ourselves and not started treatment yet so I don't have any success to share. Choosing clinics is tough, most have open evenings which are free and usually offer a presentation, tour and fan minute chat with a specialist which can be useful to help choose. You may also want to research natural Ivf which is offered in some clinics, it's cheaper due to no drugs and tends to be more successful for couples over 40.
As for adoption, it's almost impossible to adopt a baby because most children are with a foster carer for at least a year before the legal removal is approved due to giving biological parents a chance to prove themselves. Most children are over 2, and you stand a higher chance of willing to adopt a sibling group. Again, most local authorities will host adoption information evenings with a presentation and a 121 chat with a social worker. I don't think being over 40 is an issue or hour ethnicity but as there aren't as many non white couples wishing to adopt they can be placed a child quicker.
This forum is a great support and there are Some very knowledgable people on here who I'm sure will flock to give advice. There's also fertility friends forum which is very helpful.
Wishing you luck
Sorry to hear about your ivf, and hope you are both getting over it as best you can.
Do you have your notes from that round? It would be worth getting hold of them and looking up your wife's AMH, FSH and LH levels and your sperm analysis results.
What protocol did you do, and how many eggs/embryos did you get?
Some clinics will specialise in treating cases which are a little out of the ordinary, others are good baby production lines when things are unexplained, but you need to know what category you fall in to when you make the choice
Thanks for the responses so far - all very helpful stuff :-)
I'm sorry to hear your cycle didn't work.
FWIW I've done 2 IVF cycles aged 38+ and 41 and conceived both times (DD 2+ and 5+ months pregnant currently; DH is older than you btw).
We also fell under the "unexplained" category and rather than the ARGC went for the Lister as it had a good success rate for my age group and frankly was convenient for work. Plus I wasn't wholly keen on doing "intensive" cycles.
Most clinics do open days which are free so you should try and go to those; will help you get a feel of the clinic without having to pay consultation fees.
Hi I'm very sorry for your failed cycle. If your cycle had only just failed you may be entitled to a follow up with your consultant. You can use this to find out more about your treatment and get some advice on prognosis if you went for further treatment there or elsewhere. That might be a place to start in any case. Your NHS clinic might also still offer some counselling sessions within a certain period of time. Sounds like you have lots of questions about what you want to do and what you can do next. It might help to sound these things out. Best of luck to you.
Oh and also if your prognosis for ivf is not that good and you still want your own baby you might also consider whether donor egg or donor embryo is something you would be willing to try. It's another option for you.
We went to Argc, very expensive but brilliant!! Their approach is extremely personalised and u just know u r in good hands!!
At ur wives age don't take the risk, go to the best
Oh and try to sort out diet before cycle, go to a nutritionist specialised in infertility
If you mean ARGC it has great results and is very intensive. That is why some do not like it.
Clinics depend much on where you live or can get to easily.
Personally I would look at several near where you are happy to travel to and choose one and get a referral. Your GP may do many of basic blood tests - as they need to be in date by a year. But I would imagine a private clinic, a good one, would help you work out why first cycle did not work - possibly offer more tests if needed.
I have been treated by Mr Nduwke who now works at Zita West but used to be at Care. As I have immune issues which is his speciality. Amazing Dr, full of knowledge and compassion. Personally I do not buy into the rest of what ZW offers but we have gone there to be treated by him.
I recommend the Fertility friends website for in depth knowledge of IVF and different clinics.
I am sorry for you ivf story. I hope you will be happy very soon. We have a lot, lof of friends in 40s. Some of them have "natural" children, some adopted (they decided not to waste money), some had negative ivf rounds for many many years and finally became parents. There are also couples who had unlucky ivf round and are not parents even now. Some even go to another city or country (Czech Rep or Poland Invicta) to private clinics, and many of them become parents. So if you have got time, energy and fund- search for a clinic abroad with the same standard, but lower prices. Or simply adopt a child- also you may search in another country, e.g. Poland. Any way I wish you great luck and be happy in the way you choose.
Another vote for the ARGC here. Dc Conceived at 41,using my own eggs. Gave birth at 42. Cycle was intensive but felt I would have been better able to come to terms with possible failure knowing I'd tried the best and no fertility treatment is easy. They have a dedicated board on the website fertility friends where you hear from current and past patients. Wishing you all the best.
Another recommendation for Fertility Friends from me.
I also talked to friends who had IVF about their experiences with clinics.
Then I looked at the HFEA website.
Then we looked at the clinics which I could reasonably travel to, both from home and work. As it turned out there was even more back and forthing than I had imagined, so I'm glad we chose one that was reasonably accessible.
Then we went to an open evening at the clinic to get a feel for the atmosphere (I think this was free, although we had to book IIRC).
We went to the Herts and Essex Fertility Clinic in the end and found them very efficient, helpful and (luckily for us) successful.
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