Fertility clinics in London

(29 Posts)
Seychelles2013 Mon 17-Aug-15 13:36:08

My husband and I have just joined this site. We have been trying for a baby since last December (9 months) and we haven't fallen pregnant yet. I started my periods when I just turned 11 (I don't know if that matters). I have PCOS (polycystic ovaries) and have had since I was about 15 years old I think. I had a scan and blood test in my twenties to confirm this. I do ovulation strips days after I have my period so I know I do ovulate. We have been to the docs and have had tests done (smear test, blood test and semen test), my husband needs to repeat his semen test as one focal plane(?) was inconclusive. My husband is turning 41 this year and I will be turning 35 so we are concerned that we aren't falling pregnant. We want to look into fertility clinics in London and want to ask if anyone knows of any good clinic that they can recommend to us. We would welcome any advice and insights into becoming pregnant and about fertility clinics. We don't really know where to start, what to look out for or ask. Thank you for all your help in advance.

OP’s posts: |
yorkiebilb Mon 17-Aug-15 14:38:37

I highly recommend Lister hospital. I did ivf when I was 35 with them, got pregnant and had a baby boy who is 9 months now. They were fantastic.

Seychelles2013 Mon 17-Aug-15 20:58:30

Thank you for getting back to me. Did they offer you IVF straight away? Did you pay privately?

OP’s posts: |
yorkiebilb Thu 20-Aug-15 07:24:05

sorry for delay. I did iui first as wanted to know what was happening during a cycle but I could have gone straight to IVF. I ended up doing egg sharing IVF where I got my treatment for free and gave half my eggs to someone else who can't use their own. We are having another cycle there next month but because I'm over 35 (the cut off for egg sharing) we will pay for the IVF cycle ourselves.

marmaladeandjam11 Thu 20-Aug-15 20:47:42

yorkiebilb great to see you had a positive outcome with the Lister and you have a wonderful DS now. Wish my experience with them had been so good. My experience is from this year, so very recent, and I can honestly say that it was awful and v expensive. It was hellishly commercialized, impersonal and given devastatingly incorrect info. I was told by one consultant that my chances of success were over 30% (which led me to go with them) and then after 2 failed IVFs another consultant told it had only ever been in the 5-15% region. Wish I'd known that before forking out over £12,000. The admin was atrocious, all appointments were rushed - the egg transfers were so rushed and painful that I felt like I was being pushed out the door!! Never got to see the same nurse twice during a cycle, got horrible letters through the post demanding payment for IVF before I'd even agreed to IVF, had appalling follow-up appointment after failed cycle. The scans were also rushed and the sonographers resented discussing the results because all they were bothered about was getting the next lady in to scan. All in all, a bloody awful and expensive experience. Got the distinct impression they were more bothered about research and getting as many patients as poss through the door. 'Patient experience' certainly not prioritized.

I suppose we all have a different experience.

Seychelles2013 Thu 20-Aug-15 21:23:02

Thank you for responding, I'm really sorry to hear that you have had such a terrible experience with the Lister. I've only just started the process of trying to find a place in London where I can get checked out properly. We are attending the Lister Clinic open evening session in September but your post does makes me feel very cautious. Can I please ask if you found an alternative place to help you?

OP’s posts: |
marmaladeandjam11 Thu 20-Aug-15 21:58:30

I also forgot to mention that it was extremely hard to get hold of anyone when I started to bleed after my first egg transfer. I started to bleed heavily (crippling abdominal pain), this was 3 days after 2 blastocycts were transferred. When I did get hold of a nurse she was just going through the 'bored' motions. I was understandably scared, devastated and needed answers+reassurance. To make it worse, I had to get really stroppy and insist upon a consultant phoning me. Took a further two days! This consultant then told me that i didn't need a follow-up consultation which is actually part of the IVf package I paid for! So I followed her foolhardy advice and was left with a multitude of unanswered questions which caused loads of anxiety and needless stress. I was a wreck. The mistake I made was going back for a second cycle. Sad to think I paid for that service to try and have a baby. Such a waste of hard earned money and the poor experience has seriously affected me.

Ohh and also, on another occasion, I was sent home with the wrong needles. Only realized the nurse's mistake after I jabbed one in my stomach and it hurt like hell (and bled). As I could not get back to the clinic, due to heavy workload, I had to make do each evening. It was akin to using darn horse needles.

Thankfully, I've left the Lister now and like some other ladies from there - who also had rubbish experiences - am heading overseas for treatment. Fraction of the price, higher success rates, and I believe far better patient experience. My consultant at the new clinic actually emails me directly, not like the Lister where the consultants are hard to liaise with and also have a stopwatch running.

Also bear in mind that if you use the Lister, there are lots of babies in the waiting areas. I was usually fine with that but it can be upsetting if you're having a wobble on the meds or if you've had not so good a scan.

Good luck with your open evening.

Seychelles2013 Thu 20-Aug-15 22:35:44

Wow... I can honestly say that this has shocked us.... My husband has said he doesn't want to go there any more not even for the session. I have to say that this has worried me no end as we would really like a baby but we don't know who to trust. Thank you so much for your time and candid remarks even if it wasn't something I wanted to hear. I wish you success overseas. Thank you.

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marmaladeandjam11 Thu 20-Aug-15 22:52:19

I'm sorry if it has shocked you, really not my intention, just my personal experience...and I was holding back, other things happened too, but that's not to share on the net. Obviously others have had a good experience there....but.
It is difficult to know who to trust. IVF unfortunately is big business + big bucks - and I think most clinics have not so good admin. But we all need good clinical care and admin is crucial too for a smooth IVF or IUI cycle. This site will hopefully point you in the right direction as lots of experienced ladies pop in. I have also tried Chelsea and Westminster, only for consultation, counselling, bloods, again I would not recommend. But that experience was in 2013 so maybe things have improved there.

Good luck.

Seychelles2013 Thu 20-Aug-15 23:07:59

No I'm glad you shared what you did share with us, we need to know these things as we are coming at this blind. We don't know as yet if we need IVF, we've just had the initial tests done but if that is the route we have to go down at least we are a little bit wiser. Thank you so much for sharing and helping, I really do wish you success overseas.

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yorkiebilb Fri 21-Aug-15 09:39:31

I am so sorry to hear you had such an awful experience with Lister. I can only comment on my experience I and everyone I have met including my current consultant have been lovely and helpful. I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't a stressful process as there was uncertainty all the way through but the staff worked hard to get me matched to a egg recipient and start the cycle. I had a short window in which to get everything done as I was turning 36 and you could only do egg sharing up to the age of 35. I was slow to start responding to the drugs and thought my cycle would be cancelled but the sonographer was convinced that I would respond as soon as they adjusted my meds and she was right. I agree that when I cycled you can't automatically speak to a IVF nurse straight away which is frustrating but if you leave a voicemail they will phone you back.

A couple of my friends have used Lister clinic and they certainly would recommend . One got pregnant naturally during stimming and the nurses were over the moon for her even though she ever got to cycle with the clinic (and pay them money!). The other had an IVF cycle with them that failed but she still throughly recommended them to me.

I completely agree about having children in the waiting room but that is the same which ever clinic you go to. In my feedback I recommended to Lister they have a separate waiting room for those bringing children. When I visited with my DS I tried to stand elsewhere as I know how I felt the first time round.

Obviously two very different experiences. You do have to find the clinic that you are most comfortable with so if the other responders terrible experience puts you off please don't go with them as you need to trust what they are doing. I trust them hence why I am going back again.

Whichever clinic you go with I wish you the best of luck with your IVF cycle.

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 21-Aug-15 09:51:06

My good friend highly recommends city fertility. They offer a very personal service and she now has two children after several failed attempts elsewhere

allchatnicknamesgone Mon 24-Aug-15 14:45:04


I've had a terrible experience with the Lister. I've had ivf elsewhere so I had a level of expectation. I didn't get past the second consultation and have since then been trying to get a copy of their complaints procedure. I am being completely ignored and don't even know if my emails are being read.

I'm sure their open evening if wonderful and glossy and gives an impression of a slick caring operation but this is not my experience. My experience is that they are a money grabbing company with a disgraceful level of customer service. They also have complete disregard of keeping appointment times. I really could go on with more specific examples, but I find the whole ordeal really upsetting.

Good luck with your hunt. I'm going to start looking again soon once I try and get my money back from the Lister.


allchatnicknamesgone Mon 24-Aug-15 14:46:40

Also the children in the waiting room is common. I took it as a positive though. More and likely their child was conceived at that clinic. I know it's hard though. x

goinggrey1978 Tue 25-Aug-15 19:28:09

i've been to both The Bridge Centre and London Woman's Clinic, both are fantastic, i'm now waiting to start IVF again, now that i have an NHS referral, have you asked your GP whether you and your husband are eligible for NHS treatment??

DRSLondon Tue 25-Aug-15 22:07:30


I had IVF at CRM which is in St. Johns Wood. It was excellent and I would certainly recommend their services. I was successful and now have a little baby boy. When we have another baby I will certainly return there.
It is a small practice and I called numerous times in a panic or with questions and they always took the time to see, speak, reassure me. If you have any questions let me know.

All the best & good luck


marmaladeandjam11 Tue 25-Aug-15 23:11:06

yorkiebilb just a quick reply to your post. You say it's possible to leave voicemail for the IVF nurses, true it is. But believe you me, they do not always call back the same day as they are supposed to. Nor do they always respond to emails quick time. Moreover, given the high costs associated with the Lister, one should not have to 'make do' with a nurse in a crisis, one should have access to the consultant. I had to fight to speak with a consultant and it took two days after I started bleeding early. Acceptable no. Was the consultant helpful, christ no. If I had the fight in me (I'm saving my energy for another round of IVF elsewhere) I'd happily be going through the complaints process to recoup some of my money. And I'd certainly be raising a complaint over the abusive member of staff I had to deal with also, in fact I'm sure that would be one for the GMC.

allchatnicknamesgone so true, a slick caring operation from the outside, but from the inside, so very very different. My experience of the Lister just reminds me of how lousy the regulatory bodies, HFEA and CQC, really are.

sparechange Wed 26-Aug-15 11:29:46

I have had 2 rounds with Create, who have clinics in Wimbledon and St Pauls. Their approach is low-drug and natural, and they treat patients which other clinics have turned away (lots of other clinics won't treat you if you have low AMH or FSH over 12), which means their published rates look low, but if you go and see them, they can give you their success rates for women in your category.

We approached 4 clinics originally (including the Lister and ARGC) and were impressed with the approach of Create, and also the clinical staff there.

The bad points are that the admin is a bit disorganised, and you can often be kept waiting for appointments, but compared to friends who have used other clinics, it isn't as bad as others! The low-drug/natural approach also means it costs less than other clinics, but is still brand new and state of the art, so it doens't feel 'budget'.

They have regular open evenings, where you get a free consult with one of their doctors, so if you take your results in with you, they'll talk you through the treatment plan that might suit best, before you have to part with any money.

You are also given the mobile number of your consultant, and an out-of-hours emergency mobile number for the duration of your treatment, by the way...

Cheekychip Sat 29-Aug-15 23:28:08

I would second CREATE.

It's much more gentle on you, traditional IVF puts your body through an awful lot.

All the staff are great and the lab manager was great ove the phone after fertilisation to explain things to me.

My first cycle was a long cycle on the NHS - negative.
My second cycle was at CREATE on a short cycle - positive and I now have 2.5year old twins.

Good luck with what ever you choose x

FlipperSkipper Sun 30-Aug-15 08:55:44

I just want to give a different opinion on the lister. I'm just in the middle of a cycle there (had egg collection on Friday) and feel that my treatment has been excellent so far. My scan appointments have all run on time, or early if I've been there early, and the sonographers have explained things to me and been willing to discuss results. The nurses have been really helpful and answered all my questions. I've only had to phone them once and got a return call within two hours. Yes, sometimes I've had to wait a while between my scan and seeing the nurse, but this has been nothing compared to my old clinic, where the nurse did you scan and appointment in one go, and sometimes I'd have to wait up to an hour after my scheduled appointment time.

I've emailed my consultant once and got a reply the same morning, and when I've queried something with the nurses if need be they've checked it with one of the consultants while I've waited. I also got a phone call from my consultant to reassure me after my scan showed a hydrosalpinx, which was lovely. I even had a phone call from one of the consultants at 6.30pm to discuss some blood test results. My care has felt much more personalised than my old clinic, and all my questions have been answered. Maybe my old clinic was particularly bad, but that was like a conveyer belt with no personal side to it at all.

Obviously this doesn't negate others bad experiences, but I just wanted to give my viewpoint.

Seychelles2013 Mon 07-Sep-15 23:10:42

Thank you so much for your insight and help. We weren't getting the update emails so didn't know there had been responses. We are looking at fertility clinics to try and visit this week, possibly go for internal scans to see if everything is working or not inside me. We have relatives also having problems and she is going to have a small op tomorrow to remove parts from her womb as its 'heart' shaped. It's good to talk to them and talk on here. I think I am slowly realising that the more months that pass and I don't fall pregnant the more I have to look into fertility clinics, testing and rest more closely even though I don't want to. This is scaring me if I'm being honest... It's very daunting and I do find myself getting very upset... You have helped my husband and I decide that we no longer want to go to Lister. We are exploring all clinics that you mention on here. Thank you for all you replies. I am still hoping for a small miracle...

OP’s posts: |
JessieMcJessie Wed 09-Sep-15 09:27:21

We've just done our first cycle at Guy's ACU at Guy's hospital near London Bridge. Admin a bit flaky sometimes but generally solid and nice staff and no complaints at all about standard of care. If you work don't underestimate the importance of choosing clinic that is easy to get to from there.

Am in two week wait so don't know if it has worked, but would not blame guy's if it doesn't. However the litmus test may be how much they analyse what went wrong if it doesn't work. Best of luck, you will feel better once you start making arrangements.

SecondRoundIVF Fri 11-Sep-15 10:39:21

Hi All

I had a failed cycle with Croydon hospital (NHS) in July where i didnt respond to full meds with no eggs at egg collection and am now looking into private funded clinics. I have to say it is the most confusing and stressful thing! When I feel comfortable with a decision I seem to see a conflicting review! I am looking at Lister, Chelsfield and maybe Bridge. I don't seem to see many reviews on the bridge, any one cycled with them?

Has anyone had experience with Chelsfield? Dr Steer has been treating me for the past year for endometriosis so am tempted to go with him. I have an AMH of 2.4 and FSH of 18, I am aged 34. Any advice would be most appreciated!!


allchatnicknamesgone Fri 11-Sep-15 11:19:14

Hi SEcondround. I second everything you say! I am so utterly confused.
I'm leaning towards Create and possibly Zita West (but even the consultation fee is huge).
Sorry your cycle failed. I'm sure next time round will be more positive.
I'm 36. I had unexplained fertility until I went to the Lister and had tests. WE now apparently have high NK cells and high sperm defragmentation (think it was 48%!) Pretty shit really.

Katy75 Mon 14-Sep-15 12:57:36

Hello, this is my first ever post but wanted to recommend our clinic. It's Nuada Gynaecology in London, which is a satellite clinic of CRM Care London (so they use CRM Care's lab for the embryos and you have egg collection and embryo transfer at CRM Care). We don't have a success story yet, but I could not recommend the clinic more highly. I see the consultant (Mr Lower) and specialist fertility nurse on each visit and they are so thorough, caring, kind and empathetic, plus completely responsive when I have questions or concerns.

Good luck and best wishes to all of us trying x

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