Best IVF clinics and where to avoid in the uk

(54 Posts)
closephine85 Thu 26-Nov-15 16:03:16

Hi everyone

Just starting to explore the ivf route - unfortunately we live offshore and where we live has no IVF facilities which means we will have to travel wherever we decide to go.

I'm basically looking for some recommendations - preferably south up to London possibly a bit further. But being a complete newbie to this I would really appreciate others experiences, some suggestions of clinics and perhaps even where to avoid. It also looks like we will need icsi too.

Money is tight but I am wary of choosing what looks like the 'best deal' over best success rates.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
FlysInDreams Thu 26-Nov-15 16:05:46

I found the Harley Street Fertility Clinic to be very good, but I also have heard other people have had a bad experience there.

scoobyloobyloo Thu 26-Nov-15 21:17:01

I'm currently 8 wks pregnant after a round at argc. Like a getting pregnant boot camp but the care and attention to detail is unbelievable. Their results are the best in the country, just don't expect a shoulder to cry on or much change from between 12-20k per round. Honestly couldn't recommend them enough though.

closephine85 Fri 27-Nov-15 06:24:39

Thanks ladies and congrats on your pregnancy scoobyloobyloo. Had a quick google of both. Argc seem to have pretty great success rates! Not sure how it would work for me though. Did you have to go in every day? We were told at our hospital we should be quite a straightforward case, but still want to give ourselves the best possible chance. Just wondering if it is the same for every woman with having to have daily scans?

OP’s posts: |
cheapredwine Fri 27-Nov-15 12:32:04

I second ARGC. I am 7.5 weeks pregnant with twins through ARGC after two failed (and in retrospect pretty pointless) NHS cycles. Their attention to detail is mind-blowing, but you have to be prepared to hand your life over to them. It is IVF boot camp. There will be delays, changes of protocols, you name it, but they have the best results precisely because they won't let you cycle that month if they aren't happy with something. They are insanely busy and it can feel very chaotic but they are also massively caring. When you ask about daily scans do you mean ARGC specifically? Once you start stims you'll have daily bloods and scans several times a week initially. By the end of stims you might be having two lots of bloods and two scans a day. If you're not London-based you'll need to be prepared to stay there for a minimum of 2 weeks (during stims, especially the second week) but more like 6 weeks to be honest. It is also very expensive - not much change from £20K here and still needing treatment. There is a ton of info on ARGC and what to expect from a cycle with them on Fertility Friends under the Regions in England-London board.

cheapredwine Fri 27-Nov-15 12:34:08

Sorry closephine, just re-read your OP and realised you're not London based. It is not particularly easy to be in London for 6 weeks on your own most of the time, but it's certainly do-able. I did.

PotatoesPastaAndBread Fri 27-Nov-15 12:43:37

I'm doing my first self funded cycle with Oxford Fertility Unit. Cost c. £7k with a fresh cycle. They are patient, comprehensive and prompt.

Better experience than NHS but not as much attention to detail as the one above. As you might expect from the price!


janinlondon Fri 27-Nov-15 12:52:33

I am aware that my scenario is EXTREMELY unlikely to happen to you. But we did four rounds of ICSI, in the private wing of an NHS hospital. I had two fairly major medical crises during our treatment, including OHSS that required immediate hospitalization for nearly a week. In an NHS hospital they literally just whisk you down to the experts (or in one case they buzzed down and three NHS consultant gynaecologists appeared in theatre in the private wing), admit you, and treat you. I have no idea how any of it would have been dealt with by a private clinic.

closephine85 Fri 27-Nov-15 14:13:19

Hi cheapredwine - sorry I should have explained myself better! I believe some clinics will allow the scans to be done at my local hospital and then just fly to the UK for egg collection, transfer etc. however, with argc they would want to do all the scans and therefore I would need to be there longer. It does sound like an amazing place though. I think we have some serious thinking to do!

Thanks potatoes I will have a look into Oxford too. Good luck with your cycle!

Does anyone have any experience of the lister clinic?

OP’s posts: |
CorBlimeyTrousers Fri 27-Nov-15 14:22:18

Hello. I had treatment at CRGH. Three natural IVF cycles (no stimulating drugs due to my low ovarian reserve) and a donor egg cycle which was successful (have a 3 month old son). There were some frustrations with waiting times and administration but I know they have moved premises to somewhere with more space so that may have helped. But I trusted my doctor and found the nurses very nice. Not cheap though. I'm not sure any of the London clinics with good success rates are though.

We also visited the Lister and a friend highly recommended them. I don't know why but CRGH seemed the best fit for us.

I was put off ARGC by the totally 'full on' approach and actually I don't think they would have treated me due to my FSH levels. If you know what yours are you might want to check whether ARGC will treat you. I have some suspicion that at least some of their success is due to being quite fussy about who they will treat. Of course other people will think differently and I know a lot of people credit ARGC with succeeding when treatment elsewhere had failed.

Don't underestimate the importance of convenience in terms of location and travel. At certain points during treatment you will need to visit the clinic a lot (sometimes daily for scans) and opening hours and location can be very important. My GP advised to look for a clinic that does NHS as well as private treatment as in her view they are more likely to be up to date with research.

Good luck whatever you decide smile

Whatdoidohelp Fri 27-Nov-15 14:22:51

Use the hfea website and make sure you look at birth rates. Not pregnancy rates.

scoobyloobyloo Fri 27-Nov-15 18:22:45

As far as I know argc's only criteria for cycling with them is fsh under 12, otherwise they take anyone. I live a 9 hr round trip from argc, stayed in London for 4 weeks. I went to argc twice for appointments before treatment started and then had 2 'false' starts as they were so determined to get me on the right protocol. If money/time is not a problem then they are awesome.

alockie Mon 30-Nov-15 16:33:59

find and download free reports on best ivf clinics from eggdonationfriends com

moggle Tue 01-Dec-15 13:45:36

We had our treatment privately at the Nuffield hospital in Woking (the assisted conception unit is called the Victoria Wing). Their stats were very good at the time (coming up to 2 years ago) and we had a brilliant experience - just had plain old IVF. The staff we came into contact with were without exception lovely, and knowledgeable, and friendly. It's a taxi drive from Woking station though, if you'll be relying on public transport. And Woking isn't the most exciting place to be based but it is only a 20 minute train to london.

miamiaMo Fri 04-Dec-15 14:32:41

My three friends underwent self funded ivf treatment in Poland, in Warsaw and Gdansk, but the same chain of ferility clinics. Two are pregnant now, one is a happy mum of beautiful dd. Ivf is cheaper, clinics offer good service and high success rates, they particularly liked only 3 clinic visits. If it is easy to travel for you, consider ivf abroad, you can save some money then. Good luck

Pocket1 Fri 04-Dec-15 18:06:20

Another vote for Dr Venkat at Harley Street Fertility Clinic. She and her team were friendly and professional, and thanks to them we now have our beautiful DD smile

HopefulHamster Fri 04-Dec-15 18:43:25

I had three treatments at Hammersmith (two NHS, one private) and wouldn't particularly recommend. We had good outcomes twice (and obviously I went back, but that was mostly due to ease as we had embryos there. In general I felt I was on a conveyor belt, a nurse once told me off for crying when they pushed back a date due to Christmas, and I didn't particularly feel like an individual. This isn't a complaint as such, it was all 'fine'. But I wouldn't pay privately to use them unless (as in our case), it was the easiest option.

Artfooldodger Fri 04-Dec-15 18:53:39

We had one round of ICSI at the Victoria Wing at the Woking Nuffield just over 8 years ago. One gorgeous ds as a result. I travelled up from the New Forest as best results for my age group at the time. They recommended drinking lots of water & milk at the time (can't remember how much, but it was a lot!!) and eating a pregnancy diet from the very beginning. It worked so we were extremely happy.

Knockmesideways Fri 04-Dec-15 18:58:23

We did the Lister. I was 43 at the time and first cycle I produced no eggs - got the sacs but they were empty. We went for our de-brief thinking we would be told donor eggs were the way to go. But the doctor we saw said if we were going to think of donor eggs we should try one last shot - they had a better idea how my body reacted to the drugs so they went in all guns blazing.

I produced three little eggs. All three fertilised and the single little result, now 8 year old, is in his bath as we speak...I gave birth at 44.

CruCru Tue 08-Dec-15 00:08:43


I went to CRGH. I had one IVF cycle and have two children (one from the cycle itself and another who was a frozen blastocyst).

It sounds a bit weird but, if the clinic is successful in what they do, be prepared to see young children in the waiting room. Quite a few people had been successful the first time and were going for a second (or third).

GrimDamnFanjo Tue 08-Dec-15 00:10:53

Check out the boards over at as most of the clinics in the uk and abroad have their own threads with comments and info from current users.

grumpysquash2 Tue 08-Dec-15 00:19:22

Bourne Hall (Cambridge) has a great track record. I used to collaborate with a lady who did a lot of the embryo work and she was brilliant.

CaptainKit Tue 08-Dec-15 21:40:10

I did one round at Oxford Fertility Clinic, and was very lucky to get pregnant first time (30 weeks now). Haven't got anything to compare with, but I felt really comfortable there; they did bloods and stuff at one of their satellite clinics closer to home, and the bigger stuff in Oxford. They explained everything that was happening at each step, so I didn't feel out of control or overwhelmed at any point.

JessieMcJessie Thu 10-Dec-15 09:51:44

We are at Guy's hospital ACU. They are big- waiting room always full and can run late on appointments, but all the staff are very pleasant and I feel they know their stuff, though tend not to do anything particularly unusual, and don't give advice on diet or supplements. Our first round failed and we had a very detailed debrief with the senior consultant; got more eggs on second round and currently waiting for news on how many have fertilised. Price is reasonable- I am shocked at a poster above saying £7k in Oxford as Guy's is just over £3k plus another £700 to £1000 for the drugs.

PotatoesPastaAndBread Sun 13-Dec-15 09:51:43

£7k is all in: blood tests, booking in app, consultant app, ivf cycle plus embryo glue, blastocyst culture (refunded if not needed), freezing embros (refunded if not needed) all drugs, scans and counselling. Probably the same as yours jessie, just all costs counted. The ivf cycle only at OFU is £3400.

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