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My GP just told me by text that I can't have IVF

(60 Posts)
TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:16:13

I have endometriosis and suspected adenomyosis and my fertility is currently being investigated. At my last op I was stage 4 so although I probably don't have the worst chances (as in I have both my ovaries and a uterus) statistically speaking it's a probability that I would need IVF to get pregnant.

Not an impossible hurdle in itself! I wouldn't be able to afford it privately but it's OK because the CCG for my area fund two cycles of IVF for women with fertility problems caused by issues like endometriosis and I fit all the other criteria.

Except, being in a same sex couple we would need to use a sperm donor and it doesn't say anything about that.

I had an appointment with my GP anyway and I asked about this. He spent some time trying to find out about it but couldn't. "I'll look it up tomorrow then call you. Or text you. Can I text you?" he says. I agree that that's absolutely fine and leave.

Today I had a text: 'it seems your IVF investigation and treatment isn't available on the NHS'. In retrospect, agreeing to a text was a really really rubbish idea.

Now I don't know what to do. I've failed before I've even begun. Opinions? Advice? A Grip? Literally anything would be better than this standing on the edge of an abyss feeling I have right now... Help.

Floggingmolly Fri 15-Apr-16 16:18:29

What would have been different if he'd phoned you instead?

DropYourSword Fri 15-Apr-16 16:22:10

She would have got an expanded answer with reasons, explanation etc. floggingmolly.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Fri 15-Apr-16 16:23:22

I think the IVF postcode situation is unfortunately but it seems a decision has been made to deny you treatment because the chances of it actually succeeding are so low. You should still get a referral by your gp to the infertility clinic though to have this discussed properly.

A text does seem insensitive but you did agree to getting a response by text. Just unlucky the answer was not what you wanted.


MrsChrisPratt Fri 15-Apr-16 16:23:25

Don't rely on your GP. Contact the CCG direct to discuss. GPs are notoriously poorly versed in infertility, both clinically and administratively. Good luck!

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 15-Apr-16 16:26:10

Well I suppose the reason is that the CCG says no. But I'm Amazed that they're allowed to say this. Surely it's discrimination??

You have fertility issues, its not your sexuality which is causing those issues.

I would go and see the GP and ask exactly what the CCG has said. Because if they've just said "no ivf for same sex couples" then maybe they haven't considered same sex couples who have medical issues and you need to appeal?

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:29:06

Nothing in itself Molly. I agreed to getting a text. It's just a harsh way to hear that news.

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:32:42

'it seems a decision has been made to deny you treatment because the chances of it actually succeeding are so low.'

I really don't think that can be it though ItsLikeRain. What's the difference in success rates between IVF using the partner's sperm and IVF using donor sperm? Donor sperm is tested and rated for fertility. Or is there something about using donor sperm that makes it likely to be unsuccessful?

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:34:02

Thank you for all your replies by the way everyone. I appreciate the input flowers.

Mishaps Fri 15-Apr-16 16:37:45

I do think that you need to go back to GP so that you can have a proper conversation about this and ask about ways forward. I do not know whether this is discrimination on the grounds of your sexuality (I would sincerely hope not) or whether it is just the postcode lottery.

Merrow Fri 15-Apr-16 16:40:56

As someone in the middle of NHS fertility treatment as a same sex couple we've found the GP is not the most reliable source for accurate information... Have you been referred to a fertility clinic? I'd get in touch with them directly.

How it works in our CCG is that we have to pay for six attempts at IUI, and if this fails we will meet the IVF criteria. You might have to jump through this hurdle even if there's underlying fertility issues?

TiggerPiggerPoohBumWee Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:53

You have fertility issues, its not your sexuality which is causing those issues

From their perspective its both though, isn't it? Because you have fertility problems, but even if you didn't, you still wouldn't be able to get pregnant as a couple without help. So that is obviously going to have an impact on funding decisions, obviously.

Agree though that the GP is unlikely to be the best source for a proper decision though. You should go straight to those actually making the decision.

alwayseatinglollies Fri 15-Apr-16 16:52:10

You need to find out why this decision was made. Eg maybe they would fund the IVF if you get donor sperm imported.

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:55:46

This is what I found online:

My CCG says 'x is the criteria'. Then it says...
'The following are not funded: Third Party Assisted ART.
When couples do not achieve pregnancy from infertility treatments or traditional ART, they may choose to use a third party assisted ART method to have a child. Assistance can consist of:
• Sperm Donation
• Egg Donation
• Surrogates and Gestational Carriers'

The closest fertility clinic to me says 'Once you have completed all your medical investigations, your referral is passed to the CCG for approval.... X is the criteria', then says...
Treatments not funded:
• Egg donation and egg freezing
• Treatments involving donor sperm
• Patients who have had reversal of sterilisation (vasectomy)'

Is it still worth contacting anyone? Should I go back to my GP and ask to be referred to a clinic anyway?

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 16:56:06

Actually if they say you have to try so many times with just sperm donation, that could be argued as no different to straight couples who have to try for a certain length of time before getting IVF.

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 16:57:25

Yes you need to go back. Can you get IVF if you pay for the sperm donation part?

Merrow Fri 15-Apr-16 17:01:04

The criteria you've quoted would automatically exclude all same sex couples, which is definitely illegal. I suspect it might just mean that you have to pay for the donor sperm, which is, I believe, never funded.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 15-Apr-16 17:04:42

The OP is in a same sex relationship but for all the CCG or anyone else knows if she didn't have fertility problems she might be happy using a friend's donated sperm and a turkey baster.

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 17:06:01

I was fully expecting to pay and source donor sperm. I wasn't expecting to be refused NHS IVF because of that though.

Merrow that's good to know. I'm good at jumping through hoops. I can do that if that's what I'll need to do. I think the main problem is I don't know what I need to do. I feel like my GP just said "oh look at that, you can't have it after all" and left it at that.

cleaty Fri 15-Apr-16 17:12:28

I suspect your GP is wrong.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Apr-16 17:12:44

The CCG has a very difficult role in balancing priorities. If you didn't have the diagnosis that you have, then surely the natural course of events for you to become pregnant would have been to use donor sperm for IUI wouldn't it?
I think what the GP has confirmed (for surely they suspected this already) is that the CCG won't pay for fertility treatment for you when it hasn't been demonstrated that you are suffering from fertility problems. All you can demonstrate at the moment is a likelihood of problems. Have you actually asked to be considered for donor IUI on the NHS? I'm not sure what rules different areas have about that.
I agree you need to speak to the CCG reps but I would prepare yourself that you need to try with donor sperm first and see what happens.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Apr-16 17:13:40

X posted sorry.

Good luck

Merrow Fri 15-Apr-16 17:14:50

There's a good stonewall leaflet that lays out the law and criteria and the various interpretations that CCGs might make. It's online somewhere and worth searching out. To be fair to the GP, it's all pretty confusing. Ours didn't believe that we would have to pay for six rounds of IUI (I turned up armed with information) as that would count as discrimination, but we do! What area of the country are you? The fertility clinic closest to us does monthly information sessions led by consultants at the hospital, so I would have a look to see if there's something similar local to you. They were very happy to answer questions.

t1mum Fri 15-Apr-16 17:14:56

Agree you need to find out what the reason for the "no" is? As other posters say it may be that you haven't "proven" your infertility. Even with endometriosis and possible adenomyosis, someone in a heterosexual relationship would have been expected to have been actively trying for a baby for some time. You don't say in your OP if you have been unable to become pregnant despite multiple attempts, but it is possible that this is relevant?

TinyGoldfish Fri 15-Apr-16 17:15:28

Ok I rang.

I rang and I cried down the phone at her answer. It's not a mistake. It's 100% not funded for same sex couples. She said the most I would ever get out of the NHS here is testing, never treatment even if I paid for the sperm donor or used a known sperm donor who I bought along with me or had previously been trying for x amount of time or anything.

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