IVF clinics in London or around?(25 Posts)
Hi all, my husband (40) and me (35) are about to begin our 2nd cycle of IUI. We have one more go then if it hasn't worked, we're going to go for IVF. I'd love to hear from anyone who's had any experience with any of the IVF clinics in London or surrounding areas - even if you met with them and decided not to go with them. We can't afford Lister (I hear it's very good and costs £10K?). Kings, where we're having our IUI (on the NHS) would cost £5.5-6K. So we're looking for something along those lines or cheaper ideally. Our reproductive health seems reasonably healthy, the issue is a psychological one. Would really appreciate any advice / recommendations / hugs! Thank you x
We're with Zita West and very happy. Very professional, friendly and excellent success rates. Also considered ARGC but found it too busy and impersonal (also v expensive due to loads of tests and monitoring compared to other clinics).
Would you consider going abroad? I doubt you'd get much change from £7-8k in any London clinic once all the consultations and medication are added on. We did a fresh cycle in June in Czech republic, came in at about £3.5k total including flights, accommodation, medication, scans in UK before flying out etc etc. It sadly failed and we went back for one of our frozen embryos in August and fingers crossed it has worked so far. The frozen transfer was about £1200 including absolutely everything. So less than £5k for two rounds. If money is a concern going abroad is a very good option. Wishing you good luck x
@JoJoSM2 thanks for sharing. Really glad to hear you're happy with how they're looking after you Do you mind me asking how much you're paying for Zita West?
@Scottishgirl85 thanks for suggesting an alternative and congrats on progress to date! Would you mind just expanding on that a bit - how far did treatment go in the UK... are you saying that you did all the scans / injections etc in the UK, then flew out for egg collection and the procedure? I had heard about doing this but I heard you couldn't get insurance, so I was worried about if something went wrong. Would love your thoughts on this. Thank you both
I emailed the overseas clinic following a recommendation from a friend, they sent me a questionnaire to fill out with our medical history and test results. We got all my blood tests, ultrasound and sperm analysis done on NHS. Only AMH test had to be private, £39. Sent back questionnaire. Clinic emailed me my protocol and prescriptions for medication. I used fertility2u for medication which is an online pharmacy and by far the cheapest I found. All instructions and questions were answered on email by my allocated coordinator at the clinic. I arranged two private ultrasound scans during stimming in UK. Each time emailing results to clinic. They then told me when egg collection would be. Booked flights and accommodation for eight nights. Arrived at clinic for very first time on egg collection day! Five days later had embryo transfer. Enjoyed a holiday in between while waiting for transfer, was lovely!
Really couldn't have been easier. I didn't need to tell work as they just thought I was on holiday. Whereas in UK we're nowhere near an ivf clinic so would have had to take so many random days off for the scans etc, whereas this way I got to choose a private ultrasound clinic which was 10 minutes from my work. The overseas clinic was the cleanest clinic I've ever seen and their technology is arguably more advanced than in UK with great success rates. I honestly don't work for them, ha! I can't imagine paying 2-3x the price for a UK clinic. And we got a holiday out of it too! Going overseas isn't for everyone. I think it suits people who aren't too complex a case, for us it's male factor, DH hardly has any sperm at all. So quite straightforward case as no issues with me.
The prices I mentioned above included everything, even food when we were out there. Also for my frozen transfer I had an endometrial scratch in UK, embryo glue and acupuncture as 'add-ons', all included in the price I mentioned.
Wishing you luck whatever you decide x
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all of that detail. So helpful. It seems like we need to give it some proper thought. If you managed to get insurance I'd love to know what you bought. Thanks again and I wish you all the best with the pregnancy! x
It'll definitely be cheaper if you travel abroad. There are many great clinics in Eastern Europe, Greece and Spain that are popular. We were actually diagnosed abroad but given the stress of IVF, I wanted to stay at home for it.
ZW isn't the cheapest. It's more upmarket with high success rates - I think the basic IVF price is 4K. Blastocyst culture is extra (you'd likely need it) and if you have any spare embryos that you'd like to freeze, then that's a separate cost. The meds were under 1k for me but I needed low doses. So even if it's completely straightforward, you'd still spend 6-7k and likely more. However, we chose the place for their ethos (holistic approach), professionalism and success rates. The issue of cost was very secondary to us.
Thanks @JoJoSM2, that's useful to know. Unfortunately I don't think we can afford to stretch to a clinic like ZW, but since our case technically isn't complicated (at least tests so far indicate that) I'd hope we could make do with the most basic IVF treatment. Best of luck there - hope it all works out for you.
I had a few rounds at Create and thought they were excellent.
They are lower cost because their ethos is mild IVf that doesn't require as many drugs.
You see a doctor for every appointment which is miles better than the Lister system of seeing a sonographer for a scan and then being sent back to the waiting room
for 30 mins and then being called to see a nurse and then waiting for a call from a doctor in the evening
I found my Lister round very 'sausage factory' and impersonal compared to the care I had at Create
They have a few different branches in and around London
I thought the Lister were great, their system was a massive improvement on my previous clinic where other than initial consultation you didn't see a Dr at all during your cycle. It felt much more personal, but it sounds like Create go even further! I can't diss the Lister though, we have our son because of them when I'd given up hope.
I was insured by Medical Travel Shield. It's a specific insurance for doing ivf abroad and cost £30. My hubby did it online, very straight forward.
We've been with CRGH and they've been really good. Some minor communication issues (e.g. trying to get an answer to a question returned by phone) but the people, appts and procedures have always been brilliant (if you can describe all the probing and needles as such!).
Can't comment on money as NHS funded.
We chose them largely because they had by far the best stats for all the London clinics our CCG would fund.
Have you looked on the stats website? I can't remember what it's called now (IVF brain) but they list the success rates for all the UK clinics. Good luck
Has anyone been trying in Homerton Hospital? We have appointment there at end of October on NHS and wondering what its like.
Hi OP. We were at the Lister... where did you hear or read it costs £10k per round ? It's probably closer to £5-7k, depending what kind of drugs you'll need to be taking, if you have embryos to freeze etc.
I was also at the Lister. It cost us about £8-9k per round. BUT that's partly because I needed huge doses of stims and for a longer time than most people. I would recommend them.
Yes, I think my Lister cycle would've come in around £7-8k.
Hi all - can I butt in and ask a qs pls. I've just had one failed cycle of IUI at the lister and I'm not too happy with the nurses care (IUI is carried out by nurses). While I will pursue further cycles of IUI and then go on to IVF, I've been thinking if I shouldn't rule out NHS completely. I have some savings but it will ofcourse pinch very hard when I hand it all over for IVF and then not get the best level of care I expect. I'm thinking perhaps I should look into NHS as well and see whether I get referred for IVF and where.
My question is - where can I expect to get referred to? I live near Harrow/Hillingdon ie north west London / Middlesex. Google search has me going round in circles.
Are there are other blogs I can check for NHS IVF hospitals and their reviews?
Thanks in advance.
There are a bunch of factors involved but getting an NHS referral for IVF is a loooong process. I dk how much if any of this you have already done. I also didn't entirely understand your post regarding whether or not to go down an NHS route.
You will need to be referred by your GP to a gynaecologist. They will decide if you meet the local CCG criteria for NHS funded IVF. The criteria varies from location to location.
Some places you need to be trying for 2yrs, some places 3. You can't have previous children (either partner), hormone level tests need to be within certain parameters, as does age, weight etc. And a bunch more things. This is all based on best evidence for who will be most likely to succeed with IVF (ie is it worth NHS dropping the money for you to have this treatment).
Some CCGs don't fund IVF at all. Some fund up to three cycles. You can probably find out somewhere online what your local CCG policy is.
Each CCG who does fund IVF will also have a list of approved clinics. You cannot just pick any where you want.
So as much as I understand looking, it's a bit pointless looking up clinics until you've been through all the previous steps.
Also @cobblestones I think you're misunderstanding about the NHS IVF hospitals thing maybe?
The NHS CCGs just fund for people to have IVF at any one of a list of approved clinics. Some will be NHS services (eg guys hosp, St Barts) who do NHS and private and some will be 'private' clinics like CRGH or Create or wherever, who take private and NHS clients. But it's all a moot point unless your CCG funds IVf and you meet Thier criteria and then you have a choice of ONLY the clinics on their approved list.
We went to Care and then to ARGC. The two were incomparable. Care was about half the price, if not less. The staff were lovely, but their success rates were so so much lower, and it is as easy to see why. It's much more of a won size fits all approach. I remember someone telling me the most expensive IVF cycle is the one that doesn't work. With Care we walked away feeling like we had literally thrown our money in the bin.
Good luck whoever you choose - it's a hard process to go through - look after yourself.
Thank you. You're right. I should be looking into eligibility before I start wondering about quality of care. Thanks for putting me straight.
Cobblestones, but don't expect NHS to be all fantastic anyway. They need to be very efficient cost-wise so I've heard some horror stories. For example, very few scans and blood test during the cycle, no general anaesthetic for egg collection, getting through to doctor's with queries almost impossible/you want for weeks to have a simple question answered etc. As far as I understand, it's not all free anyway as you still pay for meds and they cost 1-2k (depending on doses). In addition, waiting times can be loooong whereas privately you can just get on with it.
This is not the case in my experience. We had a round of icsi on the NHS and didn't have to pay anything for the medication.
Hi all, thanks so much for sharing your experiences and thanks @Scottishgirl85 for coming back to me on the insurance question. All super helpful. Strikes me that it really depends on each person's individual circumstances and expectations so definitely worth speaking to different clinics with HFEA's recommended questions to hand. I didn't know what I was doing when I was scheduled for IUI at Kings - just trusted. Have had so many frustrations with them just doing IUI but at least there are learnings for next stage... Best of luck all x
I had to pay for meds for my NHS cycles, but it was the standard NHS prescription charge, so about £40 for the drugs for a full ivf cycle.
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