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Serum in Athens are Rubbish

(18 Posts)
AurorasEncore Tue 05-Dec-17 10:26:48

Is what I've just been told by my NHS consultant after waiting 6 months for an appointment.

I have unexplained secondary infertility for 3 years, all nhs scans and bloods and semen normal. Positive for Greek hidden infections so went to serum where hysteroscopy found scar tissue and tubes appear closed. Advised me to have testing for tube blockage back home. Very happy with my experience of serum.

just had my consultation with my nhs consultant and I'm so upset. She told me that my investigations at Serum were a load of rubbish. She said there was no need for a hysteroscopy as my lining looked fine on the scan and wouldn't indicate scar tissue. The procedure may have caused me damage. She said that you can't tell if the tubes appear blocked from a hysteroscopy either. She won't send me for tube checking as she said there is no point as IVF is my only option either way and any procedure could cause infection!

I was I tears and she didn't even have any tissues so ripped of some of the bed sheet!
She made me feel like a nieve little girl and had no empathy at all.

I don't know what to think anymore just confused and sad.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 05-Dec-17 15:46:05

Tbh I think your nhs is talking rubbish

Anyone having infertility problems usually has a Hysteroscopy and then also fluid through tubes to check if blocked - that’s the basic prosedure iyswim

Why didn’t serum do laparoscopy as well at same time?

I have I t heard good things about serum tbh on these boards

Isthismummy Tue 05-Dec-17 16:35:12

Unfortunately Blondes the NHS will do anything to save money. I had my HSG cancelled the minute it came back my DH had low motility. Their thinking was that I'd never conceive naturally because of it, so straight to ivfconfused

OP, I'm sorry your consultant upset you so much. Do keep in mind though that the NHS are very much by the book. Therefore a lot of Serums experimental approaches will be met with this faceconfused by them.

I've also had hidden infection testing and hystereoscopy with Serum. However I personally lost faith in them quite quickly. PM me if you want to talk.

My current (also Greek) clinic don't believe in the validity of the hidden c testing. They basically told me that everyone who goes to Serum gets diagnosed with it. They also don't agree with the deep implantation cuts Serum do. However I had a lot of scar tissue removed like you and my 3D scan at new clinic showed everything was fine. So please try not to stress too much.

Could you get a private HSG done to find out either way about your tubes?

RubyBoots7 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:01:55

That sounds stressful!
I've naff all experience with Serum so can't comment but I have had lots of experience with NHS infertility services.

Sometimes people don't have the best bedside manner and it sounds like maybe this is one of those times. However, if you take the tone out of it, the content (mostly) of what she's saying seems reasonable and scientifically sound.

I've never had a hysteroscopy. At my UK IVF clinic I had my lining checked multiple times via ultrasound (including where they pump a load of water in). I've never had a camera up there. They didn't need to do that to see the lining.

I think the chance of it doing damage or causing infection is minimal. However, every time I've had any sort of catheter up there, I've had an industrial dose of antibiotics just to be safe - both at IVF clinic and local fertility investigations. So they do consider the potential issue with inserting foreign bodies up your foof.

I'm not a medic but I'm not sure how a hysteroscopy could tell you if your tubes are blocked? They would normally do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is where they put the dye up into your tubes through a catheter via your cervix and then either scan or x-ray to see if there are blockages. That seems to be quite a standard test.

But...if you've been trying for three years and nothing has happened then either your tubes are blocked in which case it's IVF or they're not, so they're not the problem, but you're still not conceiving, in which case it's IVF. The NHS will not do immunity testing or any other things I can possibly think of that some people attribute their infertility to. A huge chunk of people have unexplained fertility because frankly we don't know as much as we would like about this baby making process.

If your fertility clinic is recommending IVF and -importantly- if they are going to fund it, then with the greatest respect, it doesn't matter about the other stuff. Grab the opportunity with both hands and stop wasting time having tests you might not even need. If your tubes are blocked or your lining is a bit crap, they'll deal with this at the IVF clinic in whatever way is necessary to overcome the problem.

Good luck with it!

RubyBoots7 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:06:45

Sorry I just noticed the bit about secondary infertility. In which case ignore my comment about NHS funded. Obviously they work if you have a child.
I guess you could push for an HSG but if they're blocked, it would have to be IVF and if they're not, you're not closer to knowing why three years of trying hasn't resulted in what you're so desperately hoping for.
Infertility does truly suck! 😒

AurorasEncore Tue 05-Dec-17 20:59:50

@blondeshavemorefun I too thought hsg or lap was standard investigations but was never offered this with nhs. I was only in Greece a couple of days; day one was consultation and ultrasound and day two was my choice of aqua scan or hysteroscopy so I went with the latter for a fuller picture.

Totally shit how they cancelled yours.

AurorasEncore Tue 05-Dec-17 21:09:14

@isthismummy what made me laugh though was the posters on the wall today. My clinic is doing a clinical trial for an "endo scratch" to improve implantation which is basically what Serum has pioneered. Nhs taking a while to catch up.....

I was sceptical about the hidden infection tests too. I'm a scientist so I read the papers and every single forum on test results and although there is a trend of more women getting a positive infection result there were plenty of women who had a normal result too which made me think it was genuine. Plus, fertile women don't tend to send their menstrual tissue off to Athens for testing so there is bound to be a positive trend. I also read some research that 70% of women with secondary infertility were found to have uterine pathology e.g. scar tissue so I'm a believer. The molecular lab report was high quality too.

I'd like to pm you to chat but never done one before, can you pm me so I can reply?

I'm considering private hsg now of course but my heads all over the place tbh.....

AurorasEncore Tue 05-Dec-17 21:19:39

@rubyboots7 I totally get what you're saying. If you take the emotion out of it my consultant was basically saying - if they are blocked = IVF if they aren't then we are fucked if we know what's wrong with you and have no other treatment options = ivf


Ivf is not a route we can afford/ will risk. So I guess it's keep trying in the hope of a miracle.

I feel frustrated as I am so close to getting answers after 3 years and that's all down to me pushing and paying for private investigations. I now believe I had a post delivery infection due to a badly managed Labour, and the result was scar tissue which prevented implantation and may or may not have scarred and closed my tubes.

If my tubes are fine it's just a matter of time now I've had the hysteroscopy until we conceive.

If my tubes are blocked then it's the end of the road.

I really need closure on this chapter in my life. Every aspect on my life and every decision hangs on "if" we will be blessed with a second.

I just need to know for my mental state. Ttc has really taken it's toll on our family.

JoJoSM2 Tue 05-Dec-17 21:35:44

Could you do the test privately if the nhs consultant doesn’t want to cooperate?

By the way, my nhs consultant was a prize idiot too and it took me a while to get over my frustration.

sparechange Tue 05-Dec-17 22:58:49

A hyteroscopy will show if the entrance to the tubes is blocked
My consultant had a very good look at the opening of the tubes into the uterus while doing mine (I was awake while he did it)
He did it as a 'diagnose and treat' so was prepared to take out any scar tissue or Small fibroids if he found any, but didn't.
He also did a scratch at the same time, and I got pregnant the next month

An HSG/hycosy will give you a conclusive answer about whether there is a blockage and where it is, and there are a fair amount of anecdotal stories of people getting pregnant after an HSG because the process of pushing the dye through flushes out a blockage

An HSG is usually under £500 at a Private fertility Clinic

Bubblegum89 Tue 05-Dec-17 23:07:47

Hi smile I have suspected Asherman’s Syndrome and am part of an AS support group full of ladies who have been through testing and the general advice is that scarring cannot be diagnosed on an ultrasound. To be diagnosed properly, you need a HSG at the very least (to check for blocked tubes) but a hysteroscopy is the best way to diagnose scar tissue. These ladies also swear by what they call A listers, basically experts in AS diagnosis/treatment as the NHS tend to not be very on the ball when it comes to diagnosing and treating scarring. So from your OP, I would say that I would trust the first opinion and not the second one from the NHS.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 06-Dec-17 10:01:50

Why did you go to serum ? You say you can’t afford ivf but you must be considering it to go there iyswim

Abroad is much cheaper

And yes the scratch has been about for a few years at least. I was offered iaftee first failed ivf. Was 39

AurorasEncore Wed 06-Dec-17 17:44:44

@jojosm2 I think I will probably have the test done privately even though my consultant told me not to have anymore procedures as I could damage myself and it won't help in any way sad

AurorasEncore Wed 06-Dec-17 17:47:24

@sparechange I love a success story like that. The test is cheaper than I thought too, thank you.

AurorasEncore Wed 06-Dec-17 18:18:17

Thanks @bubblegum89 that's really helpful.
@blondeshavemorefun I went to serum for investigations into my unexplained secondary infertility with the hope of achieving a natural pregnancy.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 07-Dec-17 18:43:59

oh i see,sorry,never known anyone to go to serum if not having ivf

Willieowinsbury Sat 09-Dec-17 23:19:10

I'm an advocate for HSG. I read Robert Winston's website where he advises infertile patients ( and he said you need to know whether your tubes are blocked or not. We had male factor and were pushed into ivf. It failed, as did fet. I begged for an HSG. I was told it was pointless as we had male factor, but I said I needed to know for my own sake whether my tubes were clear. They reluctantly agreed to the procedure. Some debris were cleared and both tubes were patent after pressure was applied to the dye. The next month: natural conception. We were also taking proxeed for three months by then. I wish I'd done it years ago.

AniSL Sun 10-Dec-17 19:24:57

We were told male factor as we have been ttc for several years. My consultant told me that we may need to consider a donor due to DH low sperm count. She referred me for a NHS HSG to ensure that my tubes were clear in case I would attend her private clinic for IUI.

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