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ABC Infertility

(342 Posts)
Bubblegum89 Sat 10-Mar-18 09:51:11

Looking at potential IVF options and to stay with our current fertility clinic, we’re looking in the region of about £6k for IVF including medication. I have come across ABC in London a few times and I’ve also seen women on ttc/infertility fb groups talking about having their IVF done there.

I understand it’s known as “shoebox” IVF which is why it only costs £2500 including meds, scans etc. Which is amazing to be honest when you don’t have thousands and thousands to spare like we don’t. I was just wondering if anyone on here was considering going, is currently or has been through IVF with them and if they’re worth it? I feel like it may be a “too good to be true” situation but if it’s not, it would really be a step in the right direction for us money-wise

Luckybelle7 Thu 07-Jun-18 17:05:56

Hi there , I am also considering ABC for treatment for same reasons but similarly feeling it's a bit too good to be true ! Staying with our clinic would be about £7k and although I'm very happy with them we just don't have the funds . Just wondering if you pursued it or have any other info ?? 😊

JeNeBaguetteRien Thu 07-Jun-18 17:57:02

You need to see first if you fit their treatment criteria... Because of the "shoebox" approach they exclude older women or people with low AMH so they really filter out those who are likely to have a poorer response (keeps success rates higher). If they don't accept you they suggest their sister clinic, Create, for more conventional IVF.

Obviously if you do meet their criteria it could be worth a try, and certainly more affordable.

Good luck!

Luckybelle7 Thu 07-Jun-18 19:22:07

Thanks JeNe, yes I did ask them about criteria, I'd need to lose a little bit of weight but otherwise ok . I just wondered if anyone had any actual experience with them ? Have googled everything lol ! They seem to have a couple of good reviews & a couple of terrible ones. One of them mentioned insufficient dose of stims which made me concerned as I've always needed the highest dose of merional (450) from the off ! However also unsure how genuine the review is ! What a minefield this IVF game is !

robato Sun 01-Jul-18 12:44:43

Hi, we've just booked a consultation for next week at abc ivf, Harley Street. Still can't find too much about them as fairly new, so wondering if anyone here has gone ahead with them? Likewise, we could continue with out current clinic (Bourn) but at over £7k per cycle, we started looking abroad and found abc ivf, which is cheaper if you factor in the travel/hotel costs for abroad, so thought we'd give it a go. Hopefully it will work out and will try to update here if we get accepted.

Luckybelle7 Sun 01-Jul-18 17:13:53

Hi robato , I called them & they told me that they can offer treatment for women up to 39 as long as other factors were good , however they wouldn't accept me as there cut off criteria for AMH is 12 & mine is 10.5 . They said they were concerned I wouldn't respond to their dose of meds , which confirmed my suspicions that they must use a milder ivf protocol of some kind . I've always needed top doses of meds to produce 8-10 eggs so I wouldn't have taken the risk I don't think anyway . However if your AMH is good & your not a 'complex case ' it might be worth a try for the price . Am also considering abroad now for cost x

DuchyDuke Sun 01-Jul-18 17:19:11

They use similarly mild protocols as a lot of clinics in Europe. It’s cheaper per cycle because you need many, many, more of them to have the same level of success as 3 conventional cycles. That’s probably why they exclude older women and those with issues because it’s bordering on unethical.

robato Mon 06-Aug-18 15:27:07

Just to update about how our consultation went at abc. We went ahead with treatment, collected 11 eggs, 6 mature, 4 fertilised and 1 x grade 1 8-cell embryo transferred (day 3), 0 frozen (3 embryo's stopped by day 6) and now we're in the 2ww. Fingers crossed!

Good (from our experience):
1) Relatively fast: abc only do the short protocol (about 10 or so days of injections). We were always doing the long protocol at Bourn and had to go through their waiting list and thought that was the only way ivf was done. (The only other method we've used was using Clomid.) It always took about 3 months to start another cycle with Bourn but at abc, we practically started at the next bleed. So this was a welcome surprise and a lot fewer needles and drugs which we felt was a good thing, assuming the result was comparable (which it was).

2) About half the price of any other clinic in the UK. But they outsource pretty much everything, so you need to run around a bit more than say, for a clinic that does everything in house. E.g. non NHS blood tests are down the road, or they try to get you to get your GP to do it, fertility drugs are sent by Stork to your home or office, and egg collection/transfer itself is at their sister clinic at Create Fertility at St Pauls. Their website says they use the shoe-box IVF but this wasn't really explained to us, nor did we ask as that just happens behind the scenes. But they do emphasize that they try to keep costs down.

3) Friendly staff. Everyone we came across was very friendly and made us feel they were there to help us achieve our goals in a safe manner.

Other comments (not necessarily bad):
4) abc require an initial consultation with a fertility nurse and another treatment consultation. The purpose of the first one is to screen you to fit their acceptance criteria. Age, BMI and good ovarian reserve (check with dildo cam) and basic screening tests (if required). While I don't mind they are selective (it's a private business after all), it would be better if they could do the treatment consultation at the same time as the initial one, even though they may need to wait for some blood test results. In our case, we basically had all pre-screens done from Bourn so they really didn't need to wait for anything. The second one is just a drug teach and more form filling which we thought wasn't worth the trip down to Harley Street.

5) The "OK" at the initial consultation is only valid for 3 months. If you wait too long, you have to do another scan to check your ovaries. So don't do the initial consultation unless you are really ready/sure you can go ahead.

6) Hard to say the real success rate from abc. That's the only thing we really wanted to know about abc but they are too new. But the egg collection using short protocol was on par with what we usually achieved with the long protocol at Bourn.

7) Less continuity between clinics and scans. Because a lot of things are outsourced, at times we weren't sure all the doctors/nurses were on the same page for our treatment. Once transferred over to Create, they didn't realise it was our first time there. And they said it would be a day 3 transfer though our fertility nurse at abc gave the impression they would try for a day 5 and had to ask us if we wanted ICSI (which we had paid abc for). I also don't remember if we discussed transferring one or two embryos but in the end, we just went with the best one. Bourn always suggested two for some reason. In the end, my partner and I agreed to go for one anyway.

8) At Bourn, egg collection was under local anesthetic but at Create they do something like a general anesthetic (not exactly that but you are basically very drowsy/sleepy and won't remember a thing). So there was more pain when the drugs wore off. This could just be us though.

9) For further treatment such as freezing, FET etc, their cost is about the same as other clinics (if not more expensive), so it's only the fresh cycles which seem affordable.

Regardless of our result in 2 weeks, we thought it was worth giving it a go because abc make it so much more affordable and use fewer drugs and got similar results to Bourn (in terms of fertilisation and embryo quality). We seriously checked going abroad but it required too much time off work and still abc would be cheaper after factoring all costs. It might be our last attempt as we've spent over £26k to date but we'll have to think hard if we will try one more time.

Siksna Thu 08-Nov-18 00:23:01

Hi Robato. Would you be able to share an update? I am considering using abc ivf clinic but would like to hear some real feedback.

robato Thu 08-Nov-18 05:23:29

Hey Siksna. Yes, of course! the end of the 2WW we went down to Harley Street for a hcg blood test. But we had cheated at home by peeing on sticks every day after about 10 days and we had a BFP from all tests!! And was confirmed by a phone call from abc in the afternoon once they received the blood results.

About 4 weeks after that there’s an early pregnancy scan included in the cost and we got a print out of our little fetus. From that point onwards, abc gave us a letter to refer us to our GP for the rest of the pregnancy.

Now we’re 16 weeks pregnant so of course very happy with abc/create and would highly recommend them.

We have had one big scare with one of the nhs screening tests putting us in a high risk group for chromosomal abnormality but the follow up lab tests/scans have all come back normal so far, so we’re optimistic it was just a result of age and statistics at play. But we have 2 extra scans booked between now and the 20wk anomaly scan which will hopefully give us the all clear. (I think baby’s heart will be checked in detail.)

I do hope abc are successful and can offer their affordable services much more widely. I can now see they’ve published a success rate of 44.2% for abc patients at St Paul’s (Oct 17-Jun 18, 43 cycles started) which is pretty good.

IVF is not easy and neither is pregnancy and we know we still have a long journey to go before really celebrating. But whatever you decide to do, just wish you the best of luck!

Siksna Thu 08-Nov-18 06:57:48

Wow I am so pleased for you. I hope to hear an update in couple months againwink. I am considering getting in touch with the team at Abc ivf. I had unsuccessful Ivf last year and I think that I am ready for round two. Take care

Ouryear19 Fri 04-Jan-19 14:40:41

Hi all, this thread was useful to read. We are going with Abc clinic

Kay2705 Sun 20-Jan-19 18:31:36

Currently with abc ivf. Egg transfer soon will update here how it all goes

Ouryear19 Mon 21-Jan-19 18:16:38

Good luck! I hope it goes well. We are still waiting to start our treatment.. hopefully next month.

Kay2705 Mon 21-Jan-19 18:29:09

Thank you! @Ouryear19 good luck on yours too

PBR123 Tue 29-Jan-19 23:25:42

Any one else any more info on abc? Kay2705 did you have your transfer to you mind me asking?

Kay2705 Wed 30-Jan-19 18:41:53

Hi @PBR123 yeah I'm still with abc. I had my transfer two days ago so just in the tww. Any questions you got feel free to ask

PBR123 Wed 30-Jan-19 18:52:38

Hey, can I ask what was the issue with you getting pregnant was it male infertility? Thanks

PBR123 Wed 30-Jan-19 18:53:59

And sorry best of luck for you x

Kay2705 Wed 30-Jan-19 19:07:03

A bit of both I would say but mainly MFI. My husband has low morph hence why we decided to get treatment but I've got a fibroids so a little bit of it is on me too. ABC has a criteria or accepting ladies with good amh count as they believe in mild ivf approach which means low dosage. So you get less eggs but better quality. at first at thought this was a bit :/ but after egg collection I was sooo bloated and uncomfortable for a few days I couldn't have imagined if I was more stimulated how that would have turned out.

Abc are a child company of create so the egg transfer and embryo transfer is with create

PBR123 Wed 30-Jan-19 19:14:39

I have actually already been in to them and am looking at starting treatment. My tests have came back ok but my hubby has severe mfl was trying to see if we should just go for it and chance our luck... they have reviewed our tests and said we can proceed by may be less chance due to the sperm.. it’s just so overwhelming I wish there was more info online on abc x

Kay2705 Wed 30-Jan-19 20:17:20

If there are no issues with you then your chance with them is the same as any other ivf clinic. They are very affordable so I would say go ahead. What's your partners count if you don't mind sharing?

You can do icsi which would be the same anywhere else

Ouryear19 Wed 30-Jan-19 20:23:32

I've got my fingers crossed for you @K2705 please let us know how it's goes.
We wanted to start IVF on my last cycle, but my TSH (tyroid) blood test came back a little high so I've been perscribed Levothryroxine to bring it down. So hopefully we can start on my next cycle. Abc have advised we go with ICSI. We had this on our first cycle with the NHS due low sperm motility on the day of egg collection. Up until that point all the NHS test came back 'normal.

Ouryear19 Wed 30-Jan-19 20:37:19

Abc have told us they use lower dosages of stimms medication. On my first and only cycle on the NHS I produced over 20 foliciles and was very bloated with very tender breasts and gain half a stone in weight. I couldn't have a fresh transfer, instead had to wait three months for FET transfer due to risk of OHSS. The Abc consultant explanied that having too many foilicles may deprive other foliclies of oxygen and blood supply. So I'm curious if the lower dosage will suit me better and I'm also hoping for a fresh transfer this time around.

PBR123 Wed 30-Jan-19 20:50:37

500,000 with normal forms 0 motile 10 and progressive 3 sad so pretty much as bad as you can be we did say would have the icsi... but I wonder if we need more aggressive ivf if you get me sad

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