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Fertility tests NHS vs Private(26 Posts)
I put this in the conception board but thought I’d put it on here too.
Wanted to ask your thoughts on going through the NHS for tests vs private tests. I’m happy to pay and like the fact you can go together and they do many of the tests that day but if you have tests privately and then you need IVF, can you then go on the NHS waiting list? Do any of you have experience of this?
I’ve been TTC for a year, am 33, DH 38. I don’t want to wait too long and would rather get things moving so just asking for peoples experiences really.
Also if we need help I’d rather go through IUI as it seems less invasive, if we can. Have any of you experienced this?
We went through the NHS system for tests and were told that it was unexplained. Didn't see a consultant in all that time, the nurse was the only one who we had consultations with. We then took the results to a private clinic for review, and the dr said that with DH's low sperm morphology it was male factor, not unexplained. He also did an internal ultrasound on me to check the follicle count - the NHS hadn't done one and just relied on bloods.
As for IVF v IUI, it depends on the diagnosis. We had to go for IVF + ICSI due to being MFI.
As I understand it, the NHS is a postcode lottery and waiting lists vary massively from one area of the country to another.
Sorry to hear about your NHS experience. Are you going for IVF on NHS or privately?
Also what does MFI mean?
At 1 year TTC your GP can start doing the baseline tests to get the ball rolling - have you had these yet?
No and I’ve asked but they want to do an SA first. I just feel like it’s gunna be a long road ahead.
Scroll down a bit "when to begin investigations" - clearly says after 1 year of trying.
Go to see the GP again. It will save you £000's. Plus some of them take a while, timing to ovulation, might take a few cycles to get it right.
I will go see another GP but I honestly worried it’s just going to be so stressful with all the appointments and what if they miss things.
I'm jumping on as I'm in a similar boat, sort of. I've got a 2.5 year old and have been trying for 11 months, but since I'm over 35 I've had my sub fertility referral recently sent off. I have zero clue if they'll take months and months and be a waste of time. I wouldn't qualify for treatment (fair enough) but can have tests done. It took 3 months from going to the gp to finally get the referral sent off! 1 month for sperm test appt (inc 3 week wait for results), blood test, re-doing blood tests as they forgot a couple more needed doing, forgot I'd need a chlamydia swab before could send it off. I'm hoping that's just my very understaffed gp practice and that the hospital part won't be as inefficient!
@seven201 sorry to hear about the length of time it’s taken to sort your tests. How come it took 3 months. I just think it’s luck with the NHS and I’m not sure I want all the stress! What area are you in?
I'm in west Kent. I went to the gp in August and she booked in blood tests (but missed some) and said they'd send off referral when sperm results back. The blood tests were fine and sperm ok (sperm took a month in total from booking sample appt to results). Dropped off copy of dh's sperm results (were with different doctors surgeries) with a note saying please send off referral now. Rang up a week letter to check it had been sent to be told that my dh's sperm results had probably been accidentally shredded and that actually I needed more blood tests (should have been in the initial round) and a chlamydia swab. Took weeks for a nurse appt to be available then another week for results then another week of me ringing lots until finally sent off. My point is that if you have no money worries then it probably will be much quicker to go private. We could use savings, but we do actually need them, so not money we don't mind losing unless we have to. Good luck with it
I’m seriously thinking about going private. See you say it took a month to get SA results where as it took my friends DH 2 days and we are the West Midlands. I wish you the best of luck with it all.
Wow! I didn't know it could take 2 days! Dh has his done in London. It was a month total - probably something like 1 1/2 weeks until there was an appointment free (you need an appt to drop the sperm off) and then 2 1/2 weeks until results were with his gp.
I think others have waited longer. It’s such a lottery depending on where you are! I think I’m going to get DH to get SA done on NHS, see how that pans out, see if I can get some basic tests and see how they go and go from there. But I am feeling going private will be the way forward.
I wish I'd gone private - it took 2 years for the NHS to test my AMH (I didn't even know what that was until I had the test) by which time it back low and I've needed to move to IVF asap. I wish I'd had that info 2 years ago to make an informed decision about how to proceed
So sorry to hear that @Wesstywoo I hope your IVF goes well. I get upset now so I just think it’s going to be worse with all the tests.
I’m in the West Mids and going to Coventry. I think the nhs have been quite thorough and on it there. I went to my gp in Feb - she sent me for blood tests and got the nurse to do swabs and my husband to the fertility clinic for his sperm analysis. We went back to the gp about 3 weeks later to go through the results at which point she referred us to Coventry. Our first consultation with a consultant was in May. The nurse also did an internal scan and follicle count and offered us the chance to pay for an amh test that day (as it’s not available on the nhs). Then I had the hycosy in July and a follow up laparoscopy in October due to findings. I had a further consultation with a consultant in November followed by my IVF info session with a nurse in November too. I’m starting IVF at the beginning of Jan. I’ve seen the price list - all of this would have cost thousands and that’s before the IVF has even begun!
I'm a GP, if you wanted to go private but are eligible for NHS I'd do the bloods, swabs and scan and semen analysis for you on the NHS straight away then you can take them to you first private appt. AMH would need to be private though
NHS paid for my AMH test - must depend where you live
@saltisford I’m under Dudley NHS so not sure if it would be the same service.
@bluefolder thanks for the advice. What would you suggest, go back to my GP and request what you’ve suggested as I am eligible? I don’t want to be robbed off.
Actually I have a question you might be able to answer as you’re a GP @bluefolder. If I did the tests only and it turned out we needed IVF or IUI could I be referred back to the NHS for treatment or would I have to go through the tests again on the NHS? Or does it depend on who you see privately and who you’d GP is?
@Wesstywoo - sorry, I wasn't clear. AMH isn't done in primary care so I wouldn't do it as a GP. If you see an NHS fertility clinic they will do it, if you go private at that stage then you'll need to pay for it
@RC1985 just go to your GP and tell them that you are struggling to conceive, they will do the initial tests and then at the point of referral you can say that you want to go private and ask for the results in writing.
Second question - yes you could be referred back, but you'd go via your GP again, you could take the results of your private tests to the NHS appt.
@bluefolder thanks for the advice. I will ask for a different GP as when I said this in my appointment on Friday she said she wanted to test my partner before me. I’d rather get it done together
@RC1985 I'd usually just give you both the forms at the same time! You need it all done for a referral
Hi @RC1985 we're in a similar situation. Dh and I visited the GP 2 weeks ago together (we are at the same surgery) and he has given me the cd1-5 and cd21 blood test forms to do, booked in for swabs and requested an ultrasound scan. All of those I'm doing in the next 3 weeks. Dh had his appt for SA come through for early January.
Can you go back to GP for the blood tests? I think those are recommended in the nice guidelines as the first step so believe you are entitled to them at this stage. Strange they're insisting on your Dh getting his tests done first.
Good luck 🤞 ps we are in the Midlands too - under sandwell x
@VenusStarr we’re at the same Doctors so I might suggest we go together and see a different doctor. I asked this question also, is it better to come together and she said no. If they are still unhelpful I’m just going private because I cannot deal with the stress.