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Anyone with ARGC?

(11 Posts)
twinkledag Mon 06-May-19 15:46:51

Can you please share your:

Experiences?
Cost?
Outcome?
Recommend?

Waterdropsdown Tue 07-May-19 17:22:23

I was a few years back (2015/16)

It’s a bit of a crazy place, lot of people and lots of different staff. pre treatment you need to hassle them a bit if you want to get started (for test results etc).

Spent an absolute fortune (think somewhere £35/40k) had one fresh cycle (age 33) with a miscarriage and then a frozen cycle which turned into my twins. Probably half this money was spent once pregnant (in both pregnancies) as I had loads of IVIG and Chicago tests.

Since then I’ve recommended it to one friend she is pregnant now on her first round (40) there (has a previous ivf baby). She had done ivf previously elsewhere. I’ve also not recommended it to another friend where it would be her first ivf. I think it would be hard to never have done ivf and go there, that’s my opinion like you really really have no idea what you are getting yourself into. My second friend I didn’t feel like she would be mentally prepared enough I guess.

Not sure if that’s helpful or not. Do you have an explanation for infertility? I think they have really really excellent scientific people there, we got 7 embryos 5 of which were frozen on day 5 after our nhs round resulted in 2 rubbish ones on day 3! Complete opposite and makes the millions of blood tests worth it. At the same time the doctors don’t all have a great deal of compassion.

twinkledag Tue 07-May-19 17:25:31

£35-40k 😱

Pognut Tue 07-May-19 18:56:10

We did 2 FETs there. Just about to move back to the NHS clinic we started with, because the HFEA stats show that while ARGC have v high success rates per cycle, their success rates per embryo transferred are only very slightly higher than average (they're 1% higher than our old NHS clinic's, for example). I don't want to go on a massive long rant here so I'll do this as a list...

Pros:
*They have extremely good embryologists
*The close monitoring and tweaking of meds in a fresh cycle is tailored to the individual

Cons:
*Their immunes treatment is not conclusively proven. The most recent peer-reviewed science on reproductive immunology suggests strongly that the ARGC's approach is ineffective (I'm thinking of Siobhan Quenby and Jan Brosen's work here). It's mind-blowingly expensive too.
*The intensity of treatment can be horrendous. You need to be in every day/every other day, in the early morning. You need to take at least 5 weeks off if you don't live near London.
*Success rates are only unusually high if you look at the stats per cycle. Why aren't the stats per embryo transferred equally good? Are their success rates per cycle to do with having v good embryologists and putting multiple+ embryos back?

What made me decide to jump ship was the HFEA releasing the success per embryo stats (something ARGC resisted for as long as possible...). I can't see how their immunes approach can be the right one if that rate isn't better than that of other top clinics where they don't use it. For us, it's just not worth the money or the sheer hard work of moving to London for weeks, when it seems likely now that we'll get just as good if not better results, at a fraction of the cost, and much less stressfully, elsewhere.

If I had my time again, I'd stick with our original NHS clinic. We were lucky and were referred to a very good one - others aren't anything like as good (as Waterdropsdown says). A good NHS clinic where they keep up with new research and have good success rates would be my first choice now, 5 cycles in. BEST OF LUCK whatever you decide.

Waterdropsdown Tue 07-May-19 19:47:03

Included in my cost is 10 IVIG (3 in miscarriage cycle 7 in the pregnancy that my twins came from) at £1500 a pop plus £400 a test before each one. If you don’t need or want immunes it’s way cheaper.

Waterdropsdown Tue 07-May-19 19:49:23

Also I would never have gone back to my nhs clinic - I had double the amount of drugs (was sooo dizzy the whole time) that I had at arcg and got no decent embryos (same number of eggs collected) and I had low amh for a 33 year old.
I’ve heard good things about zita west and don’t think it costs as much.

Lala503 Tue 07-May-19 22:21:40

We went with ARGC in 2017/2018.
I was 39 and have known autoimmune issues so that's why I chose them.. as others have said it's horribly time consuming and chaotic. We live in the outskirts of London so didn't have to pay for hotels or anything, but the commute at 6am wasn't fun, and my stress levels during that time were through the roof which can't be helpful!
However I can't really say anything bad about them as I got pregnant and had my DS on the first cycle (it was my first/only IVF, didn't get any NHS funding due to age).
They follow a very, very tailored approach for each couple and I believe they have some of the best people working there.

Lala503 Tue 07-May-19 22:23:07

Oh and it was expensive! We could never bear to add it all up but I think just over £20k (had all the immunology/sending bloods to Chicago which ramps up prices).

Penguincake Tue 07-May-19 22:38:25

I had my DS from my first cycle (At 37). I did 3 unsuccessful cycles after he was born. I would estimate I spent 28k on first round and then 15k for each failed round. So about 73k. I still think they are the best clinic if you have immune issues. They advised me to use DE elsewhere in the end and I am now pregnant with twins.

I will always be grateful for my son but I am a bit grumpy about the failed cycles. I thought my chances at 40 were 25% but after the last failed round they told me that my chances were actually less than 5%. I probably would not have spent an extra 45k on a 5% chance. Their follow up from failed cycles can be lacking and it is very chaotic but I do think they are good. Just make sure that you get them to write down your % chance before each cycle.

twinkledag Sun 12-May-19 17:44:12

Thanks for sharing your experiences! I live near London so that side of it would be ok, the cost not so much!!

Penguincake Mon 13-May-19 21:03:47

The Facebook group for people at ARGC is a really good resource. You should join.

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