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ARGC or Colin Davis?

(23 Posts)
twinkledag Wed 22-May-19 17:05:42

This has to be my last cycle so I want the best and want it to work! Who is best to go with? I have no issues apart from probably egg quality now I'm 40. DH has low morphology.

Who would you recommend?

twinkledag Mon 27-May-19 20:57:13

Anyone?

79andnotout Mon 27-May-19 21:05:34

My friend goes to Colin and thinks he's amazing.

Pognut Tue 28-May-19 08:34:11

I'd definitely recommend having a look at the HFEA website, if you haven't already. Using the compare a clinic function showed me that ARGC's birth rate per embryo transferred was lower than that of the NHS clinic we'd left for them, and that if you factor in the stats for their sister clinic the RGA, where some people have their transfers, that it goes down even more as the RGA stats are below the national average.

This may be because many people with multiple failures / serious issues go to ARGC, but then again they are selective in who they treat (FSH has to be under ten, I think), unlike an NHS clinic. Don't get me wrong, they're clearly a good clinic, but I suspect they're not the superstars that they've seemed while the HFEA was only giving the stats for success per cycle rather than per embryo or for live births.

twinkledag Tue 28-May-19 12:41:42

Thanks both, I'll have a look at the HFEA website.

uberbarrensclub Tue 28-May-19 14:37:59

+1 for Colin

twinkledag Tue 28-May-19 17:07:29

Does Colin only deal with complex cases? @uberbarrensclub

uberbarrensclub Tue 28-May-19 17:28:28

Nope, Colin deals with all sorts - he does gynae & fertility all under one roof. When I saw Colin it was when he was an independent consultant - now he's set up his own clinic he has 2 other Drs working with him I believe. I truly felt like we were a team and I cannot speak highly enough of him. He did all my treatment incl my surgeries - although sadly my womb was unfixable I have sent a goodly no of ppl to him who've all been successful.

I see him annually now for general gynae and always now bring in a Colin the Caterpillar cake 🐛

twinkledag Tue 28-May-19 18:30:17

Thanks @uberbarrensclub. Just don't know what to do, can't keep throwing money at this so need to go to someone good next time - that's why I'm thinking ARGC.

KittyKatSmile Tue 28-May-19 21:43:55

@twinkledag I haven't had treatment at either but I've got a bit of experience of ARGC, which I wasn't sure to share or not but have decided I would.

I went for a consultation at ARGC because I'd heard such good things about their stats. The consultant was fairly short and dismissive. He refused to look at my (expensive) test results for my recurrent miscarriages, claiming he 'couldn't read them' and said he'd send me for (presumably the same) tests. So i would have to pay £3k for him to diagnose me with the same thing I'd already spent £3k on being diagnosed with.

They also told me I wouldn't be able to work during treatment because it's so full on. In fact it would be much more practical for me to go for daily bloods or scans from work than schlepping in from home every day but he didn't seem open to considering that.

A friend of mine has got 12 year old twins from there. She said the whole thing was fairly traumatic (and told me today that they actually put two back in without discussing it with her) although at the time she just focussed on the outcome. She was at the same time having counselling at Zita west, which then just did all the stuff on the side, rather than the treatment itself. She said zita west was full of people traumatised by their treatment at ARGC.

When I mentioned my consultation to my acupuncturist she also knew the guy and said he was known to be fairly unpleasant.

I have since heard about them manipulating their figures as someone else says earlier.

I am actually half regretting posting this as it's obviously just such a personal thing. I'm doing IVF on my own and don't think I'd be strong enough to deal with the approach. One of my colleagues is now expecting after he and his wife were treated there so it all just comes down to personal preference really (sorry if I've massively over shared mine!)

Could you go along for a consultation and see how you feel about them both?

Good luck in whatever you decide x

twinkledag Tue 28-May-19 22:07:25

Thanks @KittyKatSmile for sharing your experience. I have a consultation with them tomorrow and have emailed Colin Davis, too.

BottomleyPottsSpots2 Wed 29-May-19 22:53:09

Just spotted this ... I went to Colin Davis' clinic on the advice of @uberbarrensclub!

I did all the expensive immune testing at ARGC, the immune drugs made me really ill (lasting physical damage to the bones in my face from an invasive, hard to treat bacterial sinus infection caused by humira) and I walked away because I couldn't accept the lack of evidence or the further risk to my health.

It felt so risky doing treatment at the Evewell without anything remotely immune related - the ARGC had said I needed lots of treatment. Evewell are really amazingly good though. So personal, and I really rate their embryology team ... I looked up the research papers written by the head embryologist and then talked to him about it, it was amazingly reassuring.

No happy ending yet (!) but without IVIG / intralipids / dexamethasone I am currently (crossing fingers) 19 weeks pregnant and taking just aspirin and clexane for antiphosopholipid syndrome. I've had 5 previous miscarriages.

BottomleyPottsSpots2 Wed 29-May-19 22:53:39

I should add, we did PGS with Evewell - ARGC did not recommend it, just immunes.

uberbarrensclub Thu 30-May-19 09:09:11

OMG congratulations @BottomleyPottsSpots2! So chuffed if anything I'd said was helpful to you, and I'm thrilled for you that your treatment with Colin has taken such a different path - wishing you only health and happiness for the rest of your pregnancy and for the safe arrival of your baby thanks

Colin isn't a fan of the ARGC way of doing things esp in terms of their boot camp approach & use of cytotoxic drugs. He places a huge importance on the embryology lab in success rates & I think he narked quite a few other clinics by poaching some of the best staff!. I always, always felt like we were a team - and incredibly well supported emotionally as well as clinically. He's a genuinely lovely bloke as well as a terrific clinician - I've no experience of the Evewell as my tx was before it opened, but I'm so glad you've had a positive experience, and so far a very different outcome. Everything crossed for you 🤞🏻

Lemmecheck30 Thu 30-May-19 18:50:33

I have experience of both.

My first cycle was with ARGC. Their process can be very full requires a lot of visits, but I have heard so many times people having success there after multiple failures elsewhere. Is that because of the ARGC's methods or just luck....who knows? Everyone case is so different and so many variables.

My issue is low AMH (1.7) which I feel isn't their strongest area. My FSH was 12.5 so borderline of their levels - so they put me on a 'natural' cycle which is actually so low dose of drugs with the aim of getting one good egg. I got two, both fertilised but they didn't stick.

The daily blood tests and regular scans are intense, but I was lucky I could go before work.

Evewell is a very different clinic.

I instantly like the personal approach and the fact I am under one doctor and not seeing a different one daily for only 5 mins.

They have come up with a different treatment plan for me and I have complete faith in my doctor, Dimitris. In some ways I feel they are not as organised as ARGC who send you a power point with all the instructors you will ever need! However my partner reminds me they are, but are just differently so we don't see everything going on and behind the scenes, so the patient is less stressed! In week 1 of my stims now so fingers crossed.....

I actually learnt a lot about the process at ARGC which has helped me this time, and helped me ask the right questions etc......

Happy to answer any questions about either place smile

twinkledag Thu 30-May-19 23:20:02

Thank you so much for everyone who has taken the time to reply. We went to see ARGC and will have a consultation with Evewell and take it from there.

@BottomleyPottsSpots2 CONGRATS on your BFP!

twinkledag Thu 30-May-19 23:20:58

@Lemmecheck30 - keep me posted on how you get on! I have my fingers crossed for you 🤞🏻

stealthbanana Sat 01-Jun-19 06:43:32

Another vote for Colin

Like others I saw him before he opened the evewell (when he had a relationship with CARE london for embryology) but i couldn’t speak more highly of him. He doesn’t use blood tests, all your scans are with him, he’s extremely accessible and just very caring.

I had an initial consultation with ARGC but didn’t hear anything particularly impressive from them. I was considered a relatively easy case though as had PCOS with no other issues (and in fact we only ended up doing ivf accidentally as I was using stims just to try to ovulate and then TTC naturally, and I overshot the mark and produced too many eggs to try).

twinkledag Wed 05-Jun-19 09:25:38

I have an appointment at Evewell in a couple of weeks so will let you know how it goes.

pinegreen Sat 15-Jun-19 18:54:21

I’ve also got an appointment with Colin for infertility investigation shortly. It took ages to get though - about a 7 week wait. He came highly recommended by my GP particularly as I’m concerned I may have endo.

I’ve heard mixed reviews on IVF at Evewell but I’ll reserve judgement til we figure out whether we need to go down that route.

Londonwriter Sun 16-Jun-19 15:02:50

Have you considered CRGH?

We were at ARGC when I conceived my DS naturally after immune treatment, but have moved to CRGH for #2.

Same experience as others here. The pregnancy monitoring was so traumatic that I had PTSD-like symptoms passing the clinic door. I was constantly given the impression I was going to miscarry because of my immune results, despite the fact my pregnancy with DS was developing normally on the weekly scans. I also had numerous HCG tests, despite now realising this is largely meaningless in a six-week pregnancy.

Although the immune treatments cured a long-running mysterious immune problem (which had kept me off full-time work for years), it was obvious the clinic doesn’t actually understand the immune system. They told me, for example, that the treatments didn’t work when I’d had a miracle cure of my symptoms (and subsequently fell pregnant on my own). When I went back, they told me that they wouldn’t give me the same treatment as it didn’t work last time (despite the fact I had a live birth) and they were going to cycle me straight away. At the time, my immune condition was flaring so badly that I was running constant fevers, but the nurses wouldn’t listen to me when I explained this.

I moved clinics after realising CRGH had better results per embryo transferred. The contrast between clinics is incredible. CRGH is also an incredibly intensive clinic, but - in contrast - puts a massive effort into patient experience. They don’t routinely put back two embryos in older ladies or those with complex infertility. With me, they did PGS and a freeze-all cycle followed by a FET. They arrange appointments at a convenient time rather than calling up at 5pm telling you to come in tomorrow for a scan. They don’t expect you to wait around all day for appointments. They tailor your treatment to your blood tests/scan results, but don’t expect you to inject a medication in the next fifteen minutes or the world will end (as I’ve read ARGC doing in numerous forums). The waiting room is bright, cheery, and often has families coming back for repeat treatment rather than miserable tearful ladies chugging water and crying in the corridors (as I saw several times at ARGC). They don’t expect you to do a compulsory hysteroscopy to map your uterus (again, as I’ve read) - I had a far-less-invasive 3DSIS and they returned the embryo with ultrasound.

I’ve also actually spoken to a named consultant and queried my treatment several times at CRGH and had a pleasant, productive conversation. At ARGC I was routinely told ‘that’s what Mr Taranissi said’ as the only explanation for a clinical decision, and I only ever once got to speak to an actual consultant (who said something unforgivably horrid when I refused an IVIG).

In short, ARGC didn’t treat me like a person, and IVF is stressful enough. CRGH cares enormously that patients are actual people and, given their results are better, there’s no reason to pay to be treated equally like c**p.

Chocolateandwineplease27 Tue 18-Jun-19 14:23:00

Good luck with your appointment @twinkledag - be interesting to hear how you think they compare

twinkledag Fri 21-Jun-19 18:57:12

I had my appointment with Colin Davis. He is SO nice and kind 😊

I told him 'I heard about from you mumsnet and they tell me you're the better alternative to ARGC'. 😂

Think we are going to go with him, thank you so much for sharing your experiences!

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