Advice please: nightmare consultant, no NHS funding - what next?(17 Posts)
My husband and I have been TTC for 18 months. I'm 36, he's 41. After 6 months TTC we were referred for some sperm & blood tests. We then got lost in the system and have only just got back on track. We had our appt with the consultant yesterday and it was shocking - I won't go into the full details, but it was awful from start to finish including the receptionist touching my husband's stomach and making a male pregnancy joke (my husband is normal weight, doesn't have a big belly), the consultant barking at us that the amount we have sex "ISN'T ADEQUATE" (he had misunderstood our reply to his question), he didn't introduce himself, explain what to expect or anything, just avoided eye contact and asked the same questions we're always asked and then he left us alone in a room for ages without a clue what was going on, until a lovely nurse turned up to talk us through the bundles of paperwork he'd shoved at us over the table. These appointments are always really emotive, I don't understand how the consultants aren't trained to have more empathy?
Anyway - my London borough doesn't fund fertility treatment. Our consultant is horrible. We're booked in to have some more scans, blood tests and sperm analysis and I am wondering: should we get the tests done on the NHS and then go private? Should we move house to a better borough? Should we stick at it and cross our fingers? Should we ditch it now and use our overdraft to pay for the tests? I'd love your experience & ideas
If you can afford to go private then do. I found the NHS fertility clinic very stressful, lots of cancelled appointments (often finding out it was cancelled when I was at the hospital), huge waiting lists for actual treatment so went private. Getting a sperm analysis shouldn't be too hard with the NHS but a private clinic will likely repeat it after 3 months.
Thank you Lillyleaf. It would mean taking out a loan or extending the overdraft - I feel so lost with it all. We don't know yet if we need IVF or perhaps Clomid or maybe nothing is wrong - when I look at the private clinics it seems to be all about IVF? How many consultations did you end up needing? I think we'd need to start with that
I would try and get the sperm sample test and your blood tests through the hospital as these can generally be done quite quickly and you only really deal with the nurses( this was the case at my nhs hospital) if your borough doesn't offer free ivf anyway wouldn't you have to go private?
I have also found that the nurses are lovely and the consultants not so much too.
IVI Spain, Serum Athens or Reprofit Czech Republic. Much cheaper than the UK and better outcomes. 200% worth it.
Maximoo - yes, if it is IVF we need them we'd have to go private, but if it's something like clomid or any of the other options I think they cover it. Fell into a Google hole this morning though and realised their maternity ratings are bad too, so if we were to fall pregnant id probably want to be in a different borough anyway, so a move could be on the cards. I think you're right - continue with the tests because that's the nurses and they've all been lovely. Then maybe give it another go with the consultant or move/go private.
Alice - thanks so much for those. I hadn't even thought of going abroad. Who did you use?
Clomid wasn't an option for me as I was ovulating, so straight to IVF. We firstly did fertility mot tests and had a consultation before and after. Then when we were ready to start IVF had another consultation with the doctor then a drugs consultation with the nurses. We are using access fertility multi round/refund program so all cycle consultations were part of the package.
We had a very bad experience with our NHS consultant, so much so she asked me why I married my DH if I knew he had fertility problems, was borderline rascist, very rude to both of us, didnt send us the correct forms and them bluntly told us we would never have a biological child. Finished it off by offering to see us in her private clinic. I complained and was transferred to anothet hospital who were kind enough to fund all the relevant tests on the NHS despite me being too old for NHS funding at 35. We went private, did a lot of research and went with Newlife in Greece, much better experience, far cheaper than UK and expecting our first from our first full cycle
Lillyleaf Thank you for your experience - I didn't realise clomid was only for people not ovulating. I'm not 100% sure, but I seem to be ovulating but then having short 2nd half of the cycle and from googling that seems to be a progesterone issue. I just wish there was a number I could call to talk it all over! I am worried that even with IVF the lack of progesterone would make me lose the baby. Maybe we do just need to pay for a consultation and talk it over with someone and take it from there. Otherwise I get lost down Google rabbit holes .
Chista - oh my goodness that sounds so awful. I am so sorry you had that. I don't understand why someone would work in fertility if they're like that. It's horrible. We're too afraid to complain in case it makes things worse, but it's good to read that they transferred you for your tests. I'm going to take a look at New life.
If you have time, then getting any tests you can on the NHS is better as private treatment is very expensive and every little helps. They will need to be within a certain date to be used by the private clinic and the NHS may make you pay for a copy of your notes.
I couldn't recommend treatment on the NHS based on my experience as it was shocking. After 3 IVF rounds, 1MC and turning to private treatment it turns out we needed ICSI after all. Along with various other things that were missed or not tested for, it seems like we had gone through the stress of IVF with very little chance of achieving a successful pregnancy.
We were treated horribly after MC at 7 weeks and after a quick scan, were thrown out of the scanning room by the nurse 'as she had another appointment'. Offered nowhere to go, no support or any kind of sympathy whatsoever. Had to walk straight into a waiting room overflowing with people whilst obviously devastated and in floods of tears. This still makes me well up whenever I think about it.
After having private treatment (successfully) I now think that not only were we on the wrong treatment, IVF instead of ICSI, but also that the timings of each stage of the treatment were not necessarily done at the right time, but on the days that fit in with the clinic at the time. I once overheard a nurse asking another nurse if they could still do egg collections on a Sunday, as she thought that was the best timing. With a reply that they didn't do them anymore so I'd have to wait until Monday.
Private clinics will follow your body's signals and progress through the treatment and do each stage when it's needed. This was a huge difference I noticed.
Please don't underestimate the emotional toll it can take on you, and whilst I know money is a factor, as it was for us, I think the right private clinic can save you a huge amount of heartache and time (if age is a factor).
Best of luck x
Thank you so much YM for your honest reply. It's already been an emotional mess - 18 months of chasing our tales, our paperwork being lost by the hospital, having to start all over again, sitting in waiting rooms full of pregnant people, all the cycle tracking and vitamin taking and disappointments each month and that's all before starting this whole IVF journey, which I know will be even harder. Hats off to all of you that have made it through. I just feel so useless!
Don't worry about progesterone as with IVF this will be supported with drugs and monitored. Maybe look into clinic open evenings, then you get a sense of the clinic and can ask questions before paying for a consultation.
Yes progesterone will be given so as @LillyLeaf said don't worry about that.
@ym10146 I have a follow up appointment with the nhs after my 3 failed embryo transfers this Tuesday and want to request all my paper work and results from blood/sperm tests so we can give to which ever private clinic we decide. Do you really have to pay? I also think we were just scheduled in to fit into there time and maybe not what's right for me. After first failed transfer they didn't offer anything to do differently just said these things happen and to do second transfer which as by standard for them is non medicated each time for the second and third I came in my period within 3-5 days after transfer.
@Sylva123 I lost my shit when we weee in the waiting room and someone decided to bring there friend and there baby to the appointment with them..... of all places the assisted conception unit. I agree to go to open evenings we have one booked with the lister clinic in London in a few weeks
I’ve had treatment at serum - let me know if you have any questions. I would definitely go private if you can afford to.
@Maximoo06 I don't remember how much, but I think it was either £10 or £20. This was at Guy's. Not a huge amount but annoying anyway. And they don't rush!
@Maximoo06 thank you, I'm going to book is into some open evenings and that'll at least make us feel like we're getting somewhere. I'm due my period next week so will be in for a scan & blood tests then too, and perhaps the nurses will give me a bit more info on what happens next. Husband has 2nd sperm test on Monday too - he has to pay £130 so I presume that it's because our borough don't fund it
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