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Anyone got experience of IVF at The Bridge / Lister hospital / ARGC in London?(17 Posts)
We are trying to decide which clinic to use for our first IVF cycle. Both The Bridge and Lister are reasonably convenient for work although the Bridge has longer opening hours. Can anyone recommend either please?
We have also looked at ARGC which undoubtedly has the best results but very mixed reviews in terms of patient care. Arguably that doesn't matter if you end up with a baby but it is far less convenient for work which is the main reason for discounting it at this stage.
Anyone used ARGC?
There is a thread in conception with people who have used different places. Worth posting there to see who you hear from.
I'd also recommend the Fertility Friends website. There are threads for all the different clinics.
ARGC has very good success rates, but it's very expensive compared with other clnics -- you're looking at >£10,000 per cycle. The Lister has a very good reputation.
I did a cycle with the ARGC in 2005 (not exactly up to date info therefore) - got pg first go (twins) but unfortunately miscarried in the second trimester. It is astronomically expensive - I was a good responder on a low stim protocol but there is so much monitoring (daily bloods, daily scans towards the end) that the costs mount up very quickly. Pretty much everyone is ICSI'd regardless of diagnosis, immune therapy is often used (£££) & pretty much everyone is tested (££). You don't get your hand held & the facilities are crap frankly. They will continue to see you in pregnancy. The cycle after my miscarriage I had a natural pregnancy & the ARGC kept me on (again v. expensive). They are (were?) fussy about FSH - high FSH doesn't mean they won't treat you but ideally they like it below 10 & they will keep testing for a few months before starting stims to see how low it will go.
It is not everyone's cup of tea - I was very happy there but it isn't without a downside. We had some early fertility assessments done at the Bridge & I was not impressed at all - when I got pg we were planning to move to the Lister for egg share.
Fertility friends is really really good & has active Lister & ARGC boards.
As Greenanaconda said, fertilityfriends.co.uk is a good place to start your research into patient experience. I had 2 cycles, both at ARGC and both were successful - one singleton and then twins. It was about £10k a cycle all in. It's not plush, but you're monitored v closely and each treatment is individually tailored on a daily basis based on the previous day's results. They also monitor in early pregnancy which in my case meant they could give me drugs to stop me rejecting the embryos as I'd already started to bleed.
Now that my children are here, i can't tell you enough of how little importance the facilities are. It's only only only the outcome that matters. Very best of luck. X x
Hi, thank you all for your messages, it is really helpful and I will look at fertility friends.
I have also posted this on the conception thread so am covering both bases!
Thank you Greenanaconda and BagofHolly for your advise about ARGC. I'm not too worried about the facilities in terms of waiting room etc as I'd rather they spent their money on the embryologists' salaries so they can recruit the best!
BagofHolly, it's interesting that your cycles cost about £10k all in as we have done some very rough estimates and (admittedly on a worst case scenario)the cost of one cycle at the Lister would also come in at about £10K. We are trying to ignore cost for the purposes of choosing a clinic and go with the one that clicks most but it is such a tricky decision!
We had 2 cycles of IVF (with ICSI) at ARGC - both were successful and we now have 3 children (2nd cycle resulted in twins).
Obviously, I'm thrilled with them, but I'd echo a lot of the caveats on here about intensity/lack of hand-holding.
Our first cycle in 2006 cost about £6k I think - contrary to a lot of people's experience we found they weren't interested in running any extra tests. Our primary issue was v. low sperm count - hence the ICSI. They monitor you incredibly carefully - I had a high risk of OHSS and from what I've read my cycles would have been cancelled at some other clinics due to overresponding. They continue to keep a close eye on you in pregnancy - another reason why the costs mount up.
The emotional/psychological support is pretty rubbish, but they do get brilliant results.
Wish you lots and lots of luck with it...
My sister did her first round of IVF at ARGC at the end of last year. It cost her (well my parents) around £9,000. Although it was unsuccessful, she was very happy with the clinic and is going to try again soon. We had heard things about ARGC being less touchy feely than some of the other clinics but that wasn't her experience at all. She felt like they were doing their utmost to get her pregnant. I wonder if their patient care has improved in the past few years?
One of the reasons she chose ARGC was the fact that they are open every day and so if Sunday happened to be the best day to transfer, then they would be open to do it. Some of the other clinics do not open every day. She was at one point going to have to go in on Christmas day! As some of the other posters have said, they do want you to come in a lot for blood tests/scans which is partly why their success rates are so high.
Just to echo louey, I started my second cycle on Christmas day. I had scans at 7pm on a sunday evening - They really are there all hours!
Also, best of luck to your sister next time!
I can`t rate the ARGC highly enough. The actual cost of IVF competetive with other clinics (if not cheaper, it`s the daily bloods which hike the price up. Everyone has an individual treatment plan & the blood tests are such an important part of this. EC will be done on the day that is right for you, the drugs you use might be evry different from the person in front of at reception.
My first cycle there was successful & I have a 21 month old son. I am now 25 weeks pregnant following my first FET. And I have another ten waiting in the freezer
Had ICSI at Bridge and have a lovely daughter now, so the result is excellent!
In terms of the process, at times they seemed a little unprofessional (losing genetic test results which caused almost a two months' delay; some of the nurses are absolutely useless etc.) The medical team are international, and sometimes I had difficulty understanding what they were saying, or was not sure whether they understood 100% what I said (although I think these days it is quite common in all hospitals).
Still, it was a vast improvement on my previous IVF at Chelsea & Westminster. The investigations in Bridge were much more thorough. Chelsea was far less flexible about opening times and was rather blase about monitoring bloods etc so I was seriously overstimulated. The worse thing, however, was that none of my eight embryos fertilised - which statistically is extremely rare and the consultant vaguely suggested that it might have been a fault with the incubator. However, no investigation was done...
Anyway, I would definitely recommend Bridge and will consider it for the second child.
Lots of friends of mine have had babies from IVF at the lister
in fact 42yr old friend had baby from first round (he is now 10), got pregnant from second round but sadly lost it at 3 months, and had baby from third round at the age of 45 (he is now 7)
I was so impressed!
also agree that chelsea no good from friends' experiences. 2 friends there, multiple attempts, no babies
I had IVF at the Lister a couple of years ago. Successful first cycle and I now have a wonderful son. I cannot recommend it too highly. It was very expensive but I felt total confidence in them (not one of my natural instincts) and I was very closely monitored. All the consultants seem great.In fact I'd just arranged to see them again wanting to have a second child when I fell pregnant naturally!
Argc customer service and staff Attitudes are impersonal, cold and unsupportive. Enough to ensure a failed cycle. You need all the warmth and support you can get.
I would not recommend Lister Hospital. Not what was expected. I went to Lister hospital for egg freezing because it had good reviews. I had Dr Jaya Parikh who performed the surgery. On the cycle I was due to start, my follicles were low compared to the previous cycle. I was concerned but Dr Parikh seemed very commercial and money driven and persuaded me that l never know if the next cycle is going to be good cycle in terms of higher number of follicles. So l went ahead. She also said there was a polyp in my uterus that needs to be removed. In fact l never had a polyp and Dr Parikh proliferated and the dialator went through my uterus and l had to do an emergency laporoscopy to check for internal bleeding. I also only had 2 eggs retrieved. I went to private thinking that I will get better service but please be cautious. I was otherwise healthy now l have scars from laporoscopy and a damaged uterus. Be warned of Dr Parikh, she is not good doctor, and she became very defensive, no apology at all from her. I want to write this, so that other patients do not go through what l did.
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