Am so confused re ivf clinics - any recommendations hugely appreciated

(15 Posts)
blueskies19 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:05:42

Hi all

Im 42 and am looking at ivf clinics and am so confused about which one - would be great to have a recent recommendation

ARGC seems to have good success rates but then they don't offer PGS or maps time lapse imaging which sounds like that would be good.

Also just heard about embryoscopy but can't find any clinics that seem to do this

any help or advice would be greatly appreciated

colafrosties Wed 24-Jul-13 16:01:01

Hi blueskies, I don't really have any direct experience of London cliincs myself, but just wanted to mention the fertility friends website in case you had not heard of it. You may find information by searching on the message boards there. Best of luck with your research.

Luckystarfour Wed 24-Jul-13 20:46:09

Hi Blueskies

I could recommend both HSFC and City Fertility they both offer Embryoscopy and Array CHG. :-)

thaliablogs Thu 25-Jul-13 07:17:45

Blueskies you need to go and see them (and go on fertility friends as cola suggests, there is a thread for each clinic on there).

ARGC has great results although some think they fiddle their numbers by doing transfers for lpatients less likely to succeed at another clinic nearby. Very controversial, may or may not be true. I went for a consultation there and was impressed by the doc I saw (not mr taranissi) but found the place unbearable - they treat you like cattle, you can't book individual slots for appts so end up waiting around all morning, communication was awful and when I got pregnant spontaneously they refused to release the results of the very expensive blood tests they had done (which I assume said I should be having lots of expensive igg treatment to get pregnant). So clearly it was not the place for me, yet a good friend of mine swears by it and got pregnant there twice and credits mr taranissi with the existence of her children.

Last time I read the research pgs was not associated with improved outcomes, but that may have changed. You need to be careful of clinics offering additional treatments that have no basis in science. If they are doing them they should also be doing trials to test if they actually make a difference and to whom.

Best thing to do is to ask the people who go to these clinics now, and book consultations at the places you think are interesting, it will cost 120 or more a go but you will be able to ask the docs your questions and see how they respond. You need somewhere where you trust the docs and other staff, where they do research responsibly and are improving their numbers, which you can get to with some ease, who will treat you like a grown up.

And you are 42 so you really need to do this NOW, don't wait around for the perfect clinic. Time is sadly not on your side.

Best of luck!

Isabeller Thu 25-Jul-13 07:25:35

We recently had treatment at LWC, they have free information mornings "inseminars" also run a support group open to anyone.

blueskies19 Thu 25-Jul-13 11:10:56

thank you so much for all your replies and information which is so useful to have

I know that time is of the essence with me nearing 43 so I will book appointments soon

it seems from the small amount of research that I have done whilst some rave about a clinic others are very disappointed so rather than wait to find that elusive clinic which everyone recommends highly (which in reality doesn't exist) I just have to plump for one

I think that embryology which I've only heard about recently sounds much less invasive than PGS which removes some of the developing cells so is not without complications

Has anyone tried anything to naturally improve their egg quality? I've done quite a bit of research about this but would be interested to hear if anyone had experience of egg quality improving naturally through supplements etc

many thanks again for all your information which is so helpful to have

BombJack Thu 25-Jul-13 12:05:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thaliablogs Fri 26-Jul-13 00:30:03

Blueskies, the supplements etc are mostly not correlated w improved outcomes, although also most of them do no harm. With those like epo, though, you need to tell docs you are taking it as it can interfere w the effects of the hormones you take.

Last time I did the research the supplement which did look promising was Dhea, although case not proven. I took it for 4 months before my final ivf cycle (at 41.9) and got pregnant w my son. I have absolutely no proof that it had any effect, but I am favourably disposed! You should look for more recent research to see if the trials that have been done on it produced good results.

Have you had any tests? Do you know your fsh, Amh etc? .

Pocket1 Fri 26-Jul-13 10:22:11

Ditto what Lucky said about HSFC http://hsfc.org.uk/. I'm currently cuddling my 3 week old daughter following treatment with the lovely Dr Venkat smile

eurozammo Fri 26-Jul-13 13:34:18

I think the reason that you will not find a consensus towards one clinic is that different approaches suit different people. ARGC does have good published results but as soon as I heard about the daily testing and the fact that they seem to throw every drug in the cabinet at their patients, I knew it wasn't for me.

I prefer a low intervention approach, and so ended up doing natural IVF at Create. I got pg first time, although it sadly ended in miscarriage. Nonetheless, I generally like the clinic and the staff, so I am about to go for cycle #3 there next month. It wouldn't be for everyone, but it suits me.

You also need to think about practicalities because when you are stimming you will need to go to the clinic frequently to be scanned. So if you are in London you will have a lot of choice of clinics within reasonable travelling distance but outside of London for the most part only one or maybe two clinics are suitable.

I asked my clinic (Bourn Hall in Cambridgeshire) about PGS and they said they didn't do it because for women over 35, even on the best outcomes for treatment you are likely to only produce 1-2 good quality embryos so there is no point in screening to select the 'best ones'. For women under 35 the success rate was now over 50% in any event so again they did not feel it justified to start offering it. I had 2 good quality embryos from my first cycle put back and am now 29 weeks pg (I am 39) with a singleton. Their approach was to keep drugs at low doses to avoid OHSS and aim for 1-2 good quality embryos only.

My main concern was a clinic that was well run and organised rather than just the stats. I have heard of some clinics where they are not open on the weekends, meaning that some women end up going through EC or ET on the less than optimal day just to suit the clinic. That would be a definite no go for me. Similarly I read a post somewhere where the patient was told it was entirely up to her whether to go for the long protocol or shot protocol (which are very different drug regimes with a big difference in side effects). I would want the consultant to be able to make a sensible recommendation and discuss it with me, not make it seem like only personal choice!

curlyLJ Mon 05-Aug-13 20:25:38

I can really recommend CRGH in Central London - their success rates are excellent, especially with frozen/thaw transfers with women over 40.

They are expensive, and sometimes the waiting times (when you go in for appointments, not to start treatment) can be a bit long as they try to fit everyone in, but we got a gorgeous DD out of it and hopefully another one if this 2ww works out the way we hope!

They are really friendly, are open at weekends, they do early morning appts (8am) if you need to go before work for example. The team of gynaes are fab and they are not afraid to try out different drug regimes/treatments that I have heard some clinics won't entertain eg they often use a growth hormone to improve the quality of the eggs you get, particularly if age isn't on your side.

I think they do open evenings for people who want to see what they are like, but I would say don't hang around too long before making a decision as age is a major factor in IVF success.

Good luck!

itchyandscratchy26 Tue 06-Aug-13 04:40:30

Where do you live? We used CRGW in Wales (near Cardiff) it is a newish clinic with excellent staff but due to its newness only has published results re pregnancies rather than live births. We cycled twice and u now have 9 week twins. The clinic are happy to work with other clinics in a parallel manner, for examole some patients get immune treatment advice from Dr Gorgy but still undergo the actual egg retrieval and embryo transfer locally. They offer embryoscope and intralipids. I used the latter incidentally.

kickassangel Tue 06-Aug-13 04:52:57

We used Bourne hall and I loved it, but you do need to be able to get to the clinic fairly easily. There were times I was there every day, sometimes twice, sometimes for several hours, due to the treatment I needed. There will also be times when you need your partner there with you, so ease of access is important.

Good luck.

kjjmack Sun 11-Aug-13 18:18:57

Hi, I would heartily recommend The Lister clinic/hospital in Chelsea!

They really push the boundarys with new techniques and have a great success rate. I had 3 cycles at my local clinic which failed then a successful 4th cycle at the lister - I wish you all the best smile

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