(In)fertility update

It’s been a while since I had an update on our fertility treatments what with the holidaying and back to working, so I thought a status update was somewhat overdue. 

The first consultation for our next IVF cycle was meant to be this afternoon. Instead it has been put back a month or so as we were informed last week that there’s a problem as no doctors are in next week. 

I can’t complain really. We are in the UK, which means we get treated (almost*) for free on the NHS (National Health Service). The cost of IVF is nothing like it is for you guys overseas as we are not expected to fund it ourselves as long as we are eligible. There are some strict-ish criteria, like you can’t be treated on the NHS over a certain age (I think it’s 39 or 40 but either way, older than I currently am) and I think you have to be healthy in terms of not being chronically obese etc. The rules for entry and number of cycles vary from trust to trust but in our catchment area in London it means we are eligible for up to three cycles.

(*Almost free as everyone has to pay something called National Insurance contributions from their salaries which fund things like the NHS and public services. This means we are contributing towards it but some are contributing more than others, such as those who are unemployed/retired – and some pay taxes without ever using the service. We also pay a prescription fee of around £9 per prescription and on my last cycle I probably used around 5 prescriptions – obviously less than if you get them privately. A lot of people also have private health insurance subsidised through work – I pay for mine but it’s less than if I got it not through work, which is for example why I was able to get my fibroid operated on in a shorter time than if I’d waited for my NHS turn to come round. So indicatively a cycle of IVF cost me around £50  last time for prescriptions and the tax I pay from my salary, whereas it would cost around £5000 upwards to go private.)

This also means we are somewhat more passive than active consumers – we are told our protocols, and we don’t get to pick whether there is any testing or any further investigation of reasons for infertility.  In our trust the investigations extended as far as treating my known endometriosis, doing some scans, and removing a fibroid found during the miscarriage. For T it was a sperm test (for which he got the all clear and was so chuffed with himself he demanded a certificate!). Those along with my medical history of 15+ years of never getting pregnant were enough to jump right to IVF. There was a brief chat about IUI but the doctor advised me at my advanced age to get on with IVF! There was no investigation of why I might be infertile. 

Of course I’d never wish to be subject to the whims of insurance funding or worse off, funding it ourselves. We could probably scrape together a cycle (which would have replaced our holiday this year and probably Christmas too). Maybe our parents might fund another cycle – T’s sibling doesn’t look likely to have kids so it would be the only chance of a grandchild on his side. And my parents were overjoyed when we announced our ultimately doomed pregnancy. 

However it does feel like we can’t really ask for stuff. We can’t ask for tests. As a stats fan (and T is too, and much better at maths) I’m always asking why they aren’t maximising chances by testing. T says it’s a numbers game. By which he means most people who get referred on the NHS have fertility problems that would get treated by a dose or three of IVF. Tests cost more and probably only solve the problems of a few. Most people have one or two years of infertility, not 15. After miscarriage followed our first IVF cycle, I can’t help feeling that if there is something I could do to avoid that pain, I’d do it. But our treatment is in essence free so we don’t get to ask for those tests. And many people do have successful pregnancies from NHS treatments.

It’s not a great consolation though to those of us who are on the wrong side of the stats. I read all the blogs out there (well, not all!) and they talk about auto immune problems, and scary sounding reasons why my body might be incapable of getting pregnant on its own. In the time since July when I had the miscarriage, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to try things “the natural way”… We’ve taken antenatal vitamins and done the deed at appropriate times as given by apps or ovulation sticks. But I have little faith. (T says I need to believe but after 15 years, I don’t.) I’d love to be that couple for whom it happens but I really doubt it will be us (like my friend from uni who had one via IVF and then boom! Another one naturally within a year).

I guess part of me wants a Dr Braverman to tell me what’s what. But our doctors are fantastic and sympathetic (and one in particular is a total hottie! Even though he was probably still at school when I was at uni!) and so I’m not complaining. The NHS is overstretched and who are we to demand treatment for something that isn’t life threatening… I feel mad at the unfairness of it all, that I can’t do something so simple and human that school kids manage it first time. The irony that I was the result of an unwanted (or unkeepable) pregnancy. 

And related to this, I wanted to tell you about something that happened a while ago at work, because I’m still sad/angry (sangry!) about it. It was quite a while ago now. I guess a week or so after I was back from the two and a bit weeks off I had for the miscarriage. 

I was sitting in the office minding my own business and trying to finish some work. As you might know if you followed my first IVF cycle, I was on the Project From Hell which meant I was working all the hours in all the days on a very stressful project. And yes, I was probably bloated from the pregnancy and the drugs. 

This woman – I refer to her as Cray-Cray – came over to speak with me. I can’t say I’ve ever encouraged it give her crazy reputation. This is someone who, following the birth of her child emailed a set of extremely gory photos of the baby, fresh out of the vajayjay to an entire list of work people – including ones far more important than me. Since then everyone has been like, oh, [her name], she’s crazy!

For one thing I have an infertile woman’s resentment of women who bring their children to work / plaster the workspace with photos and artwork and bring them into the office during holidays. I’m not kidding you – Christmas time turns into crèche time every few days, with screeching children running around the office. And when someone has a baby, it’s practically the rules that they bring it in for people to coo over. I don’t work in a very informal environment – it’s pretty corporate – but unfortunately the rules are relaxed for children and they’re probably too scared to say anything for fear of being sued. I find it kind of unfair that the rule isn’t the same for dogs but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. (I’d probably stay even later hours if my dog was allowed to come in to the office.)

For another thing, Cray-Cray is quite simply too intense for everyday conversation. Unfortunately for me there are very few women in my group who do exactly what I do so she decided we are the same. (I am actually super encouraging of women and I feel it’s my duty to encourage and help the more junior women… But perhaps you’ll understand my stance when you read the next bit.) I always felt a bit guilty that my first instinct was to make excuses to stop talking with her. She has this way of staring into your eyes in a very intense way and quite frankly I find it deeply offputting. 

Anyway, the conversation went something like this…

Cray-Cray: Hi Nara, are you busy?

Me: [still staring at computer screen and typing] Yes, I’m pretty busy right now. 

CC: [ignoring obvious cue to leave me alone] How are you?

N: Fine. 

CC: [ignoring the universally acknowledged “Fine”-means-I-do-not-want-to-talk cue] So how is work going?

N: Fine… I’m very busy right now.

[Insert brief exchange re clients and work where she tells me she would like to work for me on some project if there is a space and I’m thinking, over my dead freaking body…]

CC: So how’s your personal life? [WTF? Who even asks that?!]

N: It’s fine thanks; how are you?

CC: Where are you living now? [What? I genuinely don’t understand where this woman learned the art of conversation as it wasn’t from a human.]

N: [My area of London].

CC: Oh, you should move over to near me!

N: I probably couldn’t afford it. [Thinking: When oh when are you going to go away?]

Then The Thing happens. 

It happens almost in slow motion. Cray-Cray focuses her crazy stare on my stomach. Bear in mind I am sitting down, I’m maybe a size 10-12 (6-8 US) compared with the 8-10 (4-6) I’ve always been before, but still not very large, not obese or anything. I’m still probably in the bottom quartile of my friends, or maybe I just hang out with larger people or something, but I don’t feel like I am chronically obese even though I want to lose weight like all women seem to want to do.

CC: [Staring very obviously at my stomach, more obviously than anyone ever could… Unambiguously] So… ANY NEWS?

Me: …?!?!?!?!

CC continues to make crazy eyes at me and my IVF / miscarriage / sitting down stomach.

Me: No. I don’t know what you’re trying to say. Are you saying I’ve put on weight? I’m not pregnant, if that’s what you are trying to ask. 

CC literally doesn’t miss a beat and continues yapping, entirely oblivious or uncaring about the upset / offence she has caused. For another few minutes. 

I don’t hear what she is saying because the sound in my ears is white noise. 

It’s that anger, that sad-angry burning white resentment of her and everything she stands for. 

She’s a mother. Some crazy f***er has actually chosen to impregnate her. (Did she talk incessantly and stare wildly into his eyes during the deed? One can only try to put that horrific image out of one’s mind.) She has a healthy child. Nobody would wish anything less, but I resent her. I want her to leave me alone, forever. I never want to speak with her ever again. EVERYONE KNOWS YOU NEVER ASK SOMEONE IF THEY ARE PREGNANT, EVEN IF THEIR GIGANTIC PREGNANT BELLY IS RUBBING YOU IN THE FACE. IT’S JUST NOT BRITISH.

Instead, I just try to ignore her until she goes away. 

Instead, I tell everyone in the office who will listen the hilarious story (with actions) to demonstrate how cray-cray she is and how not-pregnant I am. 

Most people find it hysterical. We are British (she is not – Portuguese I think) and it is unthinkable to any Brits that anyone would ever ask if someone was pregnant. You don’t even mention it until there’s a huge bump in your face and even then you probably only offer them a seat on the tube without mentioning it. 

Never has this happened to me before. Yes, people inappropriately ask about plans for having children but never has someone done something so blatantly offensive and upsetting as this.

Anyway, it’s now months later. I’m more or less over it, but then what happens last week but she has decided – in this age of hotdesking – to come and sit in my aisle. I have a fixed desk because of a specific thing I was working on. So do a bunch of people round me. There is a whole office of hot desks, and she has decided in her infinite, CRAY CRAY wisdom, that the best place to sit would be right by me!

You couldn’t make it up.

   

Footnote: I have my period today. (Of course I do… The ultimate punishment for infertiles.) It’s about a week early. This means that I have even less patience than normal… and every time I have to walk past Cray-Cray I want to slap her.

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34 comments

  1. theskyandback

    So my understanding of the NHS versus private healthcare is still very murky (you explained it very well, my brain just doesn’t speak Healthcare). But, could you continue on with the NHS-funded IVF, but while you’re waiting to get started, pay privately to get some immune testing done? You might even be able to get testing with the actual Dr. Braverman without having to go there if you want. He sends test kits out and you can get the blood drawn locally. That said, I’m sure there are some great reproductive immunologists in London that you could see locally, too. Dr. B. says that immune issues often go hand-in-hand with endo, so I think it could be worth it to at least investigate. And even if it turns out you don’t have any immune issues, then at least you know definitively. I can only speak from my experience, but I wish I would have gotten testing done before I did my second IVF. I thought about it, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle. If it’s nagging at you, even a little bit, I think it’s worth looking into.

    And your coworker, ugh! She needs to go away! So inappropriate. She really sounds off her rocker.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Ha, thanks for the support. Was a bit of a rant about Cray Cray! She’s sitting about 2m away from me as we speak… Infuriating!

      I don’t know what the private options would be as I haven’t asked about that. All I know is if you get private “fertility treatment” that means you get taken off the NHS list. I don’t know if that includes testing. It just seems weird that I wouldn’t be eligible for any tests or investigations until 3 miscarriages, which my record would mean a minimum of 3 IVF rounds (as I’ve never gotten pregnant without). That almost seems like they want you to “waste” your 3 cycles before they do any tests… Which seems odd. Equally people do get pregnant on round 2 so I don’t know. We can only hope.

      I guess I would probably just use up the free cycles whilst we have one (let’s just say I don’t get pregnant on this one then the next one would happen some time next year when I’m 38 and would be nearing the time when I become ineligible due to age anyway). So that would mean I get investigated towards the end of next year if I don’t get pregnant / maintain a pregnancy.

      The only way I know for them to test here is via a fertility clinic which means I would be cancelling out my free IVF cycles as far as I know. (Could just not tell them I guess but also it’s about raising the money. In the uk they don’t allow fertility treatments on insurance as they do overseas- fertility treatments are specifically excluded. For example I had to get the fibroid treated for heavy periods as the reason and not for the miscarriage. If they thought it was for fertility they wouldn’t pay. And I do have a history of very heavy periods!)
      All very complicated! 😭

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  2. flatwhitetogo85

    I’m sorry the consultation has been pushed back. That sucks. I can’t believe this cray cray girl! I want to punch her for you. I’m so sorry you have to put up with this. What is wrong with people?! Grrrrrr…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha. I know. I think it must be PMS or whatever the term is when you have your period (rage!). It’s soo annoying to have to see and hear her all the time. Like any other person would surely feel a bit awkward? Not her!

      One upside of consultation being delayed is I won’t have to give up alcohol for Christmas! I am cutting down anyway so hardly drink, but I always find it weird having to explain why I’m not drinking. So at least I can actually enjoy a drink or two at Christmas!

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  3. dinksbydefault

    I feel your pain. Every time I do not drink at a social function with a certain group of friends they assume I am pregnant and try to ask without actually asking. It drives me mad – “NO, STILL not pregnant! Likely NOT going to EVER happen without medical intervention!”. They’re not as blatant as your coworker (that is super awkward BTW) but it still bugs the hell out of me.

    Hopefully the wait until your consultation doesn’t seem to drag out forever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you for understanding! I really hadn’t not drunk around this woman. She literally decided to make me feel fat AND infertile all in one comment!

      I’m contenting myself with the fact that most people do think she is crazy.

      I am with you on the not ever, not without intervention! I also occasionally throw in some ominous sounding stuff just to shut them up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. tidleone

    Don’t be scared to ask for testing on the NHS, I cried and stood my ground in my ivf 2 failure appointment and I refused to leave without an answer. They did a full clotting factor range of tests and it picked up the Factor V genetic defect that suggests I’m at a higher risk of miscarriage, which is easily solved through heperin injections. The consultant told me you usually only get that test after 3 miscarriages so I was very lucky – not sure that her idea of lucky and mine are the same. But if you don’t ask you don’t get. I’m having treatment in the North, Manchester, at St. Mary’s.

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    • Nara

      Thank you! I’ve asked about testing but they said they won’t test until 3 miscarriages, and also that an IVF miscarriage doesn’t “count” in terms of something to investigate (as they think you obviously have problems if you’re doing IVF in the first place, I guess). I asked about PGS and so on and they said they don’t do it on the NHS. I’m in London and they pretty much told me I get what I’m given unless I go private! T is quite sanguine about it and thinks we should do the 3 “free” turns and then if none of those work, we go private (and ask for more tests)… It’s just the thought of 3 miscarriages (after gruelling IVF treatment) which makes me feel quite dejected.

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  5. My Perfect Breakdown

    Crazy people are the worst!! Like you, I’m just a magnet for the crazies. In fact my counsellor has concurred with this because I just have too many stories of crazy people.
    As for your infertility update, I hate that your appointment has been pushed back! I love that it’s affordable for you, but I still hate the waiting. The infertility waiting, no matter what type of waiting exactly (i.e. TWW, procedure waits, adoption waits, etc.) they all just suck! I hope the time passes quickly. As for the Dr. B immune testing, we did it. Turns out my immune system wasn’t the problem, but we did get a diagnosis that we couldn’t get from our local RE’s. So in that respect is was worth every single penny. I hope you can find the testing locally or maybe even work with Dr. B remotely, as thesykandback suggested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Hahahaha yes I am a crazy magnet too. How does it happen? Do we just have some invisible sign saying “Crazy? Talk to me!” 😂
      Yeah, I was disappointed that the appointment got pushed back but at least I wouldn’t have to go during my period (urgh) and I will be able to enjoy a few drinks over the festive season (we are British after all!). Tbh I have hardly drunk at all this year what with the pregnancy and whatnot but I feel like I’d have to get the excuses in if we were starting IVF right now, and I don’t know if I have the mental strength to have to make excuses about how I’m not pregnant. So in that case… Maybe the timings will work out. Also in a month from beginning of December hopefully it will be quiet at work for transfer and it won’t be some horrible schlepping backward and forward long journeys / 3:30 am starts! That would work for me! I’m trying to see the silver lining!

      I’ll talk to T about finding out about tests. When I spoke to the gynae about it who did my fibroid, he said there was no reason he could see why we couldn’t get pregnant. I don’t know. He just seemed to be saying we were unlucky the first time. I feel like I can’t push it as I’ve never gotten that far before so it’s not like I have a history of loss to justify the investigations. Also we really would struggle finding the money assuming it is a lot… I guess I’ll have to find out how much it would be but I know our insurance wouldn’t pay.

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  6. ashleykyleanderson

    Wow… so much to respond to!! I can’t even comprehend WHAT would make that crazy woman ask you such a question. Seriously, this American does not find that appropriate at all, EVER– and we are supposed to be the culture without boundaries! Not only that, but I literally just saw you a few weeks ago and you looked great. So, it has it be something besides you that made her ask that. Perhaps she just wants to find someone else to yammer on about pregnancy/babies with and she (unfortunately) decided to try you. UGH.

    And also… HOLY.CRAP. 50 pounds (don’t have the cool symbol on my keyboard!) for IVF meds?! I got the bulk of mine for just under $3,000 through a “compassionate care”program that gets you 50% off. If I was in Britain using the NHS for IVF, I would have a billion children. Or, really just as many as possible with the 3 cycle allowance.

    As far as testing goes… a lot can be determined from a simple blood test (hormone levels, ovulation and whatnot). You’d think they would at least do that.

    Anyway, I’m getting anxious to hear how your cycle goes… can’t imagine how you’re feeling about it! My fingers are already crossed! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha. Yes I think she is just a bit cray. And yeah… I know we are super lucky that our treatment costs nothing like the amount you guys have to pay. That said it’s not entirely free… We pay a fair amount in tax, like about a quarter of my salary goes out every month before it even hits my bank account! But then at least there are sections of the population who get completely free healthcare. So on balance I think it’s good but it obviously isn’t perfect as they are overworked and underfunded. I think you definitely see the difference in a private hospital as people aren’t so rushed etc. But I’d depend on the NHS in a life or death situation rather than a private hospital.
      As for the blood tests… I’m probably misrepresenting stuff as they do blood tests during the IVF process. I guess by tests I mean PGS, like testing the embryos beforehand etc. I think that is expensive – it’s something I specifically mentioned to the consultant (as I see from the blogs that there are usually chromosomal abnormalities when people do the testing – which would probably lead to miscarriage… It would be a comfort to be able to prevent that happening, but I think it’s too expensive).

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    • Nara

      Oh and the 3 cycle allowance isn’t universal UK – some is 2, and some you only get 1. Plus they’re talking about removing it. I feel conflicted about it as I think we shouldn’t take it for granted and also it is way less important (even though it feels so to us) than lifesaving or pain relieving treatments… I would probably feel comfortable with it being subsidised heavily. I guess it is, but what I mean is if we went privately it would be £5k+ so I would be comfortable with them making people pay £100-200 or even up to £500 for treatment, rather than it being free/prescription only. Once you get to it being in the thousands, you’d probably be better off going private and having more control over it.
      Also with the NHS funded cycles, you only get to do more cycles if it doesn’t work! So you don’t get to have loads of kids on IVF. You only get to do one funded cycle as far as I understand if it works… although then again I don’t know what happens if you have leftover embryos. I haven’t thought that far! Maybe they do let you do FET with any leftover embryos if it works first time.

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    • Nara

      Haha. I know right? I feel like a right b**** writing all of that but it has been brewing away and I felt so mad/upset about it. Like I really don’t think people think about how hurtful it is when they speculate about stuff like that. I also don’t think it is anyone’s business whether you’re trying or not. And it’s really upsetting given the timelines… I did feel like telling her I’d had a miscarriage just to shut her up, but I had a bad feeling that it wouldn’t have had the desired effect. She has the self-knowledge of, I don’t know, a snail or something! (I’ve not been friends with any snails… They may be really empathetic and I’m doing them a disservice!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Babyscienceproject

    Crazy indeed and RUDE to boot! I also hate how people bring their babies to work. One of my team had a baby about a month ago and she already emailed to see if she can bring him in next week. Why?! So we can all say how awesome he is? I find it quite distracting, self centred and uncomfortable. I am 100% not doing that if/when I have a baby – I don’t like this new, weird blurring of work and private life! Bring back the old school rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha. In my old work they were obsessed with finding out about my private life (eg where I was living) which I found really odd. The more I wouldn’t say, the more they would ask and try and find out. It was super uncomfortable especially as I split from my ex and wanted my privacy (as he took to contacting my work).

      And yeah, babies. I am not being belligerent when I say about my dog. My dog is my LIFE and I’m not allowed to bring him to work! I don’t see why babies should be brought in just to show them off. You can meet them outside work – we have loads of coffee shops where people could meet, and I do find it quite upsetting when all the kids are running around – not because I hate kids, but I sort of feel like work should be a haven from feeling childless.

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  8. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    I’m sorry your appt got pushed back…but like you say, having Christmas to relax with a tipple or two will be nice!

    The NHS is one of the reasons I’m not coming back to the UK in a hurry. (Although I have learned to completely and utterly appreciate their services since moving here!!) But as you say, it’s a post code lottery for IVF and I’m not sure I could start this whole process again in the UK. So it’s def a driver for me to stay here!! I also can’t believe their stupid rule about miscarriage after IVF doesn’t count as one of the three before testing. That makes me so mad. It’s almost like they are saying miscarriage after IVF is expected or normal. I’m so sorry 😦

    As for your co-worker….you could give her back a bit of her own medicine one day when she’s wearing something a little frumpy or tight! Ok that’s mean, I’d def be doing it in my head though!!!

    Where I used to work in Gloucester they let dogs come into the office. It was awesome! We had a French dog called Ziggy who was a rescue German Shepherd and terrified of men with beards. I looked after him when my colleague went to meetings so I got to pseudo own a dog!!! I miss working there 😦

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    • Nara

      Well… in theory I’m sure you’d be eligible for IVF in the UK – and also, aren’t you forces? So don’t you have exemptions on prescriptions? I think there is an exemption but could be wrong. Either way I don’t think they could track your US medical records so as long as you fitted the eligibility criteria (which in our borough includes living there for a year) then you would be eligible!

      I can understand why the NHS would not be something you’d want to come back to – I think after private healthcare, the NHS can be a rude awakening. That said, it’s free and they do what they need to do on a huge budget deficit – and all that stuff with junior doctors now is kind of blowing up – so we don’t know what the effect of that will be. (They are reducing the pay of junior doctors, which is basically all doctors up to consultants so people who’ve had lots of training and not just new grads. It will probably make people quit / move abroad / go to a different industry, so the NHS will become even more over stretched!)

      When I see how much IVF costs other people in the blog world though, my eyes do water. I wonder what the stats are for success rates on private vs NHS? You’d like to think that there’s some sort of premium service you get for paying all that extra money. Also it seems way more expensive in the US so I don’t understand why it is – our private is something like £5k, not $15k+. You do seem to get a lot more choice so maybe it’s that. I’m sort of scared to find out right now as I’ll probably want to go private, and I feel like I may as well take the service that’s offered right now given that it is so much less.

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      • thegreatpuddingclubhunt

        I’m just a reservist so I would get zippo! I have looked into the costs of private IVF in the UK and I cannot believe how much cheaper it is – even privately. A good comparison is the medications – they are about 20-30% cheaper in the UK.
        My husband works for a US health insurance company and tells me all the time how efficient the NHS is in comparison to the US!
        I have also discovered that just because we pay for healthcare here doesn’t mean you get quality all the time! I went to an urgent care centre a couple of weeks ago and sat in the patient room looking at the disgustingly dirty floor that probably hadn’t been cleaned for a week There was blood on the floor and on the skirting board. I wanted to VOMIT and get out of there quick. And I paid $150 for the privilege of that experience!
        Oh and the stats on success rates? I did some research into that several months ago – from what I recall I’ve seen that overall the US has a higher successful pregnancy rate, but in terms of success per embryo transferred the UK wins!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Oh gosh. I am sure it’s all swings and roundabouts! It is a lot cheaper though. I don’t know how folk in the US manage it. I think if your insurance didn’t pay you wouldn’t do it. Although I guess that’s like the NHS requirements.

        I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience! I’ve been telling myself it’s better there!

        Like

    • Nara

      Oh and so jealous about the dog! My dog wouldn’t behave really – he’d go sprinting round the office looking for food, so probably not a good idea! 🙂

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  9. yearningformotherhood

    Oh dear god, there are no words…

    This is a massive blanket statement but i do think that European females (not inc Brits) can be particularly brash and thoughtless, like they are born without the tactfulness part of their brains.

    I think you’re doing the right thing using up your free cycles cos you do forfeit them when you jump on the private wagon. It is a hell of a lot of money at the end of the day and you’ve paid into it so why not use it and at least save yourself the financial burden of it all.

    Did they do any investigations to try and ascertain a diagnosis?? It seems a bit odd not to… X

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    • Nara

      Hahaha. Yes… I think it’s rather un-PC to say, but there are definitely cultural differences in saying what you think. I think Brits just like to be quietly disagreeing with things and b*tch about them in private rather than saying something out loud! 😉

      I didn’t really have any diagnoses. We did have some blood tests so maybe that’s the extent of them… And all the scans. And beforehand I’d had HSG, endo treatment (laparoscopy x 2) and so on, but nothing major. Like you would think maybe they’d try and figure out why I had never been pregnant but I don’t think they do.

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      • yearningformotherhood

        Well I guess the bloods will have ruled out early menopause, thyroid etc, the scans will have ruled out anatomical causes and the hsg would have made sure your tubes were patent…
        I guess beyond that, there isn’t much really to go by. (And of course, male factor)
        The female reproductive system seems to be one of the only things where doctors will say, we don’t know what’s going on but we’re going to blindly chuck the Pill or a bit of Clomid at it. It’s so bizarre…

        The NHS def won’t offer things like PGS, unless , I imagine, you suffer with something that you don’t want to pass onto your child, like Cystic Fibrosis. But it seems to be that there are a lot of superfluous investigations/procedures out there that the US, especially, seem to like to do, probably for profit-driven reasons rather than evidence-based ones.

        I guess that, if you view each IVF cycle as completely luck of the draw it makes sense that they try the 3 cycles first (providing of course, your protocol is producing enough eggs, good quality embryos, reasonable uterine lining). As in, I can understand that logic in getting you to crack on with it, although can equally see why you’re so desperate not for cycle #2 to end in the way #1 did. But I guess even genetically screening an embryo is not going to be protective against an early miscarriage.

        I hope so much that this next cycle works for you! X

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  10. stealingnectar

    So seriously, it like watching a train wreck when I read this story…people are unbelievable! I am glad you blabbed to everyone about the story. Looking forward to good fertility news for you soon. I am very hopeful for you!

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  11. Haisla

    I just wanted to share my two pennies worth: we’ve just been through our two free NHS IVF cycles, one fresh, one frozen, which unfortunately only resulted in one early miscarriage and one BFN. Now we are on our own, but luckily have 6 frozen embryos from our fresh IVF cycle to use privately. We’re using one of the biggest Central London NHS clinics and privately they charge about £1,200 per frozen cycle (plus meds, which apparently “aren’t that expensive” as they’re not injectables) and £3,125 per fresh cycle or £4,025 for ICSI (prices do not include meds), which was actually cheaper than I’d expected. I, too, have been diagnosed with endo (on the mild end of the spectrum) so have been following your journey with interest. The last thing we got for free on the NHS were some further blood tests relating to clotting issues (only because I asked) of which results we are now waiting for before we embark on a self-funded FET. IVF does often feel like shooting in the dark, but I just wanted to reassure you that even going private is not as devastatingly expensive as I’d expected it to be (I, too thought it would be closer to £8k per cycle). That is of course the pricing of NHS clinic treatments, going “private-private”, e.g. Harley Street will no doubt be more expensive. Just out of interest, does your three free cycles via NHS include FETs as well as fresh cycles?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you… I really appreciate you giving me that info. I think we were actually quoted those figures but it makes sense to think you can shop around! It’s great to “know” someone else going through something similar. I guess we would go private if the NHS cycles don’t work… I’m sure I will be in touch to find out more if that happens! Wishing you lots of luck with your next cycle. Oh and the free cycles does include FETs too. We couldn’t do FET as we didn’t have enough eggs / embryos. Only one made it to day 5.

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