So, myself and my husband decided we wanted another child over two years ago back in 2019! We had a few irons in the fire, plans, holidays etc so (as our first was a surprise) we waited a few months so the timing would be right, figuring it would happen right away!!
Flash forward to 2021 and we are now beginning our (private) IVF journey…throw in a bit of COVID and an overstretched NHS I can’t say the journey has been a fun one!
After 6 months of trying (no joy) and being the ripe old age of 35 I knew I could go to my doctor and ask for some tests etc, if you are under 35 you have to have been trying for 12 months before the NHS will do anything for you.
23 September 2020 I had a telephone consultation with my GP who agreed to send me for blood tests and my husband for a semen analysis. I had to have day 1-5 bloods and then day 21 bloods. All came back fine as did the semen analysis.
It was 28 October by the time all the results came back and the doctor had seen them, it was only at this point he could then refer me to the fertility clinic.
I waited with baited breath….and waited….and waited. Then the referral came though for March 2021!!! I was disappointed to say the least, but there was nothing I could do about it so we carried on trying and then March came!
They day before the appointment came and after waiting almost 6 months since my initial Drs appointment I was nervous/excited to say the least, and then I got a text message that just said. Appointment cancelled. We will be in touch.
At this point I lost the plot, after over 12 months of trying this was my one light on the horizon, the point where we might get some help or answers and it was gone just like that!! My main worry was that I was going to have to wait another 6 months for another appointment.
Long story short (and a bit of bullshit in between IMO) my appointment was rearranged for May time, still an additional 6 weeks later and another two cycles but what could I do!
The appointment finally came and went and there were no more answers, just an ultrasound scan then a follow up appointment. Apparently the wait for scans and follow up appointments was at least 2 months as well so it was at this point I decided to pay for a private consultation, (just out of curiosity) as I had already been warned at my first consultation that I’d probably be looking at privately funded IVF if the NHS couldn’t find anything fundamentally wrong!
I enquired about a private consultation and got an appointment within two weeks with Care fertility in Manchester that cosy £230, I was assigned a lovely Dr called Mark Sedler who has been nothing but positive, wonderful and just lovely!!! It was a breath of fresh air I must say!
I explained the situation, my worry about my age, the time it was taking with the NHS and just asked his opinion, he was very honest and asked us to try another 6 months and have as many scans and tests on the NHS as we could before they discharged us from their care! He mentioned several different ones that we would have to pay for as part of the private pre screenings but that would be accepted should I have them as part of my NHS testing! This was beyond helpful as at my final consultation with the NHS they were happy they had done all they could, couldn’t find anything wrong and therefore wished me well with my privately funded IVF….
However, following my consultation with Dr Sedler, I knew that a hycosy scan would be helpful to rule out any issues with my Fallopian tubes, the NHS were not keen to do this as I already had a child I hadn’t struggled for so there can’t be anything wrong, which I would have gladly accepted had I not spoken to Dr Sedler (and then gone on to pay £750 for the pleasure privately)
I requested, as they were sending me on my way, that at the very least, I would appreciate it if they could do this one last test to save me the trouble and cost just to rule out one last possible issue. They agreed, and I had my hycosy scan a couple of months later (September) which also came back clear! There was a 2 month wait for the hycosy scan as you have to ring up the first day of your cycle to then book in for day 7-13, July and August were both fully booked so it was September before I managed to get in. At which point it has taken a full 12 months to have bloods, and ultrasound and a hycosy, all due to NHS waiting times!
So now our private IVF journey begins…