Fertility Network UK

Referral from GP

Hi everyone... We were referred to a fertility specialist by our GP 5 weeks ago and still haven't received an apt through the post. We are in the Sutton area...does anyone know how long this usually takes (for 1st apt?)

My partner has been diagnosed with v low sperm count and we have been trying for nearly two years now. I may be being impatient but it seems such a long time? I am considering going private but would like to see what the nhs can offer us? Xx

20 Replies

From memory I think it took us about 8-10 weeks to get our first appointment, we found that we had to ring to chase appointments sometimes. We also had some a

Appointments privately as a couple of times we slipped through the net and they lost referrals so we saw a consultant privately which saved us a few months. Good luck with it all. We found out september, hubby had sperm probs had an operation date for April had May as work wouldn't allow him time off and I started IVF October cycle just to give you an idea x x


Thanks for your comment :-) hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer then!! Did you have any tests privately? How does it work with having some appts private and some via nhs? I wasn't aware we could do that x


We didn't have any tests private my hubby saw the consultant to access him and book him for the operation which was back through NHS. as they'd messed up our referral from the infertility clinic to consultant it was going to take 3 months but we could see the same consuotant privately in like a week.

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Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time this situation is so difficult to be in. Big hugs ❤️

I'd advise you to phone the fertility clinic you have been referred to, to make sure that they have received the referral and that you are in the system! I always recommend checking referrals are received as when hubby and I were referred (July 2013 been trying for 2 years then like you) I phoned up clinic a month or so later as I had not heard anything so I called the clinic to my horror denied having received a referral it was a very stressful time. I ended up phoning the Dr who referred us and she sent another referral and so I phoned again and still they denied receiving a referral so I got tough and demanded the receptionist to be 100% certain before I made another call to my Dr surprise surprise it was found as if by magic😆!!! It was about 2 and a half months from referral to first appointment and if it hadn't got "lost" it would've been half that time.

I never made that mistake again anytime I've had any referrals I always phone a week later to make sure everything is ok and it has been.

The first appointment you will see a nurse who will go through all the tests that your Dr has done and may arrange further tests such as hsg which is a very standard to check that your tubes are clear and any other tests that maybe be relevant to you 😊 She will be able to tell you what your treatment options are available to you and if you hit the criteria or not. You will then be booked up to see a consultant ours was 7 weeks from first appointment to see the consultant who will put together a treatment plan providing you hit the criteria set by your county.

Not sure how the nhs funded ivf works as we were denied funding as I have a child already but my hubby hasnt it's a rubbish rule but hey there you go 😡.

Hopefully I won't need ivf as recently after many years being told it was unexplained have found a fibroid in the lining of my uterus which according to my general gynae has been there the whole time we've been trying and is the reason for our otherwise unexplained infertility as no embryos can implant there as there's something already there, having it removed 3 weeks today 👏

It's not being pushy by asking what is happening with your referral it is your right to know 👌Sod what they think put you first 😃 and phone them it might be that there is a letter winging its way to you but to know that would put your mind at ease 😘

Good luck sweetie I hope you get some positive news 🙏🍀❤️ X


Thank you for your comment :-) after your experience I am definitely going to chase the Drs tomorrow to see where they have referred us too. I understand I need to be patient but it's so hard!!! We are still trying every month but its heartbreaking when AF shows her face each month 😭

That's such good news they have found the reason for you fingers crossed everything works out for you! It's such a roller coaster isn't it?

I am a little worried as the Dr has only referred my partner to the clinic as his sperm count is v low...I just don't want anything to be delayed! I did have blood tests done by the GP which came back all clear.

Good luck with your journey and good luck with the removal of the fibroid! Bet you are so happy you finally have answers xx


It was also my husband that got referred as when they find something they look into that first but rest assured when done with him you'll have more tests if you go down treatment x


Oh that's good to know I'm not the only one thank you! That has reassured me! Xx


Hi lianm8. Just a quick reply. Unfortunately, it can take up to 16 weeks to receive a first appointment. However, if you know who you are going to see, then get in touch with his/her secretary and say that you are willing to accept a cancellation, it sometimes works. Good luck! Diane


Thanks for you comment! 16 weeks seems like such a long time to wait for the initial appointment!!


Hello Lianm8, I would give them a call and ask about waitig times. I am in Scotand and it took us 9 months from GP referral to our first appontment (although I think such a long wait is very unusual). I called a couple of times to check where we were on the list. I'm not sure what tests you've already had done but at the point of our referral the GP had only checked that I was ovulating so while we waited on the NHS we had our tests completed at a private clinic. This definitely saved a few months.

We've now started our first round of IVF. After all the waiting it now feels like it's happening so quickly!

Best of luck with your treatment. I hope your appointment come through soon!



Thanks so much for your comment!! Wow 9 months is such a long time, I feel silly complaining about 5 weeks!

We both had tests, I had blood work taken to check I was ovulating which I am. My partner had two sperm tests first one came back low so he was told to retest in 8 weeks after being healthy giving up alcohol no smoking etc but unfortunately this didn't help at all- we think it's down to him having mumps as a kid.

I am going to check the post this evening and if nothing still I will give them a call. I know I am being impatient but after two years it's beginning to take its toll. I know it's not as long as others but I hate every month waiting to see if my AF starts :-(

The only tests I have had is blood work as I have been pregnant before when I was younger with another partner (unfortunately this ended in a miscarriage at 11 weeks) so our Dr has only referred my partner. what other tests would you recommend doing privately while we wait?

Good luck with your first round of ivf I bet you are so happy the Time is finally here!!! Sending you lots of hugs and luck!!! X


Hello, I think I was phoning the clinic to chase my appointment after 6 weeks so I can understand your frustration! We've been trying for two years too so I know exactly how difficult it is. Each month there's that little bit of hope it will work followed by complete disappointment.

I had a few tests at the private clinic. Firstly I had an ovarian scan (to check everything looked ok) then a blood test for AMH levels (this tells you your ovarian reserve). Later I had and HSG to check my Fallopian tubes were clear and there were no blockages. When I callled the clinic I didn't really know what to say but I explainedour situation to the receptionist who was great and explained what they would do.

Although it sounds like your have a male fertility problem the NHS will probably want you to have these tests completed before treatment so it may speed things up if you have them done privately (it did for us). It also helped put my mind at rest as not knowing what (if anything) was wrong was causing me a lot of anxiety.

Take care x


I love this forum it's so nice to hear stories from others who are feeling and acting the same way as me. I haven't told many people as my partner wants to keep it quiet which is fair enough so it's nice to be able To talk to people in the same situation as us.

I am going to see what the clinic have to say this afternoon and the waiting times and then may book all our tests in privately at least it saves a lot of time!



Hi Lianm8

You can check online what ur clinics waiting times are this is the website guide.hfea.gov.uk

All clinic and NHS trusts are different I'm in East Angila and I instructed my hospital what clinic I wanted to use on the 17th of May and I actually start down regulation on the 25th of this month! which I think is really quick! So take a look at that too see what they are advising the wait to be 😊

Good luck hope ur not waiting too long xx


Thanks for your comment! I am going to call our GP this morning to see where they have referred us too then I will take a look at your link. That is really quick!!! Good luck with everything xx


Definitely chase anyone and everyone! And don't feel shy or bad about doing it. I didn't chase my first appointment for ages only to find out when I did that my GP had forgotten to actually refer me! Good luck to you and I hope you get a positive result! Exx


I definitely will chase today after seeing everyone's comments! Our GP can be very difficult but let's see!!!

Good luck to you too and I hope you get a positive results :-) xxx


We waited twelve weeks for our appointment with the consultant - following GP referral. Our situation is identical to yours, two years of trying and then referred to a specialist. My husband has low sperm count and poor motility as well. On our first appointment with the consultant we were referred for IVF at a private clinic (we were lucky enough to get NHS funding because we fit the eligibility criteria). Our 1st IVF app is on 28th July - all in all it has taken seven months from Dr appointment to 1st appointment at the IVF clinic for treatement. Good luck!!! x


That's reassuring. How comes you went to a private clinic with nhs? Did you request it?

I phoned the GP today and they have referred us to a hospital that only deals with female fertility issues so we have had to contact the hospital which is joint to it to get an appointment. We are waiting for a call back!

I feel so impatient but I just want to get the ball rolling after 2 years of TTC xx


My understanding is that the NHS rarely carry out fertility treatment so where treatment is required, such as IVF, you are referred to a private fertility clinic for treatment (some our lucky enough to get NHS funding and some aren't and have to pay for treatment themselves). In our case the NHS GP and hospital carried out all of the investigation and diagnosis and then referred us to the private clinic for IVF treatment - we were one of the lucky ones to have treatment funded by NHS. We have had a real nightmare with the NHS getting things wrong and generally not providing the care they should (see my older posts!) - beware it can be a rocky road where the NHS are involved. Best of luck xx


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