Fertility Network UK
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realistic timescale advice

Hi Just looking for some advice I know every case and clinic is different but rough idea would be helpful, just been referred to my local ARU (HARTLEPOOL) my GP said IVF was our option based on husbands sperm movility test however I know there will be more indepth tests/scan ect that the clinic will do!

any idea how long initial apt will be from GP referral?

Then roughly how long for tests to be done and have 2nd apt?

I am overweight and know nhs will only except bmi under 30 however I have to pay for my treatment so will they except a higher BMI (given they are still NHS unit)?

I'm not sure if going to my local ARU is the right choice my GP never gave me options of where I wanted to be referred he just sent it, it's only because I started looking that I realised I had a choice in where I go am I right in thinking NHS will be slower initially as I know i'm not paying for the first referral?

I just want to know the options open to us so we can plan and arrange financially to, I'm worried now that if the initial stage takes months and then the hospital wont help me because of my BMI Ive wasted time I have found a clinic that accepts BMI upto 35 and would transfer here but will I have to repeat everything and pay from first apt fo these repeats so do I just change my mind and get GP to refer my to this clinic??? AAARRRGGGGG I'm driving myself mad I don't understand so much of what I have read and the posts I read on here but that is because I don't know what we need waiting is awful. Thanks for reading I didn't mean to go on and on lol

12 Replies

Hi, to give u an idea we first went to our doctor last July as we'd been TTC for over 18 months without success and I'm actually starting ivf drugs next week so it's been approx 14 months from first appt with GP. Everyone will be different depending on exact issues and medical history but I hope that helps give u an idea.


Thank you bearface for reply do you mind if I ask are you having NHS funded or private IVF and if it is NHS clinic or not? I'm trying to decide if I should use an independent clinic from NHS from the beginning as time is ticking for both of us, i'm not ovulating and my hubbys sperm not swimming well I can only see another years wait to cause more problems and may end up costing more!!!


It was all on the NHS and we are using oxford fertility centre for the ivf treatment. I must admit it did seem to take forever, the GP did a load of blood tests on me and sperm tests on my partner then we got referred to royal Berkshire hospital in April as my partners tests came in very low and I have a blocked tube where we had more tests and finally got NHS funding approved a couple of months ago. I was contemplating going private to get things speeded up but once we got referred to the royal Berkshire consultant it all went a bit faster.

Does that help at all ?


Yes thank you bearface, I know I have to pay as I have a 3 year old so hopefully missing out the funding part may speed it up a little x


Hi I'm Hartlepool, we got refered by doc about Oct last year and we has our first appointment December.

I've had all tests and a tube removal and we have appointment November to start IVF hopefully.

I work with a couple that got success with IVF at Hartlepool and they say there standards are very high with good success rates. All there staff seem lovely and helpful x


I think i'm optimistic a year seems so long to wait who is your consultant crazy_cat (if you don't mind telling me) I have been to ARU previously and seen Dr Maroo she was very rude judgemental and had not a sympathetic word to say she also was not very clear with where she was going with my care plan I left feeling awful worse than the longing (thankfully at that time I fell pregnant naturally and did not return, however things have changed dramatically now n it looks like treatment will be our only chance) i'm reluctant to go back there but I am asking not to see her again if I do!


If I had it all to do again I would go private if I could afford it. Yes, you will save yourself waiting for months & perhaps years. You can book a consultation with a private clinic and if you want to proceed they can do the tests you are waiting for on the nhs. You wouldn't have much of a wait. Each one has slightly different prices.

Have a look at the HFEA website which shows info on all clinics in the UK, I used it to select my current one. I went private after the first round of NHS IVF failed, as by then I had waited over 2 years to have that cycle and didn't want another wait, plus their stats were ridiculously low as well.


Just having re-read you orig post, if you have a clinic in mind why not email them and ask for quotes etc. They may be able to give you likely prices based on your current information.

Best wishes,



Thank you smallcat I didn't realise the private clinic would do the tests on NHS terms that is good to know.I think I have made my decision and will get in touch with the private clinic asap x


We went privately after NHS consultant suggested we do so after 9 months of waiting to be seen by the NHS, wish they'd told us that before. We knew we knew we'd have to fund our own treatment so booked appointments with no waiting. We started our first cycle the month after our tests were done. You can take copies of your test results to a different clinic if you decide to go elsewhere so that would save you a bit of money. You'd probably only have to pay for the initial appointment and perhaps a follow up. And then decide if you wanted to go ahead with the treatment. The clinic should give you a price list for the proposed treatment.


Thank you pm27 now I know the tests will be covered by NHS even with private clinic I think I will just choose the private clinic the price list on line are very similar and they have a higher BMI threshold which I will fit into I don't se the point in waiting any longer after more than a year of ttc I just want to go ahead with things.


Hey me and my hubby are having investigation at Hartlepool ARU. We waited roughly 4 weeks from GP referral till our 1st consultation. X


Thank you Kirsty_s have you test appointments been quick so far?


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