Time to change clinics?

Hi All

After our 4th try on the NHS i am considering going private...

My husband has obstructive azoospermia which means he does produce mature sperm but it just cant get out. He had an infection around 5 years ago which blocked the vas deferans. We were not warned at all by his GP at the time this could cause fertility issues, he was just given a 5 day course of antibiotics.

We were absolutely devastated when the clinic called us...we had been trying for 8 months and decided to have a private fertility MOT done just 'to be sure all was okay' we didnt expect anything to be wrong with him, definately thought me as i have issues with my bladder following an operation in 2014 (not linked at all we now know)

My husband got the call while at work, he couldn't even speak when he called me....we got home that night (23rd Dec 2015) and cried all night....xmas was cancelled that year!

The clinic had started talking to us about sperm donation and asked us to come in for another seman sample in 2 days as it had to be 3 days between.

I called our GP as i knew it was likely to be a very long costly road and got an appointment for the next day....my husband was asked to get a sample into our local hospital on his bday....as its a hour bus ride away and the sample had to be deposited within 30 mins of production he had no choice but to use their toilets as they had no facilities...fun way to spend your bday!!

The hospital lost his sample so a week later he was back there to do it again :-(

We then had 3 samples of 0 sperm so they confirmed azoospermia.

We did alot of research and discovered there are two types....obstructive and non obstructive....we prayed he had obstructive so we could have a chance at being biological parents.

Once my husband had had various blood tests and examinations they decided a bi-lateral testicular biopsy would be sensible...

Roughly 4 - 6 weeks later we made our way to the hospital to find out his results...this was May 2016. He amazingly had normal production in one teste and half in the other meaning we could have icsi. We were sooooo happy.

Now a year after our first ICSI attempt we have had 3 failed cycles and one success (misscarried at 6.5 weeks)....we found out today our 4th time didnt work sadly.

My husband has had genetic testing which is all normal, i have had a cavity scan and hysteroscopy, all normal....the clinic keep saying its bad luck and follow the same protocol each time.

I am thinking maybe its time to go private (we still have two FETs on NHS) but i am fed up with being fobbed off and want to maximise our chances.

I spoke to the ARGC clinic today who have a success rate of 87% for someone like me with no fertility issues and is 30. They suggested immune and thyroid testing as it appears to be an implantation problem.

Has anyone had these tests done after unsuccessful rounds and been successful? I dont want to be naive and pay for things which arent proven yet but am feeling like i need some assurance the next time will be different.

Really would appreciate your responses 😙

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11 Replies

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  • Hi and so sorry you and your hubby have been through so much, I had 2 failed cycles with my own eggs, plus 1 early loss and 1 failed DE cycle and then had thyroid and antibodies tests they all came back clear but feel it was worth it getting them checked at that point. Heard really positive reviews about the private clinic you mentioned they do intense blood monitoring so can adapt medication etc daily. Good luck xxx

  • I hAve no advise I'm afraid but wanted to reply..... sounds like you and your partner have been through so much..... I wish you every success in what u decide to do next oxo

  • Sorry to hear about all you've gone through. If you've tried 4 times with the same clinic and they won't change the protocol or do further testing then it sounds like changing clinics is a good idea. I'm not speaking from experience but that's what I would do. Even for my own sanity. If you already have doubts about your current clinic, it feels they'd be hard to get over those doubts, if you were to go with them again.

    My nHS clinic has already tested for thyroid (just TSH) and we haven't started our first round yet. So frustrating at how different the level of care and investigation is even when we're all on the same 'public system'. I also know my clinic doesn't believe in the immune testing. I've been tempted just to pay for it privately because I want to go into our first try knowing everything possible! But I realize that it's a bit early/naive to spend the money in my case. Perhaps not yours though.... best of luck and hope you find some answers and a plan forward xx

  • Sorry to jump in your post. May I ask what kind of immune tests they do, bcos I'm very interesting to more and I want it to done also. Thanks.

  • Have you had the NK (natural killer) test done? It is a private test, costs about £500 but tests to see if you have high natural killer cells that apparently can kill off the foetus as they class it as a foreign body. I was tested and came back high of which the treatment is steroids to depress your immune system. I've taken them on several cycles and had chemicals and taken without and got bfn. I'm now private and going to be using DE but the clinic are adamant they want me to use them again with my first cycle along with clexane to maximise my chances as they think Egg issue and sperm issue could have been my issues in the past so want to maximise my chances with good eggs etc. Apparently younger eggs can help mend damaged sperm whereas older eggs find this much harder to do xx

  • Sorry you've been through so much, I have no idea why the thyroid test wasn't done at the beginning! The fact that the same tests aren't done across the board when using the NHS is one of my pet annoyances, that and the postcode lottery of course!

    I can totally understand your wanting to try something else but think I'm right that if you go down the private root with two NHS FET's to go then you will lose those goes? Someone else more knowledgeable than me will know if this is correct?

    Wishing you the best of luck in your journey xx

  • How many frozen embryos do you have? Enough to try the next two FETs and still get some transferred to the new clinic? Then you only need to pay for a fet at the new place, not full icsi.

    Also what treatments are they currently doing at your clinic?

    I was lucky that my first cycle worked but I am convinced this is due to my amazing clinic (also in London so if you want more info let me know). Saying that, i'd probably see out my free treatments on the NHS first if i was in your situation.

  • Your regular dr can check your thyroid. So that's a bit saved...

  • I must admit that we got fed up of our clinic just doing the same thing and were seriously considering changing. It was a belief that other couples who have used the clinic also had. We were extremely lucky that I fell pregnant naturally just as we were looking into a new clinic but we would have changed. Ultimately, you need to have faith in the clinic and the process they are putting you through. Good luck - I really hope it works out for you xx

  • Hi all.

    Thanks so much for all of your replies, i will answer your questions soon.

    So it turns our i did fall pregnant but am either misscarrying or have an eptopic due to the amount of blood...did a test day 10 post transfer which was really faint, had bloods done at the clinic which showed i am producing the preg hormone....did another test today (11d post transfer) which is also very weak. Have to go back tomo for more bloods. Honestly can this journey get any more painful 😐

    Im really scared now as the only two times ive been pregnant ive misscarried and theyre consecutive tries.

    Hope all is going well for you all xx

  • Sorry All. I have been away for a whlie.

    I had the initial test on weds which was HCG of 47 then on Fri it had doubled so the nurse was very hopeful and said i had to wait a week to be scanned. I felt like it wasnt right on monday so tested and it was weak...went in for bloods which had halfed again....What a rollercoaster!

    As I started bleeding 8 days post transfer so think I misscarried then it just took a while for my silly body to realise.

    Two days ago I was at the hospital for what wouldve been the scan, the doc said my HCG is now 16 so to expect AF in 4 weeks....I came on yesterday. Is this normal?

    So now I've had two failed if cycles and two miscarriages in a year. Doc isn't worried as she says I'm 30 and every test has come back fine including cavity inspecion, hysterscopy and APS. My hospital doesn't do immune tests for NK as they don't have evidence to back up the treatment which is reliable. She said not to worry and believes I will have a baby.

    So I have been suggested to try a natural cycle next time....What do you think?

    Xx

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