NHS or Private treatment : I’ve... - Fertility Network UK

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NHS or Private treatment

JF198 profile image

I’ve recently been diagnosed with very low egg reserve at the age of 30. We have been seeing a private consultant for tests as we couldn’t get an NHS appointment until the end of Sept. I am very glad that we did now!

The private consultant has suggested that we go to our NHS appointment before we decide whether to go ahead with private IVF treatment so that we have a clear idea of be options. However our consultant has recommended that we act quickly.

Can anyone give me some advice on the NHS process? Am I right in thinking we need to have been trying for 2 years? We have been trying for 18 months. I am concerned that the clock is ticking for me given my lack of eggs and we want to act quickly. I am not sure whether I would need to wait until the 2 year point and then join the normal waiting list.

I would be grateful for any advice!



7 Replies

Sorry to hear about your reserve, I’m the same and was diagnosed age 31 I think, now 34.

The length of time you need to be trying depends on your CCG, mine was 1 year but I’ve heard of 2 or 3 years. Definitely find out and just pretend if it’s longer!

What is your amh?


Hi JF,

I think it's only 2 years if you have unexplained infertility. If you have a diagnosed reason for infertility you can be added to the waiting list then. Waiting times for each area vary, for us it was around 4 months from initial referral to we were able to be added to the waiting list (although I chose to have an operative lap done instead delaying the process further as I had a separate wait time for this). Then the expected wait time was 9-12 months.

We reached the top of the waiting list after 9 months.

Hopefully it will be a bit quicker for you.

Good luck for whichever path you decide to take

H x

Hi Justine, we were in a similar predicament to you. Our local ccg rule is that you have to have been trying for 3yrs. We had already been trying for 2 yrs by that point so decided to go private. I think it’s worth understanding the wait time for your area and the eligibility criteria. I recall there having to be an egg reserve minimum to be eligible for nhs ivf (again in my area). So this could be worth considering. You might be able to google your local council and ivf eligibility ahead of your appointment, that will give you a rough idea if its worth waiting for your nhs appt. Good luck with it! X

Hi Justine, I was diagnosed with the same, but age 35.

I went to the doctors after 18 months of trying, but I think if you are over 35 they suggest seeing your GP if you have been trying for a year. Either way I would just lie if I were you, or just explain you have had some private tests, the GP can easily get you a blood test to check your AMH/FSH as a starting point anyhow.

Our ivf timeline was fairly quick. I went to my GP in December last year, got my referral to NHS consultant in February, and we began treatment in May. It sounds longer than it is, but once you factor in the tests and appointments and paperwork, it doesn’t actually feel like it.

I am not sure of cut off points for nhs treatment, but my FSH was 24 which my consultant said was high, my AMH was then tested and came back as 5, they still went ahead with my treatment and I was lucky enough for it to be successful.

What I would say is though you may have low numbers, the quality of your eggs is likely to work in your favour given your age.

Good luck with it all xx

We have been told that the waiting time in our CCG is about 6-12 months from GP assessment to the referral/funding approval to the IVF clinic. We did it in 7 months (due to a salpingectomy + hydrosalpinx done in the meanwhile) , but still waiting to hear back from the IVF clinic (that has another waiting list of up to 7 months). Waiting to understand better the IVF clinic time, and then deciding whether go private (in Greece).

We have been trying for 2 years and I had an ectopic pregnancy (plus one during the process) but, honestly, who may know for how long someone has tried?

Thanks for all your replies! My amh is 5 which I have been told is very low for my age. I had a high FSH and LH result back in March which initially flagged the issue but these results have now come back normal.

I think I will try and find out the waiting time for my area in advance of our appointment. I don’t want to waste time waiting for our nhs appointment if it’s going to be a really long wait.

I’m trying to stay rational and not rush but it’s very difficult it’s been such a shock to hear about my egg reserve!



Hi JF198

sorry to hear of your news. I too was diagnosed with very low egg reserve at 30 and paid privately for initial tests/investigations. Waiting times and rules vary depending on CCG. As we had been trying for over a year and had an identifiable issue we only waited a few months between diagnosis and starting our first cycle.

We had two nhs funded cycles which unfortunately didn't work so moved onto private, now had 2 private and anout to start a 3rd. In my experience I am glad we had nhs treatment first as IVF can be a bit of a minefield first time and I feel like the induction process and info we received was very thorough. This helped when we moved onto private treatment, where in my view you do not get such thorough info. I would have felt totally lost going straight to our private clinic for treatment, but that could just be our clinic. All depends on your CCG waiting times I suppose but my advice would be if it isn't a long wait, wait it out. Private IVF is very expensive and unfortunately it doesn't always work first time so if you can get a cycle on the nhs it helps a lot.

Really hope treatment goes well for you and sorry for the long reply, just letting you know my experience xx

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