Fertility Network UK

Confused and need some direction


I'm new to this and haven't really spoken to anyone for advise outside the family unit. Myself and my husband have been going through treatment since october last year, because we were having problems conceiving. We went to our GP and they referred us to the hospital for tests. We were told I suffer from PCOS and my husband has a low and near enough non existent sperm count.

Its been almost a year and we have finally had the go ahead for IVF & ICIS. However we have been told that the treatments will not be funded by the NHS. The hospital that we currently deal with have a private clinic we can go to, or we can find our own, except we don't have a clue where to start.

I may sound a bit dim here, but we had a look at the HFEA website and searched for clinics around us and looked at their success rates etc. At the end of all that reading we were non the wiser.

There is not much information out there for people going through this for the first time and we seem to have hit a brick wall. Both myself and my husband are 35 and I'm worried that time isn't on our side.

We have an appointment with the gynecologist next week and I wanted to have some research done on other clinics before making the decision to go with the hospital we are already with. We know the staff at the hospital and they have our results on record and know what needs doing. Going to a different clinic would mean, collating all our tests results from the hospital, as we don't want to be paying for the tests we have already had done. It seems such a big hassle, but if they are a better clinic then surely its worth it.

Its all very confusing. My husband is very calm person, but I have no patience which doesn't help. I feel as though we are wasting time, but at the same time I know we cant rush this.

I'm sorry for the LONG message, I felt I had to explain from the beginning.

Any advise would be helpful.

Thank You

From a very tired, confused,


4 Replies

Dear Hina

Never apologise for long messages, it is an exhausting process and feeling tired and confused is not unfamiliar to any of our members.

We have a factsheet you can download with lots of information on about choosing a clinic, it's on the General Infertility Information page here: infertilitynetworkuk.com/?i...

Having looked at the HFEA page and compared statistics against your situation, with clinics you're consdiering I suggest walking in to the clinic to ask for an information pack, if possible. The brochure is only as good as the designer, in visiting the clinic you know the journey there, you will have a feel for the clinic itself - how did you feel walking in? Optimistic, hopeful, disgruntled that it's too... (big, small, close to home, far from home, unfriendly, over friendly) No clinic is 100% perfect but you want to feel comfortable in your decision.

Also if you believe you are eligible for funding (see the NICE guideline for information here: infertilitynetworkuk.com/up...

Then do have a look at fundingforfertility.co.uk as we have a wide range of appeal letter template to download and send to your PCT or Health Board.

You've made really positive decisions early on in your journey - you've looked for information, you've compared results, you recognise there may be admin inconveniences with any decision you make and you've sought support from others by posting here.

Do know there is support for you every step of the way, whatever happens.

Good Luck.



Hi Hina

Tracey has probably said it all really, but I thought I would add how I found my clinic.

A friend of mine had used one clinic that was relatively near-by, and successfully, so I was keen to use that, but my PCT wouldn't allow NHS funding there - whilst I wasn't at that point eligble, I was soon to become eligible, so I didn't want to have to move, as we considered that we would probably need to commit to 3 cycles at the clinic we chose, so that they can build on previous results, so I got the list of NHS-funded clinics. This basically then chose itself, as the distance to travel to other sites would have been mega dissruptive and stressful for me, however, before I plumped for the clinic, I went to an open evening to meet the staff and to be able to ask questions, and also hear the questions coming from others - which answered a whole load of questions I didn't know I had.

I think as well as the facilities, look at the wider support they give - access to counselling etc the clinic I am with, pay for 6 appointments per cycle, and after my first cycle, I really needed that to help deal with the outcome, I'm also not sure at that point whether I would have voluntarily paid for that, but it was def. worth it.

Getting my medical details transferred from the hospital to the clinic was easy - the clinic arranged for that, the various managers all know each other in my area.

Hope this helps

FG x


Just to add we're in the process of adding to our forums all of the dates of free to attend patient open evenings or events for all of the clinics who show they appreciate the need for patient support by affiliating through our Outreach Scheme.

A full list of these clinics can be found here: infertilitynetworkuk.com/?i...



Hi Hina,

I guess I am just echoing what Flowergirl has said. We have just moved onto our second fertility clinic. We didn't really have a choice with our first as we had NHS funding. There were good and bad aspects of that clinic. We have learnt alot now from the treatment we have had so far so have moved onto a private clinic which is a bit more tailored to what we need. I think for me, one of the most important things, other than success rates, was accessibility, IVF treatment is stressful and very very tiring, and having to do a difficult or long journey to get there can simply add to that stress. I do think that for your first round of treatment, although you should look on HFEA for success rates, that may not be the most important thing at this stage, especially if you are not entirely sure of your reasons for needing IVF.

Not sure whereabouts you are, I am in London, and lots of the clinics there hold open evenings which I found really useful and you get more of an impression of what the clinic is like ie, relaxed, busy, calm etc.

Good Luck!

R x


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