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I have had 4 failed ICSI own egg cycles at Care in Manchester. I have stage 4 endometriosis and adenomyosis, but otherwise all of our tests / investigations are fine.

My husband and I are exhausted by it all and don't feel we can continue with treatment for much longer. We are now considering a final cycle at ARGC. The thought being that we will have one last try with the clinic who are supposed to be the best, throw everything at it and if it doesn't work we will know we tried everything.

We had a consultation with them last weekend and are now mulling it all over. I was hoping to get some opinions / experiences from people who have had failed cycles elsewhere and then had treatment with them please. What are your reasons for infertility, how many failed cycles did you have elsewhere, did your treatment at ARGC work or not, how did you feel it was compared to treatment you'd had elsewhere etc.

We also live in Manchester so am trying to get my head around the logistics of having treatment there. I would stay in London for the full 2 / 3 weeks of stims / EC / transfer and that's not an issue, but I'm worried about all of the other appointments. Even if I only needed to call in to the clinic to pick something up it would mean a full day off work because I'd have to get the train down and back. Could anyone shed any light on how much time off I'd need aside from the stims?

I know that the monitoring cycle requires 3 sets of blood tests but 2 could be done locally so I would only need to go to ARGC for the mid cycle ones (which would include the immunes testing).

Then assuming I needed full immunes treatment before starting my cycle how much would I actually need to be at ARGC for that and would I know in advance when I had to be there or is it quite short notice?

Then they said they would check at the beginning of my cycle if it was a good month to cycle - does that mean blood test / scan on day 1 of my cycle and does that need to be done at ARGC or can it be local?

Then 2 / 3 weeks ish in London for stims / EC / ET

Then after ET I assume I would continue with immunes. Are there any other things during that time I'd need to actually go to ARGC for?

And then if I got a BFP I know they would continue to monitor me and I would keep having immunes. What does this entail logistically?

Finally costs. I know it's crazy expensive and I know you don't really know the costs upfront because things can change very last minute with them in terms of drugs / dosage / extra blood tests etc. Can anyone who has had a cycle with full immunes there tell me what they spent? I want to know worst case scenario how much it would cost.

Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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Cariad,

I have only been at ARGC for monitoring up to 19 weeks pregnant after a surprise natural BFP. I had extensive immunes.

Even the monitoring and pre-prep for a cycle was intensely brutal and antisocial, with no notice given of appointments (I was called at 4pm one day to have an intralipids the next day at noon), lots of waiting around (up to three hours) and no explanation for clinical decisions (beyond "Dr Taranissi recommended X"). It was difficult enough while working part-time and living in London, never mind coming from elsewhere and doing a fresh cycle.

Second time around, I believed ARGC was the 'best' clinic and went there briefly. However, they told me the immunes didn't work (despite the surprise pregnancy) so were going to cycle me on a single intralipid (NOTE: at the time I had been running daily low-grade fevers for two months due to a flaring autoimmune condition) and I ended up going to Dr Gorgy for immunes. I subsequently also went to CRGH who, as it turns out, have better results per embryo transferred than ARGC - but who are, inexplicably, less popular than ARGC on these boards.

Dr Gorgy's clinic is wonderfully friendly and I have been able to book my immune treatments up to six weeks in advance - to fit around my schedule. CRGH were also able to schedule all my appointments to times/days that were convenient, despite intensive monitoring, and worked hard to accommodate many of my fears and concerns about an IVF cycle (e.g. about sedation during egg collection and hysteroscopy). My consultant recommended a frozen cycle with PGS, which was the right decision for me, and I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant at 39 following a single cycle of IVF and a natural FET with single embryo transfer.

In short, I'd recommend doing immune testing with Dr Gorgy and going to CRGH for IVF. I would not recommend ARGC at all. It is massively overrated and, from what I can tell, gets its high success rates due to putting two embryos back with every lady. For this reason, they have a high rate of twins (around 1/3rd in some age groups).

Speaking as someone who is currently having a high-risk pregnancy due to severe gestational diabetes (probably related to my immune problem as I have no other risk factors), and who had borderline preeclampsia in my last pregnancy, I would not recommend a potential twin pregnancy when it's not necessary and especially for ladies who - like me - potentially have existing health problems that are contributing to their infertility. Pregnancy exacerbates every health problem you have and twins add even more stress to the body. As CRGH have shown me, it is possible to have success with a safe, effective single embryo transfer - there is no need to take the ARGC approach.
 

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Just checking in as another former ARGC patient. We also went there because we though they were the best, going on their stats.

Their stats are not as simple as they look. As LondonWriter says, they tend to put multiple embryos back (their multiple pregnancy rates are unusually high). The biggest issue for us, though, was the fact that their stats are split between two clinics, ARGC and RGA. Mr Tarinissi owns both, but there aren't any patients at the RGA as such - they are all people being treated at ARGC. But if you have your transfer in the building he owns which is officially the RGA, you go into the HFEA stats not as an ARGC patient but as an RGA one. The stats for the RGA are much worse than the ARGC ones. Dramatically so.

We ended up conflating the stats for the ARGC and the RGA, to get the full picture, looking at live births per embryo transferred, and found that our local NHS clinic's success rate was only 1% less. So we've gone back there.

tl;dr - the stats are NOT straightforward, and as LondonWriter says, there may well be other - and nearer - places with comparable or better results.
 

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Hi there,

I too have grade 4 endometriosis and also hashimotos. Before going to Argc I did two cycles of ivf at a local private ivf clinic. I didn’t have any kind of monitoring but responded well with 6 embryos the first time and ten the second, 100% fertilisation with ivf and all seemed to be going well until the embryos were transferred. Each time I bled after about a week and the cycle failed. I never reached test day.
The clinic wanted me to try again but I didn’t want to go through the emotional and physical upset of it all.

I went to Argc after a friend recommended it. She had twins from there and before that had done failed rounds of ivf at another local clinic. Long story short I went there and they discovered I had elevated cytokines which were very likely related to the inflammation caused by endometriosis. They put me on a drug callled humira with the idea that once the cytokines had lowered sufficiently I would be given ivf. After I’d done one round of humira i discovered I was pregnant naturally! Total and utter shock as I’d never had a sniff of a pregnancy in my life! Sadly I miscarried but went back to Argc again about six months later, was given the drug again. Once again I became pregnant. This time I did a full course of humira along with intralipids. I then had intralipids during the pregnancy. My miracle baby is now two.
I know Argc isn’t for everyone but I’d say with a complex history and wanting to give yourself the best chance they’re definitely worth exploring further. I know a few ladies with endometriosis who have had ivf success at Argc too. Wishing you all the very best with whatever you decide. I wrote a diary about my experiences and there’s another diary by a lady called Kazzeee who also went there and has endo x
 

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ARGC are excellent. Yes they are expensive and hardcore - but they do additional tests and daily blood tests, required to tailor medications on a daily basis, with extremely close monitoring, which pushes up the cost, but more likely to result in and sustain a pregnancy.
I had my free cycle at Guys, who knew I had a "polyp" - but for reasons known only to them, they left it in situ. Free cycle failed, so went off to CRGH.  They wanted to check out this "polyp" before doing anything.  Turns out it was stage 1, grade 1 endometrial cancer.  Clear case of negligence.  CRGH then refused to do any further cycles even after the cancer was removed. 
The only person who was willing to treat me was Mr Taranissi/Mr Ranieri at ARGC.  I had four pregnancies through ARGC (having previously never got pregnant elsewhere) which resulted in two live births.  One aged 41 and second when I was 45.  I have two beautiful healthy children (now aged 6 and 2), all thanks to the ARGC (and of course my oncology teams). 
My only regret is not suing Guys for gross negligence.
 

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Hi,

Your thread caught my eye as this was my dilemma 8 years ago. We decided to go to ARGC and it was the best decision we ever made.

My miracle daughter is now 7 years old and, in my heart of hearts, I know she would not be here had we not gone to ARGC.

Here's a link to my ARGC diary. All costs etc are detailed

Best of luck. https://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=260497.0
 

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Hello,

I want to share with you my experience. I underwent my cycle of stims at ARGC in 2018. Before that I had a failed cycle in my country and the outcome was depressing: they said we had no chances, that I was practically pre-menopausal (aged 38) and we only retrieved 1 egg, immature.
We decided to throw everything at ARGC and to give ourselves one last shot. Yes it was only the second one, but after the first failed one, we also went to other clinics and they all recommended egg donors because of my (supposedly) bad egg quality.
We knew that our chances were bleak and that another attempt somewhere else would have a been a waste of money, had it been the outcome negative again. So, if we needed to "waste" money, it would be ARGC. We knew of its reputation. Not a clinic in our city or country had such reputation. IT seemed impossible to find a clinic which personalized the hormone dosage on a day to day basis, and everything else.

we went, and it was the best choice we could have ever made. My "poor response" was 6 eggs, 5 fertilized, all of 5 got to day 5, 2 of them blasto and they were both transferred with our consent. By that time I was 39. Unfortunately there were no frosties,as ARGC has very strict criteria for freezing embryos.
Now my miracle son is here with me, 16 months later.

Costs: if we had known how much we would have spent, Im not sure we would have gone ahead. IT was more than 20 k, and I just had intralipids, not even the high cost humira or immunes. But I don't regret choosing them.

Tbh, there are some foggy areas of their work. I remember that we were told we could ask for genetic screening, but when we got the embrios we were told we could genetic test them only they were more that 4, *which they were) but the we should hve booked it in advance.
Very weird but we understood that the rationale was: we dont want to loose precious embryos when there isn't plenty, plus, I was under 40 yo,  and had no abortions, so there was no indication for the testing. We went along with it, and trusted Doc Sapna who explained it to us.

overall, it was the most exhausting, exciting, important experience of our lives. Lterally.

About now. We would like to give our son a brother/sister. Tbh we do not have the resources to try again at ARGC, plus, Ive read very much about Doc Gorgy being better at a lot of things, so all this comparisons went up to my head and Im not sure if trying again is an option we want to go through again.
But my memories and my gratitude to ARGC will remain massive and unconditional for ever.
 
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