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Hello ladies,
I am new here. I live in Scotland. I failed my first IVF cycle just couple of days ago. We would like to try it with ARGC because of its success rates. I was going to fill in the forms they sent but thought maybe I will talk to people who have experience with them cause I found an article last night in one of the newspapers

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/my-ivf-and-the-clinic-from-hell-432334.html

he feedback and the things the lady was writing were terrifying... So I am kind of stuck.

/links
 

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Hi Mika

I have just read that article attached and I have to say it doesn't sound anything like the ARGC I know. (It's also 3 years old)
I have had 2 cycles there this year. Both times I have received the utmost care.
I agree the building isn't fancy with designer furniture but then I didn't chose the clinic for fancy stuff.
If you're looking for somewhere to hold your hand in plush surroundings, it's not for you.

If you want a clinic to give you the best chance of a pregnancy and subsequently a live birth then I would jump at the chance.

No, it's not cheap but then a failed cycle is just as expensive if you have 2 or 3 attempts.

And they don't call it boot camp for nothing. It's very intensive and you have to go with the flow otherwise it can be very stressful.


As you can see from my signature, I cannot recommended them highly enough.

If you have the money and the stamina I would say 'go for it'

Good luck wth your decision.

Loobieloobs xxx
 

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hi

I would agree with Loobieloobs - ARGC is a great place and i'd recommend them wholeheartedly.  Sadly, we're not yet in a position to be a success statistic, but we will be.

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of people keen to be treated by the ARGC - i imagine they have an awful lot of first consultations who don't become patients, either because of finances, the feeling of the clinic, or some other reason.  To be honest, i didn't love the place after my first consultation - there's an awful lot of information to take on board, and for us it was our first time for ivf. However, once we decided we were going to be treated by the clinic, they were all amazing.  Yes, reception is busy and they try to keep to apt times, but it's not always possible.  It's worth bearing in mind that medical procedures take priority - EC, hysteroscopies and ET - so if there's a full list, or a problem, it follows that everything else backs up.  The odd time i've had a bit of a wait, i've taken comfort in knowing that when it's my turn for EC or ET, i'm a priority!  What you do get though, is an amazingly dedicated team, a treatment plan tailored for you, and the best possible chance you can give yourself. 

We had a pretty dreadful time earlier in the year and every single person we interacted with at ARGC showed us huge sympathy, kindness and support.  Personally, i value that every time over a smart waiting room and white coats. 

My advice would be to have an initial consultation and make up your own mind.  Good luck!

Loobs xx

 

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I would agree with a lot of what is said in the article, but as  a nurse in the NHS myself as well, I am used to pts thinking that private care means carpets and curtains- ARGC is expensive but thorough and they do work for the best outcome.  I have been there at 0700 and also at 1900 at night, called the 24 hr number and got a Dr at the end of it.  I wasn't one of the pregnant stats but felt that Mr T did diagnose me with the complications.

I would def go and give yourself the best chance.

L x
 

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Hi Mika,

I fully support everything Loobieloobs and Loobs have said.

I am a new patient myself, after doing some research it was the high success rates and personal recommendation from a family friend that attracted me to the ARGC.

Although I have not begun any treatment and I am on a monitoring cycle, so far I have not been disappointed with my choice.

The first appointment was very overwhelming and no matter how much you prepare yourself you will probably walk out of there with your head in a total spin. The ARGC are very thorough and explain everything to you. They also take great care in trying to eliminate anything in advance that could cause you problems later on with your treatment and pregnancy (e.g. they recommend a hysteroscopy and immune blood tests).

The clinic is a bit tired and does not have any mod cons (they don't even use computers), but everybody is very friendly and there is always somebody to answer your questions. I was a bit unsure about the open plan reception at first and being able to hear all sorts of conversations but I soon got over that. Everybody in there is in there for the same reason so not much point being precious over it!

You are treated as an individual at the ARGC which I think is massively important. I struggled with this a little at first because I like to know what is happening and when, but it all depends on your own body and what is best for you.

Pop on the newbies thread if you want to learn a bit more or have any other questions. Everybody on here is really helpful. I have learnt so much by asking questions and reading threads.

Danielle x
 

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Hi Mika,

I agree with all the other ladies. I've only been at ARGC and have no intention if going anywhere else! I personally don't need 'tea and sympathy' I want their expertise! Saying that, they are all lovely people and very caring especially when you consider how many people they treat. Whenever I go in there are girls in reception and some of the nurses that know my name and spare their precious time to see how I am. Can't wait to get back there in April.

Also worth considering us that the 'investigation' talked about in the article ( which is over 3 years old) eventually resulted in Mr T and the clinic being completely exonerated and the BBC and the HFEA getting their knuckles rapped. Try reading some if the more recent stuff in the press.

Join the newbies thread, lots of people there at similar stage as yourself. Also read the Pregnant at ARGC thread - chock a block full of very happy customers - and let's face it, that's what it's all about!!

Good luck and sorry to read about you bfn!

Krispichick
Xxx
 

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Hi Mika,

I have cycled in another clinic and now done 2 at the ARGC.  If my hormones allow I would now only want Mr T to treat me.  I have a frame of reference having cycled elsewhere and yep waiting rooms like the Ritz and fancy soap in the flashy loo's are all very nice but the treatment at the ARGC is all taylored to YOU! and not a stardand churn out the same protocol for everyone.

I too saw that article you read and was really nervous, but once you get used to how things work and get to know a few faces it's fine.  You almost have to give yourself up to it and trust Mr T and his team, that's how I have become.  Yup, its expensive, but atually when you break it down its the daily bloods and drugs (especially for me as need so much to get the ovaries going!!) that really pump up the cost not the actual IVF itself.  However, I think that is were Mr T and his team make the difference, keeping such a close eye on each of his patients as an individual.  Anyway, had I known what I know now I would have gone straight for the ARGC and not bothered with the first clinic I went to.

I spoke to Marina Nicholls who wrote a book about infertility and she said finding the right clinic is like shopping for something specific on the high street.  Some clinics are great if you are fairly straight forward, some better for male factor, some for immune and others for higher FSH etc.  I found that quite helpful when trying to move from the first clinic with whom I was not happy.

As you are doing its a good idea to investigate and get as much info as possible, once you have started down this route you don't want to chop and change clinics to much. 

Best of luck and hope that helps,

Tinks x
 

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Hiya.

I was going to go through ARGC at first due to their success rates, especially in the over 40's however, the laksidasical response from them in my first enquiry put me off. They ignored several emails from me and could only fit me in , in 7 weeks time!
I compared their rates to CRGH and actually CRGH come out on top with less mulitple births. Also ARGC tends to treat high chances of success people rather than everyone , hence the great results.

IMHO.

So far CRGH have been amazing. 3rd visit yesterday , in the very early investigative stages and I was recognised by the receptionist and called by my first name without him even getting my notes out. That makes a difference to me.

ARGC too slow - CRGH formally ACU at UCLH - a much better first impression.  No1 Clinic in the UK.
 

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Hi Kaybee
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on the type of patients that ARGC treat bring 'easy' I think that the opposite is true and the vast majority of girls that I have met doing my treatments there are at the trickier end of the spectrum. And lots have had multiple failures else where before succeeding there. ARGC may not be for everyone but they don't turn you away if you are a tricky case. But they are also honest enough to say to you when they don't think they can do anymore to help you.
Good luck with your cycle.
Kx
 

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it didnt work for me BUT i would still recommend them hands down. its the first time i felt that i had the best treatment for ME...
its expensive but you will give it your best shot for success
 

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Mika - I'm one of the tricky ones Krispi was just talking about. Quite honestly, most clinics wouldn't touch me with a barge pole - I had had 5 attempts elsewhere before arriving on the argc doorstep aged 43. I have subsequently had a chemical pregancy and a missed miscarriage with the argc, but they are not giving up on me and I'm not exactly doing wanders for their statistics. I would completely disagree with all that Kaybee has said and don't even think waiting for 7 weeks for an initial consultation is that bad. The reason they get more multiple births is because they make sure you don't start cycling on a month when your hormone levels are poor, more care is taken getting the eggs to just the right maturity before egg collection, the embryologists are superb and immune issues are taken into account and treated - so the resulting embryos are stronger and hence the higher rate of success. If the thought of a multiple birth concerns you then you can elect to have a single embryo transfer.

Don't be put off by the organised chaos - I'm never quite sure how the system quite works there - but somehow it does!

If it's top quality treatment you want this is the place to go - you are not just a patient to them - you are an individual person whom they want to see with a huge grin on your face on test day!

Good Luck...

Spin x
 

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Kaybee - Can I second what Krispi has said - none of the patients I cycled with (myself included) could be considered easy. I personally had 4 BFNs before cycling with the ARGC - I have PCO and they also discovered I had immune problems - we also had male factor as well. I cycled with women over 40, ladies with tubes removed and hydrosalpinx, recurrent miscarriages and 7+ attempts at IVF - none of them were 'easy'.

I have to say they are very popular hence the wait for appointments - but you can get cancellations at short notice.

Also - I'm not sure where you got your success rates from but the latest ones published on the HFEA website don't show CRGH as better than the ARGC - here is the comparison for live births

            CRGH      ARGC
>35      48.9%      57.7%
35-37    35.5%      43.8%
38-39    28.3%      34.9%
40-42    24.5%      29.4%
43+      0%          14.3%

Like all clinics you will find people who have had good and bad experiences, but I have to say I found comments from those at the ARGC overwhelmingly positive when I was investigating where to go - even those who had BFNs. I have to say I did not hear the same about CRGH - who don't seem to offer the same level of care for those with immune issues.

Mika - I think you'll find quite a bit in the press from a few years ago. Panorama did a programme and the HFEA investigated the ARGC - they ended up paying out quite a lot of money for slanderous comments I believe and their comments/investigations were found to be unfounded. Alot of what is written is based on the theory that immune treatments are unproven - this is because there isn't a research base in the UK and therefore the treatments are felt to be costly and unneccessary. All I can say is they worked for me and a couple of enlightened NHS trusts (Epsom & St Helier being one) are starting to use them.

Hope this helps

Karenanna xxx
 

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Hi again,  yes I've read all their results and statistics but they don't do anything different to CRGH in terms of advanced techniques.  I have read that Mr T insists on putting 3 embies back for over 40's hence his multiples are higher than any other clinic in the UK. I am sure he is a genius and does great work on the whole but the initial contact wasn't good enough. Let down by his administrators if you ask me.
CRGH do PGD and look into NK cells along with everything else Mr T offers. 
I didn't want to wait 7 weeks (17th december) that would mean after a monitoring month I wouldn't have gotten started till February.... and when I asked " could that be brought forward if you have a cancellation" nobody responded.  My inbox was deathly quiet.  That isn't good enough at minimum £3k a pop for IVF.  I was quite disappointed actually and thought "hmm i don't think I trust these people with my money if they can't be bothered to answer me"... What if I was under their care and they failed to respond to me or answer my calls? One afternoon I rang and rang them to chase up on an email and someone actually picked up and put the phone down - twice! Even if they had replied "no that is the best we can offer" would have been something but to ignore a woman when she is already desperate, hence contacting fertility specialists is a wrong move.

I do wish you all the best of luck at ARGC - ^fairydust^ (or whatever clinic people are with) I am sure they WILL get you to the place you want to be. ^pray^ however, just because they can do this, it doesn't give them a licence to ignore you when you need them. Regardless of their costs or success rates.  For the money they charge you should be treated like royalty.

If you google CRGH you will find that they are the current No1 clinic.

Kaybee x

 

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Kaybee- on the subject of embryo transfer, Mr T definitely does not insist on 3 being put back. On both of my cycles I asked to have 3 put back and both times only 1 stuck.
The multiples tend to feature in the under 40s more.
At our age multiples are much less common due to egg quality (I'm 41)


Good luck with you treatment

Loobieloobs x
 

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Kaybee -  how many embryos are put back is completely up to the individual - definitely no pressure to have more than one though in practice I think most people go for two if U40 and 3 if over 40. Sorry your impression of ARGC hasn't been good and good luck with CRGH.

Mika - from my experience would definitely recommend ARGC - they definitely up their game once you're cycling too. Very individualised treatment and lovely Drs and nurses.

x
 

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Hi. No I didn't mean he pressurises patients to do that , but it is his practice to do that. Obviously anyone can say "no just put one or two back" but he goes along the 3 route.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with ARGC's practices to get you pregnant - far from it. The guy is a genius. I was pointing out my initial impression of them made me go to CRGH who I am exceptionally happy with thus far. God help them if they upset me !! lol..

Just found this report. CRGH No1. ARGC, No 2 - not a lot in the rates tbh. 1.5% if that.
So hardly worth debating...lol ..Just that bloody receptionist administrator who put the phone down. She sealed the deal....

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23505191-london-hospital-is-top-of-ivf-success-league.do

Kaybee x
 

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Sorry Kaybee- these figures are from 2007. Recent figure published by hfea in august this year show argc top of the league.
And remember these figures are only for women under 35, not for us oldies :)

http://www.argc.co.uk/statistics.html
 

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Kaybee said:
Just found this report. CRGH No1. ARGC, No 2 - not a lot in the rates tbh. 1.5% if that.
So hardly worth debating...lol ..Just that bloody receptionist administrator who put the phone down. She sealed the deal....

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23505191-london-hospital-is-top-of-ivf-success-league.do

Kaybee x
But these are not live births - just pregnancies - the HFEA data for live births is as I quoted previously. Statistics can always be misleading.

Karenanna xxx
 

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Dear Mika,

I can see this was your first post and you have so much info / advice to now consider, I can imagine you must be very confused!

I wanted to give you my unbiased opinion having read all the replies:

I had 2 previous cycles at the Liverpool womens hospital, one in my late 30's and one when I was 40. I went there because my consultant on the NHS referred me there and it was local. To be honest at the time I didn't know any better, I guess I was in shock that I had a problem and rather stupidly trusted my consultants advice. I basically wasted the best part of £10k but more importantly 3 years! In hindsight I should have done what a lot of smart people on here do (you included) and took a step back and researched properly....

I won't go into detail about how utterly appalling the Liverpool womens hospital was, but suffice to say I may never have needed IVF if my consultant and they had been arsed to do their job properly!

After researching for my last go (as funds and sanity state I won't be having any more goes) I narrowed it down to the lister and the ARGC. It is very important to say at this point you should research not really on what others say (as those who have been successful will always like the clinic and maybe those who caught a clinic / doctor on a bad day, had a bfn or a bad experience, like myself may always **** off the same clinic - I am sure you may find someone who likes the Liverpools womens  ;D ). I researched on % results based on my age, poor responders history and the treatment they offer, plus I had an appointment with both - I do think your gut feeling helps a lot! I decided the ARGC was for me.

I have not yet started, but here is how I feel about them. I had my first appointment in May. I was given a 5 week wait but got a cancellation in a week. They have always answered the phone and always rang me back when they said they would, except once out of about 40 times! I met with a fantastic doctor who took time to go through all of my notes. He said I needed major surgery before I could even begin IVF, something my previous consultant and the Liverpools womens had missed! He referred me to a consultant he knew on the NHS and I was in within 4 weeks, at no cost to me at all!  I then had a 6 week recovery and ended up doing my monitoring cycle in Oct. I am still waiting to start and I now think it may be in the New Year as my levels have not been good.

I have to admit I have found the ARGC to always be pleasant, helpful and understanding. They are sometimes set in their ways, but if you are assertive with them and remind yourself it is your body and your money, they tend to advise but ultimately go with what you say. I will say re the 3 eggs over 40 issue, they told me they normally recommed 2 but if you really want 3 - maybe if like me it will be your last go, they will let you if and only if they feel it is ok. It is by no means standard offering at all.

I don't know how old you are, but I have just looked at the latest success rates for the ARGC compared to the CRGH for my age range in LIVE births (40-42) and the Argc are much better. It is true that the CRGH are slightly better for under 35 but for example the ARGC have a 14% success with the age group (43 ) compared to 0% for the CRGH, so age appropriate comparison is vital. Also look at what they can do for any particular issue you have (ie history of poor responce, fertalisation, misscarriage etc - as they all differ).

I would suggest once you have narrowed it down to maybe 2 on actual stats / results / treatment options etc, go and meet with them both and see what your gut tells you.

My only actual advice would be don't be swayed by fancy buildings, over polite receptionists etc Liverpool women's have all if that and I can't put in print what I think of them!

All the very very best xxx
 

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TB,
Thanks for bringing us back on point. Very good post with sound advise. We are all different and what appeals to one may repulse another so doing a bit of research to narrow the field before visiting your top candidates is a good idea.

Mika hope all this info has helped in some way.
Kx
 
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