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Hi guys,

First post here so please be gentle!. Myself and my wife have been trying for about a year and we've just had pretty devastating news...

Wife -
Hi-cosy - Fine with just a small fibroid at the top of the womb, tubes patent
Day 2 - 8.5 (normal for age but starting to reduce)
Day 21 - High reading of ovulation
Childhood illnesses etc - All clear

Me -
Azospermia.......>< I had cancer 10 years ago and the semen analysis came up a big fat ZERO :( . I do have sperm in storage though at St Mary's in Manchester.

So basically our consultant said you've got no choice apart from going the whole hog with IVF.

So basically I have a few questions if people don't mind that I'd appreciate some 2nd opinions on.

1) If I have chemotherapy induced Azospermia is there any point in doing any further investigations on me or the chances next to nothing ?
2) Our CCG seems to have indicated they haven't adopted the over 40's NICE guidelines - we've put in a special request but if they come back with a no is there any point in fighting it ?
3) I've got a decent job but by no means have I got the money to pay for private treatment - my wife has savings but they're not limitless. There is an area near us that appears to DO fund over 40's, is there anything that need to be careful with if we decide to move to play the postcode lottery ? Or can we simply move, register with a GP and ask for a referral and there won't be any hassle ?
4) Looking at the HFEA statistics the 2 best places seem to be LWH and Care Manchester. Is there any info that might swing our choice either way over and above stats ? Real life experience etc ?
5) I'm conscious of the amount of time needed in hospital visits - how accommodating are IVF clinics for offering evening / weekend appointments or do I need to work under the assumption of weekday daytime. Our problem is we live quite far from Liverpool / Manchester so even a quick 20 minute appointment is a good half day or even a full day gone depending on what appointment time we were given.
6) Does the Laser Assisted Hatching make a difference ?

I've been in a daze all weekend because I'm muting all sorts of possibilities including changing jobs for one on more money so I can start saving money for if we need to pay for private treatment, moving house and whether I'm going to have a fight on my hands with the CCG.

Thanks in advance for any useful  info anyone has.

Thanks

-mrploddy
 

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I honestly can't advise on your situation but I'd like to wish you good luck. X
 

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Hi :)

I cant offer much advice but we have had problems with funding too. I applied for the "exceptional circumstance" funding as there was no funding in Warrington at all, after two knockbacks they eventually agreed to fund one round. They will only fund up to the age of 42 which is good as I turned 40 (the previous age limit) while on the waiting list.

I was also considering moving areas and found that PCT's are very helpful and will let you know their policies on IVF funding. If you do manage to get some funding maybe it would be worth paying for some test privately to try to speed things up. The wait between appointments can be months and time is not on our side sadly.

Wishing you lots of love and luck x
 

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Hi, unfortunately I am not an expert in NHS funding age cut-offs as we used our funding a few years ago, but we had experience with both LWH and CARE Manchester (LWH cycles were NHS funded though and CARE privately) and I would choose CARE. They have satellite clinics in Bolton and Leigh for scans and consultants appointments if that's closer for you. The service was much better and more personal compared to Hewitt Centre at LWH (we felt like on the conveyer belt :( and they were not flexible with appointments time at all ). With regards to azoospermia the clinics can try sperm retrieval from the testicles (they might find cells there!). Good luck with your journey, hope you can get the funding!  ^pray^
 

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Hi i am at care too and they are lovely. They are flexiblw with appointments to a degree but have certain rules so they do all scans in the morning for example whereas consultant appointments fall in the afternoon. Once you start treatment certain things have to happen on certain days so whilst the may be able to move you around a little there is not much to play with. I would say you will need the following

A half day afternoon of for your inital consultation. 3 or 4 morning appts for your wife for scans. One day off for egg collection and half day for egg transfer. These can fall at a weekend but you can't plan for it.

Best of luck x
 

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Hi,

Have you considered Manchester Fertility? They are lovely. I went to open evenings at CARE and Manchester fertility and made the decision based on that. They are close to the motorway networks in a brand new custom built facility in Cheadle, Manchester.

They have been brilliant with us. Just about to undergo our 2nd cycle. We're completely self funded so have no idea about NHS funding.

Wishing you lots of luck with your journey,

J x
 

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Hi Mr Ploddy,

We have a similar situation to you - my DH had cancer at 35, and was told the chemo would have no effect, but now a big fat zero.  He unfortunately wasn't advised to freeze, so we opted for TESA to give him closure in his journey and check 100% there was no option left other than donor sperm.  I was 38 when referred to St Mary's for treatment, by the time we had had the TESA after an 19month wait i was nearly 41.  The TESA showed a big far -ve, which the consultant fully expected, and said Chemo kills living cells so of course they should have advised to freeze.  Our next option was Donor Sperm, at which point they told me we could not continue with treatment as I was too old for NHS.  Our only option was an appeal, which we did, bit like everything beaurocratic took time - however yippe, success & 2 cycles funded.  We've just in the middle of our first cycle, which started in August, and are now on our 2week wait following 2 x Embryo transfer.

I note your partner is 41 so my advice would be to get on the most successful route as soon as you can.  There is probably little hope at your end following Chemo, but at least you have frozen.  No harm in appealing to the PCT about funded treatment, it worked for us. 

We live in Blackburn, so like you a journey to Manchester is not easy.  Apart from initial consultations & couselling , the bloods are usually done really early in the morning, and scans start at 8.30am.  Once you are in the programme you tend to work with the nurses who are very good.  It has been hard to juggle the time from work - with making the appointments - as you really feel that you don't know when you will be needed but ultimately it is a short time in your life, to hopefully give you the result you long for.  After the initial consultation, my DH didn't attend for bloods & scans as there was no point, in him travelling all the way to just sit in the waiting area,  until our final scan at the Stimulation stage, which happend to be on a sunday. you learn that patience is a virtue, and you just need to roll with it.

Good Luck with your journey  x x x
 
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