I really like the atmosphere at the private Harley Street clinic (a.k.a “The Baby Making Place” or TBMP) I’ve been to so far however, it’s pricey and it’s not really conveniently located from my office. Since I’m going for stimulated cycles I’m going to need monitoring via ultrasound scans and inevitably some of these will fall on work days. Because of this I think it is more practical to chose a clinic that’s nearer to work.
There’s a big NHS hospital very close to my office (which also happens to be the hospital where I was born!!) and they have an Assisted Conception Unit (ACU). Their prices are lower than TBMP – on the procedural side it’s not a massive difference per treatment, but after a few cycles the significance of that “small” amount increases dramatically.
The big price differences are on meds and sperm storage:
- On the meds side – 40% cheaper! I was shocked. I guess that’s the advantage of it being an NHS hospital vs. private clinic.
- Storing sperm – they accept it on a cycle by cycle basis, charge no admin fee for handling it, and store for 30 days at a reasonable cost (plus allow a 30 day extension if your cycle gets cancelled).TMBP minimum storage is 2 years, so even if you get pregnant on the first try you’ve paid for 2 years’ storage, and they charge £200 every time they receive sperm on your behalf. Maybe TMBP charge so much to use sperm from elsewhere because they’re connected to their own SB, and the high costs are a deterrent to importing sperm. Who knows?!
My only gripe is that the
atmosphere is nowhere near as serene as it is at TBMP – no plush sofa, TV, reading material and lovely coffee. Nope. At ACU it’s clearly and NHS hospital with a hospital waiting room. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not horrible and it looks more comfortable than a lot of other hospital department waiting rooms – but it seems it will make the whole baby-making process feel a lot more clinical than it would in a nice environment where you feel relaxed and pampered while doing something so special as conceiving your future child. Nonetheless if it’s going to be a lot of difference in price then it’s a no brainer really…
So I have an appointment next Friday to check the place out more thoroughly and meet with the consultant. I want to see if he recommends the same course of treatment as Dr B at TBMP. I’m also keen to hear about their IUI experience and stats because what this clinic is really known for is IVF (most likely because the NHS rarely finds IUI). TBMP does lots of IUIs each year so I feel like they may be more experience and have better technique; that said, ACU has a higher success rate on the HFEA website (although success rates are somewhat arbitrary since number of procedures done and patient history affect outcomes and skew results). From what I’ve read on fertility boards, Facebook groups and other online sources it seems that timing and sperm placement are key in IUI, and I feel like the more experienced someone is with it the better your chances of success.
TBMP has a sister clinic near to my workplace, but it’s currently being refurbished so all their procedures are at TBMP. If they resume procedures at their own offices I may considering transferring there if I’m not happy after next week’s consultation.
Anyway, that’s the low down on that situation. I’ll update next week!