To start this post I’d like to recommend that every woman thinking of having children should go for a fertility MOT now. It’s a newish concept that has come about with women leaving it later and later but it’s important at any age because some people are fertile at 25 but not at 35. Not everyone can have a baby at 38 let alone what I almost feel is the impossible at 42; which has crept up on me seemingly in the blink of an eye.
I’m at City Fertility. A relative newcomer to the fertility map in London but not a newcomer at all because they are the London ‘branch’ of the Czech Republic’s most successful IVF clinic, Gennet- a clinic that has been on the map for many travelling abroad for fertility treatment in order to cut costs but not quality of care. They also have a specialisation based in genetics and egg donation.
Opening a branch in the City seems like a no-brainer. Both times I had IVF whilst working were made far more stressful by the journey and travelling to clinic and stress is exactly what you need to avoid whilst trying to conceive! So, had there been an option in the Square Mile then…
Today I’m here to try their fertility MOT. It’s going to help me decide whether to keep trying naturally for a few more months for our second child or to bite the bullet and start IVF immediately. At my age timing is crucial.
The clinic itself is in Farringdon. They have a whole building here. First impressions are good. Everything is new and spotless. I meet Jane,Head of Nursing, who takes me upstairs where we run through a complete health and gynaecological history before moving into a state of the art scan room for a transvaginal ultrasound. Nothing scary, nothing embarrassing, just a harmless probe inserted to get the best view of my uterus, cervix and of course ovaries. She talk me through my reproductive system checking my cervix and uterus for any abnormalities and measuring my ovaries (they get smaller with age) and antral follicles. The follicles produce eggs and are a good guide for fertility. She showed me blood flow to the ovaries, follicles and lining of the uterus too. All of this on a big screen in front of me. Many clinics don’t do this, they look on their own small screen beside your head which I find disconcerting because it’s important to see what’s going on for yourself!
Jane is very knowledgeable. It suits the ethos of the clinic, which is to offer ’boutique’ IVF. They aren’t in it for the numbers through the door, they have the support of a large parent company. Instead they are offering bespoke treatment to each patient. They performed 500 IVF’s last year and intend on 1000 this year with capacity for more. Their success rates are high. Over 70% for egg donation ( their genetics specialisation shining through here) and in the high thirties for my age.
The last part of my fertility MOT before the review with results a few days later is the blood tests. Jane expertly drew blood to test for all the reproductive hormones including the all-important AMH (Anti-Mullarian Hormone) – the closest we have to a fertility test in bloods – along with the antral follicle count it gives an idea of egg reserve. So far, not bad for my age, antral follicles pretty good, no anomalies on the scans and good blood flow. Tests to follow…..
Gennet City Fertility 16 St John St. London EC1M 0208 209 3226