Today was the first GP appointment to discuss fertility options. Lou had seen our GP a month ago for something unrelated, and casually mentioned it to her then. We were unsure how she would take it, as she is a middle-aged Asian (Indian) woman and we live in a suburban working-class area. To our surprise she was very open and invited us to make an appointment.
So we went today, and were told our GP wasn’t in, but her daughter was taking her appointments. She wasn’t very familiar with the fertility options in the area, but was honest and gave us a general overview of what we could expect. There are two options of where to have our treatment. Privately or through the NHS. If we go private we have to pay (less if we egg share) but get to start right away. If we go NHS, it would be free (aside from storage & testing costs of the sperm), but there is a waiting list.
But, there is a big BUT with the NHS. At present, the NHS only offers fertility treatment to straight couples who have tried to conceive for at least 2 years. Fertility treatment to lesbians, single women and women/couples >38 years varies depending where you live. Basically, its a postcode lottery. And nobody seems to know what our area allows.
So you can imagine our surprise when she said very casually that we could definitely get IVF at our local hospital! I didn’t interrogate her at this point, because I know she could be wrong. In fact, we probably won’t know for sure until our appointment with the hospital, but fingers crossed!!! At least it wasn’t a definite no.
Another pleasant surprise, was when Dr. N asked to take Lou’s blood for blood tests. If we went private the full blood screen would cost us between £400 and £1,000. So we were like hell yes. Actually, Lou was like ugh, fine – due to her minor needle phobia. She took bloods for full blood count, fasting lipids, LSH/FSH, plus ?others.
The next step is for the GP to send a referral + blood results to the hospital fertility clinic, who will then send us an appointment.
So far, so good.