Great read for a Monday morning! Customer review of Newlife Clinic and the SpermComet test – glad to see we are making a difference.
Why we chose Newlife!My wife and I have found the Newlife clinic and its team to be excellent in so many ways. They are very empathetic (emotionally and financially), expert, experienced, helpful and friendly, honest and realistic. It’s a difficult task to choose a private clinic with so much at stake – emotionally, financially and of course the passage of time. After an unsatisfactory experience with the NHS (diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and told to go away and keep trying) we wanted to find a private clinic where we felt we were being looked after properly, with an expert team doing their best for us and leaving no stone unturned. At Newlife we always felt like we were in good hands.With no expert knowledge of our own, we chose Newlife as it happened to be the closest to where we live, and the few reviews/reports we could find on it were positive. We reasoned with the whole infertility experience being so stressful and worrying, a thing such as local convenience could make a valuable difference on days when we were feeling particularly stressed or anxious. It did; particularly during IVF when we had to go in at inconvenient times. Despite being right in the centre of Epsom, Newlife has its own car park where we always managed to get a space. It is also very close to the railway station.We had tried for two years to get pregnant naturally but without any success. We were very unsure if we wanted to try IVF, but at the very least we wanted to get an explanation for our lack of success. We didn’t trust that the NHS had investigated thoroughly enough; this proved to be correct. Merely getting an explanation for our infertility was hugely valuable and a massive relief in itself, even though there was no simple/painless/inexpensive solution. (Any couples with “unexplained infertility”: chaps, get the Comet sperm test for defragmented DNA. The NHS probably won’t even tell you about it, but I have read reports saying it could explain well over half of all “unexplained” infertility).During our time at Newlife our consultant was Dimitrios. He is a lovely man, and right from our initial consultation I felt reassured that he wanted to do everything he could to help, and that he was obviously highly experienced and knowledgeable. There were no ambitious claims about what they would be able to do for us, just competent, honest evaluation and sympathetic advice. Before trying IVF, we decided to try IUI. My wife was extremely anxious about the physical aspects of IVF, and wanted us to try IUI as a sort of IVF-light introduction; I too felt this was the right move for us at the time. Dimitrios was very honest about the small chance of IUI success with our circumstances, but completely understood our reasoning, and he and the team did all they could to give it the best chance of success.Early on we were of course mindful of the fact that this was a private business, not the public sector or a charity, and we were cynically alert for any signs of being asked to spend money unnecessarily. I can happily state that there is no reason for any worries on this score. All costs and charges are clearly laid out well in advance, the reasoning for all advised procedures and tests well explained. On a few occasions Dimitrios advised us to get certain tests done via our GP to save the cost of Newlife doing them. (However, on one occasion my GP surgery’s admin staff caused me so much hassle with getting the results I almost wished I’d just paid Newlife to do the tests). Nevertheless, there is no getting away from the fact that private fertility investigations and treatment are very expensive. With all our tests, treatments (including one cycle of ICSI IVF), frozen sperm transportation costs, drugs and supplements we have spent just short of £12,000 (not including loss-of-earnings, as we are both self-employed).As well as Dimitrios, the rest of the team is excellent too. The nurses are all very personable, caring and helpful. The embryologists Jon and Blair were also very helpful and friendly; I had reason to ring them up many times with all sorts of questions which they patiently answered, whether being available straight away, or ringing me back if they were tied up when I called. The nurses have an out-of-hours mobile number which was invaluable when we had questions about the self-administered drugs we had to take at home, or more general but urgent worries. We rarely had to wait more than 10 mins for a reply (I always chose to text), and then only when I expect they had had to consult Dimitrios for an answer. We also saw Mr Gafar a few times when Dimitrios was unavailable, and he was excellent as you would expect. The only very slightly negative aspect of our experience I can think of is that a couple of times early on during our time with the clinic there were a couple of minor admin muddles. This was very trivial, but early on in one’s relationship with a clinic when you are so anxious and wondering if you’ve made the right choice, this sort of thing can be unsettling. I am very glad, however, that it did not put us off.I expect that anyone still reading this wants to know how we got on. After we’d had the embryo transfer I resolved to write this 5 star review whether we got pregnant or not, so impressed have I been by the care that we have received. We’re still in the early weeks, but so far so good. Fingers crossed, and good luck to all.