Updated: Mar 27, 2020

The unofficial news that our first cycle will be NHS funded

So after 6 weeks of waiting for news, we are able to confirm that we’ve got NHS funding for our next part of the journey.

Let’s just bring you up to speed on that timeline, shall we?

- 24th July - appointment with the consultant who confirmed the severity of our infertility and recommended IVF route

- 26th July - Consultant applies for funding from CCG and says it will take 3 weeks to hear back

- 16th August - The 3 week deadline, still no letter so we call the clinic to find out if there’s an update. They confirm it’s been applied for but experiencing delays with the Summer holidays 🙄 give it another 2 weeks

- 30th August - 2 week deadline and still no letter but we remember we have an appointment with the clinic to review some blood tests that Tom had on 24th July on 4th September so we decide to wait until then to ask them for a further update to fear of becoming a nuisance.

- 4th September - Tom’s blood appointment (which I will come back to), she tells us to call CCG for an update directly because it’s unusual for it to take this long for an answer.

- 5th September - I call CCG and explain the situation. They say they’ll look into my file and call me back. They call later in the day to say they are waiting for further proof from the clinic that we have been trying for over 2 years 🤔 so I call the clinic and ask and they say they’ve now sent over our entire file to cover all bases. I then email a lady from CCG who I’d been talking to so she can confirm they now have everything.

- 6th September - Email reply from CCG to say they have all of the paperwork and can confirm we do have funding. We’ll receive a letter confirming everything early next week and a choice of clinics we can try for treatment. Woo!

So that‘s where we are this week. Excellent news for us and honestly the motivation we needed to keep going. It’s been hard work waiting and discussing back up plans but it finally feels like we have something to work towards again and we’ve relit the fire in our bellies to try.

Back to Tom and his blood results. He has a high level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which is a hormone in the brain that sends a message to the testicles to produce sperm. Testosterone then sends a message back when it’s complete and FSH is satisfied. The problem is that he also has low levels of Testosterone so FSH is working over time to get the job done but with no result. His body is working hard to produce sperm but isn’t producing enough of it. Our consultant described it as similar to male menopause or at least the start of it. This was a bit of a blow on Wednesday although we already knew that he wasn’t producing enough. He feels good to have a diagnosis and Testosterone tablets will make him feel loads better. BUT (and isn’t there always a bloody but?) if he takes them now then he will stop producing sperm altogether because FSH will receive the wrong messages so IVF first, Testosterone eventually. That’s a lot to take in but hopefully it makes sense.

I have been worried about him and we talked about it a lot since Wednesday. We’re both of the mindset at the moment where we’re like “Yeah, sure, what else do we have- keep it all coming.” We’re also trying to remain positive throughout this process and feel lucky to at least know exactly what challenges we are facing in this process where we know there are some couples with unexplained infertility which I imagine would feel like stabbing in the dark. We’re grateful to be where we are right now and have the opportunity to try again all thanks to our amazing healthcare system, the NHS.

As as much as you may find me use a couple of rolling eye emojis or air my frustrations with some of the healthcare processes and administrative errors, I am very aware of how lucky we are to have a national health service in the UK. The appointments, time, contact and care we have received (FOR FREE) has honestly been immense and if we’d have had to pay for everything to date then we may have bankrupted ourselves 4 times over by now. The staff members we have encountered have been nothing short of amazing, it really feels like they’re with us at every step of our journey and hopefully you’ll get that from the copy of our email we received above. In a future blog I might be willing to share my emotional and heartfelt reply to the above email but writing this blog post today with a lump in my throat I’m going to cling on to the privacy of that for a little bit longer and bask in our moment of luck.

Look forward to updating everyone next week when we know the extent of our funding. Have a great weekend!

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