"Good car e provider but there is an issue"

About: St Mary's Hospital (Manchester)

I am a patient of this hospital and recently had a failed FET cycle in the department of Reproductive Medicine. The failure is not a problem since I am a patient with so many failed IVFs at different hospitals.Everything at this hospital was quite great. I had this cycle as a fee paying patient. The staff is very Courteous and helpful. The problem is that this hospital offers you an option of Natural FET but at the same time they will tell you that if your expected day of transfer of embryo falls on Saturday or Sunday they are not going to do it and the whole cycle will be useless. I have this query why cannot such a big hospital with all the facilities arrange staff for the transfer on weekends. Its very bad, this way Patient looses an option and is loaded with unnecessary medicine that too the notorious hormones when these can be avoided. The duration of treatment is also extended as such since two cycles are needed, one to downregulate and another to control the cycle. I wanted to go for Natural FET but could not avail it just because they told me that if your endometrium is ready on weekends then the transfer cannot be made. I had no option than to go with the painful medication. Kindly make me understand what do you mean by Natural Cycle (Provision) in your hospital?

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Response from Patient Experience Team, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. We were sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Saint Mary’s Hospital. It is important to us that comments are heard and seen as an opportunity provided to the service to make changes and improvements wherever possible.

Frozen Embryo Transfer can be carried out in a natural cycle or a programmed cycle. The research shows that both are equally effective. However, in a natural cycle, the day of transfer is not controlled by us, as it depends on when the patient ovulates. This means that the day of transfer may fall on a day when we do not have staff to do the transfer. We always make this clear to the patient, as part of fully informing them of their choices. If the day of transfer falls on a weekend, the procedure cannot be carried out. However, the embryos would not have come to any harm since they would not have been thawed. Likewise, the patient would not have had to take any medication. Of course, there is some disappointment for the patient, which is why we explain this from the start.

We are obliged to use our resources in the most effective way. We do not have enough laboratory staff to be able to do frozen embryo transfers at the weekend. If in the future our staffing improves, we may be able to offer this. In the meantime, we continue to offer an equally effective and safe alternative of programmed cycle transfer, as well as the option of natural cycle transfer with the caveat explained above.

It is difficult to respond to all posts in a full way often because of a lack of detailed information, therefore if you would like to discuss your experience with us in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk quoting reference number PO16/0118.