Undergoing fertility treatment to start your family can be an overwhelming process and you may not know where to turn to for advice.
Having good resources and adequate support are not only helpful… They are essential. Maybe you are at the very beginning of your journey. You know that you want to have children, but have no idea where to start.
There are many different reasons why a couple or a single person may need to access fertility treatment. Maybe you are a heterosexual couple who for a variety of reasons need assistance to conceive. Or perhaps you are an LGBTQ+ couple who needs to access donor assisted conception. You may also be a single person who wishes to conceive with donor assistance.
There are a few main options which people in Ireland may choose when it comes to fertility treatment. These are IVF/ICSI, IUI and Donor Assisted Reproduction.
In Vitro Fertilisation is a method of conception where eggs are retrieved and then fertilised with sperm outside of the body. It quite literally means ‘fertilisation in glass.’ IVF/ICSI is specifically recommended for those with absent, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. It is often used in cases of unexplained infertility. Where there is male factor subfertility it can be used in combination with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). It is also an option for those wishing to become pregnant with the assistance of donor sperm. Once embryos are formed, then you have two options. You can have an embryo transfer where an embryo is placed back into the body through a guided catheter directly into the womb. If you do not wish to do the embryo transfer immediately, or indeed if you have surplus embryos, you can freeze them for future use.
Intrauterine Insemination is a method of conception where sperm is injected directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation. It can only be done in a clinic setting and is not the same as Intracervical Insemination (or home insemination.)
You will take fertility drugs prescribed by your fertility care team to increase your chances of getting pregnant. IUI can be successful, but the success rates are not as high as IVF. The main two benefits of IUI, is that it’s less invasive and the cost is significantly lower than IVF.
Many people going through fertility treatment require sperm donors in order to do an IUI or IVF cycle. This could be down to fertility issues or simply because they are an LGBTQ+ couple who do not have the capacity to become pregnant without assistance. In Ireland, the only type of donors allowed as of May 2020 are ‘identifiable’. An identifiable donor is a person who donates gametes (sperm) and agrees for their information to be stored on a national database. They are anonymous to the intending parents, but their details will be held on the national database. Any children conceived as a result of their donation will have the option of accessing their information and contacting them once they reach 18.
The cost of treatment is indeed an investment and you will need to consider all your options as the costing can vary dramatically from treatment to treatment… and even from clinic to clinic. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what your clinic is charging. There will often be ‘hidden extras’ which can be a nasty surprise when you are already halfway through the process.
There is currently no publicly funded support for those seeking fertility assistance, although this is something which may become available in the near future. You will however, be able to claim tax relief on any cost associated with your fertility treatment, including travel and accommodation. Many people are able to get a portion of the cost of their fertility treatment refunded, depending on how much tax you have paid in that year.
A complete IVF package with Thérapie Clinic costs €3,995, which is the lowest priced IVF in Ireland. IUI is considerably less, at €800, though the success rates are lower, so you may end up spending the same amount in the long run. This is something you will need to weigh up and also consider in consultation with your doctor.
At Thérapie Fertility, we are committed to providing the most affordable treatment in Ireland. We will always be upfront and transparent with our prices…and we won’t surprise you with those hidden extras along the way.
As of May 2020, any couple who goes through fertility treatment in a clinic in Ireland will be entitled to both be recognised as legal parents to their child, regardless of if a donor(s) was used to conceive. Prior to this, only heterosexual couples were automatically entitled to these legal rights, as there was no obligation to disclose the nature of their childs’ conception. Going forward, all donor-conceived children born will have a special section on their birth certificates which will inform them that there is additional information about their conception and birth. Donor information will be kept on a national database and will be available to donor conceived children once they reach the age of 18.
Finding Your Tribe
Going through fertility treatment is hard, regardless of your reasons for doing so. Linking in with others who have been through the same process is a really useful thing to do. It is invaluable to speak to someone who
understands what you are going through and who may be able to offer bits of advice from their own experience. There are plenty of online social media groups and chat rooms which you can join that you may find helpful. Find your tribe, as they say! Those who have been through this journey before are usually eager to support others in the same position.
At Thérapie Fertility, we understand how confusing it can all be, and so our team of dedicated experts at our Dublin Fertility Clinic are here to help you along the way.