Fertility Treatment Options In Ireland
It is estimated that one in ten couples have problems conceiving, but some women have added complications, which make conception even more difficult. Here we list the types of fertility treatment options in Ireland.
1. Ovulation Induction (OII)
This involves the use of medications to stimulate the development of one or more mature follicles in a woman’s ovaries. Women with irregular cycles or those who are not ovulating may be treated this way as they don’t regularly develop mature follicles themselves.The lining of the womb (endometrium) is scanned with a pelvic ultrasound to determine how the follicles are developing and blood tests also help to reveal when the woman is most fertile.
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2. Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
This combines ovulation induction (as above) with introduction of purified semen into the uterus on the day of ovulation using a soft, catheter. This is often recommended as a first line treatment when fertility difficulties are unexplained.
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3. In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
This refers to the process where a woman’s eggs are fertilised outside of her body in a laboratory and once embryos have been produced, they are transferred back into the uterus a few days later. This treatment is recommended for women with absent, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes or in cases of unexplained infertility.
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4. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Up to 40% of fertilisation treatments do not work if the sperm and eggs are placed together as a regular IVF. So in order to overcome this, a technique of injecting an individual sperm into the centre of the egg has been developed called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is carried out by the embryologist using a microscope under high magnification and once the procedure is complete, the eggs are monitored over a 24 hour period and then transferred back into the female as per IVF.
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5. Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis
This technique enables couples who are known to be at risk of a specific inherited condition to avoid passing it on to their children. It involves generating a number of pre-implantation embryos through IVF treatment and checking the genes of those embryos for the condition involved before transferring them to the uterus of the female partner.
6. Pre-implantation Genetic Screening
This complex form of IVF treatment is recommended for couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or repeated unsuccessful IVF cycles. Screening embryos for genetic defects before transferring them significantly increases the chance of a successful pregnancy and decreases the chance of miscarriage. It also considerably reduces the chance of having a baby with genetic problems.
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7. Donor Sperm
While choosing to use a donor sperm may not be an easy decision, for some people it is the only option. Clinics will make every effort to ensure physical characteristics and blood group matches that of their client. Those who may need to use this route include: men with severe infertility who do not produce sperm, a male who is a carrier for a specific genetic disorder, single women who wish to pursue fertility treatment and same sex (lesbian) couples using IUI or IVF.
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