Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

We are delighted to say that we received confirmation from the Department of Health yesterday that the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will now not commence until the 5th May 2020.  This is good news as it gives us, the fertility clinics, and the Department of Health time to ensure that all the necessary arrangements are in place before the Act is commenced.  It also means that patients have more time to discuss and plan their options.

We will be very happy to discuss this further with you at your next appointment at the clinic.

 

July 12th: General Scheme of the AHR Bill

Assisted Human Reproduction Bill

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health today published its report on the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. This proposed Bill aims to provide a legal framework for AHR treatments in Ireland and outline provisions for establishment of a national AHR regulatory authority.

As Clinical Director of MFC and an internationally-renowned fertility expert, Professor Mary Wingfield has been a vocal advocate over many years for patient rights in the context of this proposed legislation, and was an invited participant at a meeting of the Joint Committee in February 2018.

For the full Report, please follow the link below:

https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/dail/32/joint_committee_on_health/reports/2019/2019-07-11_report-on-pre-legislative-scrutiny-of-the-general-scheme-of-the-assisted-human-reproduction-bill_en.pdf

ESHRE 2019 Young Ambassadors

Young Ambassadors 2019

We are delighted to share that Joyce Leyden, a Senior Embryologist with MFC, has been selected as an ESHRE Young Ambassador for this year’s annual meeting in Vienna.  The meeting takes place from the 23rd-26th June.

Follow @theESHRE5 for updates as Europe’s finest present cutting edge research in the fields of reproductive medicine and science.

To read more please follow the link below:

https://www.eshre.eu/ESHRE2019/Media/Young-ESHRE-Ambassadors

Concern as IVF funding still not in place

funding

Despite the official government announcement last year that €1 million would be allocated for public IVF funding, these funds have still not been released. Those awaiting the much-needed financial and legal supports around assisted reproduction, as promised by the then Health Minister Leo Varadkar three years ago, continue to face uncertainty about when these funds will be made available and what criteria will be required to qualify for assistance.

The Government approved the IVF financial aid plans in October 2017 and a specific €1m fund was then announced by the Taoiseach last December.

In a statement, the Department of Health said a model of care for infertility, tied to long-awaited assisted human reproduction (AHR) legislation and the provision of financial assistance, was still being worked on by officials.

MFC continue to advocate for public funding of IVF for all Irish patients.

To read the Irish Examiner article, please see below:

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/concern-as-ivf-funding-still-not-in-place-922418.html

HFEA report (May 9th 2019): “IVF more popular, successful and safer than ever but reasons for treatment are changing”

HFEA

The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority has just released its latest report on trends and figures in fertility treatment. Their findings have been welcomed by the British Fertility Society, who highlight the increased uptake of fertility treatment, improved success rates and confirmation that “IVF remains a safe and effective approach to address fertility issues”. Figures in the report also show that multiple births, the single biggest health risk from IVF, has now reached an all-time low of 10%, a sharp decline from 24% in 2008.

Other key highlights from the report include:

  • in 2017, more than 54,000 patients underwent around 75,000 fertility treatments in the U.K, with IVF treatment cycles increasing by 2.5% since 2016 and resulting in over 20,500 babies being born.
  • the average birth rate for women of all ages using their own eggs reaching 22%, while women under 35 using their own eggs have the highest birth rates (30% – fresh embryo cycle, 27% – frozen embryo cycle.
  • the fastest growing fertility treatment type is egg freezing, which has increased by 10% since 2016 to 1,463 cycles in 2017.
  • frozen embryo treatment cycle success rates (23%) have overtaken fresh embryo cycle success rates (22%) for the first time since records began, indicating that freezing embryos can give as much chance of success as a fresh cycle.

To read the HFEA press release and access the report, please follow the link below:

https://www.hfea.gov.uk/about-us/news-and-press-releases/2019-news-and-press-releases/ivf-more-popular-successful-and-safer-than-ever-but-reasons-for-treatment-are-changing/

For the British Fertility Society response to the HFEA report on trends and figures in fertility treatment, please follow the link below:

https://www.britishfertilitysociety.org.uk/2019/05/09/bfs-welcomes-latest-hfea-trends-report/

 

Boosting male fertility

Male Fertility

In at least 50% of cases of male factor infertility, the cause is unknown. A number of lifestyle factors have been shown to affect male fertility. These include diet and nutrition, body weight, levels of exercise, stress and use of tobacco and drugs. Tackling obesity, improving your diet and incorporating moderate-intensity aerobic exercise into your daily life can boost fertility, improve chances of conception, and allow you to be proactive about your role in conceiving a baby.  To read more please follow the link below:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/25/health/male-infertility-food-drayer/index.html

18th World Congress of the Academy of Human Reproduction 2019

Merrion Fertility Clinic were delighted to participate in the 18th World Congress of the Academy of Human Reproduction, held in the Convention Centre Dublin on April 3-6th.

MFC research was high on the agenda, with invited talks by both Prof. Wingfield and Dr. Allen, as well as six research presentations by clinical fellows Dr. Hartigan, Dr. Crosby and research officer Dr. Glover.

Congratulations to all!

https://hr2019.humanrepacademy.org/

HFEA rating system for expensive “add ons”

Expensive Add-ons

A recent article in the Sunday Times has revealed that expensive ‘add-on’ treatments are still being offered by a number of Irish fertility clinics.

Despite recommendations by the U.K. Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which highlights the alarming lack of evidence for benefit and safety of such treatments, some private fertility clinics have persisted in advertising and providing them to patients. To guide and inform fertility patients, the HFEA have developed a rating system for the most commonly offered add-ons: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/explore-all-treatments/treatment-add-ons/

The HFEA has also called for clinics to be more transparent about treatment costs and how likely these are to actually increase the chance of having a baby.

To read this Times article, please see below:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/ill-conceived-treatments-at-fertility-clinics-00ht3gf66