Legal regulation and public funding is essential

‘Expert predicts number of women freezing their eggs to have babies later in life will rise’ – The Irish Times

The Irish Times discusses Prof. Fishel’s thoughts on the importance of regulation with fertility treatments, public funding and the increasing number of younger women freezing their eggs for future use due to social pressures to remain working until later in life.

Prof. Fishel is currently attending a number of events in Ireland to mark the 40th anniversary of the birth of the first IVF baby.

Please click on the link below for the full Irish Times article.

Irish Times – Publicly funded and legally regulated fertility treatment is ‘critical

BFS Fertility Conference – Liverpool

MFC staff from Clinical, Embryology and Nursing Departments attended the British Fertility Society (BFS) conference in Liverpool last week.

We’re very proud to say that two of our clinicians (Dr. Yvonne O’Brien and Dr. David Crosby)  were chosen to present their excellent research as part of the BFS Young clinician award session.

Follow the link below to learn more about the conference:

Christmas Opening Hours

We will be closed from 4pm on Thursday, 21st December and will re-open at 8am on Tuesday, 2nd  January.

If you are an existing patient and have a serious concern please contact The National Maternity Hospital on 01 6373100.  Otherwise, you may leave a voicemail message on tel. no.  01 6635000 and this will be dealt with by one of our nurses on Thursday, 28th and Friday 29th  December.

Merrion Christmas Card

Prof Wingfield’s study with Trinity College selected for an Award

Prof Wingfield’s study with Trinity College Dublin on uterine natural killer cells in endometriosis has been selected for a RAMI Research Award in the Biomedical Science category! See below for information on this publication.

This category received a large number of submissions, so this is a significant achievement.

The RAMI Research Awards 2017 will be held on Wed 29th November, and winners will receive a RAMI bronze medal and educational bursary.

Congratulations Prof Wingfield!!

Natural Killer Cells and Infertility

The role of natural killer (NK) immune cells in infertility is the subject of much controversy in reproductive medicine. It is important to note that circulating blood NK cells and NK cells found in the uterus have very different profiles and functions. Scientific studies in animals indicate that NK cells are in fact essential for pregnancy and development of the placental blood supply.

A recent collaborative study between Merrion Fertility Clinic and Trinity College Dublin found more immature uNK cells known as progenitors in endometrial tissue from women with endometriosis as compared to healthy patients, suggesting that uNK development is altered in the endometriotic uterus. Further analysis of these endometrial tissue samples revealed reduced levels of a growth factor called SCF in women with endometriosis, which may underlie the impaired maturation of uNK cells.


To read more about this research study, please follow the link below:

MFC Doctor presents at NMH GP Study Day

09.15 – 09:55hrs: Registration Tea/Coffee & light breakfast – Boardroom, NMH

10.00 – 11.00hrs: WELCOME Dr. Rhona Mahony, Master, NMH – Boardroom and Lecture Theatre, NMH PLENARY SESSION

HPV – Boardroom and Lecture Theatre, NMH Prof. Donal Brennan, NMH/UCD

MN-CMS – Boardroom and Lecture Theatre, NMH, Dr. Michael Robson, Consultant, NMH / Tina Murphy, Project Manager

All workshops are 45 mins (will run concurrently). A. (11.05hrs-11.50hrs) B. (12.00hrs-12.45hrs) C. (12.55hrs-13.40hrs). Lunch at 13.45hrs.

To ensure good interaction and discussion group sizes are limited in each workshop.

Programme includes a choice of 3 of the following workshops, early respondents will get their 1st choice.

11.05 – 13.40hrs

  • Current Controversies in Urogymaecology Prof. Declan Keane Clinical Director, NMH
  • Pregnancy in the Older Woman Dr. Stephen Carroll, Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, NMH
  • Vaccinations in Pregnancy Dr. Susan Knowles, Consultant Microbiologist, NMH
  • Challenges in Adolescent Gynaecology Dr. Venita Broderick, Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, NMH
  • Fertility – evidence based practice Dr. David Crosby, Clinical Research Fellow, Merrion Fertility Clinic and NMH
  • Management of Menopause in Primary Care Dr. Mary Short GP

To freeze or not to freeze!?!

What women want? A scoping survey on women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards ovarian reserve testing and egg freezing.


A recent publication by MFC research staff looks for the first time at Irish women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards ovarian reserve testing and egg freezing in order to preserve their fertility.

The study, led by Dr. Yvonne O’ Brien (Clinical Research Fellow at MFC), surveyed 663 women aged 18–44 years through the use of social media. Dr. O’Brien found that a majority (60%) of women surveyed had knowledge of ovarian reserve testing, and 64.8% would be interested in having testing performed. Younger women (<30 years of age) and single women were more likely to be interested in checking their ovarian reserve. In addition, the vast majority (89.7%) of women surveyed were aware of oocyte cryopreservation, and 72.2% agreed that they would consider freezing their eggs to preserve fertility. Interestingly, a majority (62.1%) of study participants believed that it is a woman’s right to postpone pregnancy for social reasons and to freeze her eggs, with no significant difference in options noted between younger and older women.

Overall, this study concludes that Irish women are highly knowledgeable about ovarian reserve testing and social egg freezing, likely reflecting increasing awareness of these issues among the Irish public. The study also shows that women are very open to the use of these modern technologies in an attempt to avoid unintended childlessness.

To read more about this research study, please follow the link below:

Please click on the following link for information on other MFC research studies

Cabinet approves legislation for IVF funding

After many years of advocating for funding for IVF treatments Merrion Fertility Clinic is delighted to see that the Cabinet has supported Simon Harris’s  proposal to introduce legislation for financial aid for fertility treatments.  The World Health Organisation recognises infertility as a disease, and Ireland and Lithuania are the only two EU countries not to offer state-funding for assisted reproduction.

For the many Irish couples who cannot afford the €4,000 to €6,000 cost of one IVF treatment cycle, the commitment of government funding is very welcome and long overdue.

For further information please click here for the full RTE article