Dr Nita Adnan – new member of the MFC Clinical Team

Dr Nita Adnan

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to a new member of the MFC Clinical Team.  Dr Adnan has been working as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in National Maternity Hospital since 2017 and recently joined Merrion Fertility Clinic.   You can find out more about Nita and the MFC Clinical Team on the following link:

https://merrionfertility.ie/about/why-mfc/clinic/our-clinical-team/

 

What is the IVF Process?

ivf process The IVF process is emotionally intense, physically draining and  expensive. But advanced medical knowledge and pioneering lab techniques are making the ‘take-home baby rate’ for women and couples better than ever, writes Danielle Barron.

Merrion Fertility Clinic featured in the Sunday Business Post and answered the most common fertility questions.

Keep reading to see full article.

 

 

The IVF Process

Whether it’s Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or standard In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), the procedure is the same for the couple. Professor Mary Wingfield, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the National Maternity  Hospital, and clinical director of Merrion Fertility Clinic, outlines what a typical IVF cycle involves. “We try to get between ten and 15 eggs, and to achieve this the woman has to go on fertility drugs that she self-injects for ten to 15 days.”

The eggs are removed vaginally, and on the same day the man produces a sperm sample. The eggs and sperm are placed in culture, and by the following day, it will be obvious which eggs have been fertilised and are on their way to forming embryos.

Three to five days later, all proceeding well, an embryo is selected to be put back into the woman’s womb. Any extra viable embryos are frozen to be used in the future.

ivf process - newborn

IVF Success Rates

The good news is that there have been a number of incremental improvements in IVF over the years, which has seen the “take-home baby rate” soar from 10 per cent to 30 per cent on average, says Wingfield.

“It’s much better than it used to be. If the woman is under 35, then with one treatment it is 50 per cent – you can compare that to couples with peak fertility who will only get pregnant every third time they try.”

To get pregnant naturally, around 15 million healthy sperm are needed, but for IVF you need about 100,000. Of course, just one sperm and one egg make a baby, but understandably with an IVF cycle they like to maximise your chances.

For more common causes of poor sperm production and motility (the movement and swimming of the sperm), urologists have a range of strategies and interventions that can help improve sperm quantity and quality.

Continue Reading the Full Article Here

IVF Clinics Face New Crackdown on add-on treatments

Add Ons

As a not-for-profit clinic, we at Merrion Fertility Clinic and the National Maternity Hospital are passionate about fairness and making our treatment as affordable as possible for all our patients. We urge patients and the general public to carefully consider all the information regarding different treatments and pricing.

And we encourage you to write to the Minister for Health advocating for public funding of IVF for all Irish patients.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/10/ivf-clinics-face-new-crackdown-on-add-on-treatments

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.

 

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/

 

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

“I wanted to be a runaway mum, but fear held me back”

Fitness

Irish T.V. presenter Kathryn Thomas recently penned an excellent article discussing her struggle to overcome the fear of losing a pregnancy after several miscarriages, and how this affected her passion for running.

We know that a healthy diet and exercise improve fertility, and moderate exercise during IVF and pregnancy is important for general wellbeing and stress relief. While there is no strong evidence that any one form of exercise is best during the fertility journey, those that promote strength and mindfulness (such as yoga) are excellent options.

The most important thing is to choose something you enjoy, and to stay active, both for your health and for your baby’s.

To read Kathryn’s story, see the link below:

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/fitness/kathryn-thomas-i-wanted-to-be-a-runaway-mum-but-fear-held-me-back-1.3832462