consultation

The staff at Galway Fertility Clinic will explain your treatment to you in detail from the outset. However some frequently asked questions come up for clients. Below are some of the common queries that clients ask us. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

How do I make an appointment? 

Getting an appointment is easy, simply have your GP or consultant send a referral letter to us. (Self-referrals are not generally accepted as we need your medical history from your GP).

If you are worried that you are not getting pregnant our consultants can offer advice, tests and treatments as necessary.

 

What is the waiting time to see the Consultant?

The waiting time for Private Appointments is normally 2-4 weeks. This allows for the necessary blood tests to be completed prior to your appointment. (If these tests have already been completed an early appointment may be offered). With these tests results the consultant will have more information to give advice on treatment.

Public patients are referred through our consultant’s fertility clinic in Galway University Hospital. The waiting time to see the consultant varies but can range from six months to twelve months. (Please note all fertility treatments in Ireland are privately funded by the client and are not supported by the HSE).

 

What is the cost of treatment?

Galway Fertility Clinic has a pricing structure that is clear and transparent. The fee for IVF and ICSI includes all your appointments, laboratory services, blood tests etc that are required as part of your treatment cycle.

Extras” that are often applied in other clinics (eg: blastocyst culturing, time lapse monitoring) are included in all cycles in Galway Fertility Clinic at no additional cost to you.

Costs of treatment must be met by the patient prior to the procedure being completed. The HSE does not offer any funding for IVF treatment in Ireland. Some medical insurance providers may provide some support, normally covering consultation fees and cost of investigations. (Please check with your individual insurance provider regarding your cover).

The cost of the medication is covered under the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) and medical card scheme. You must arrange this with your local pharmacy.

 

What is my chance of having a baby?

Today, with the help of assisted conception treatment, many couples are successful in achieving a pregnancy. Galway Fertility Clinic provides a full range of fertility treatments incorporating the latest technologies giving you the best chance of success

At your review appointment with the consultant, treatment options are explained and success rates are outlined. A number of factors influence the chance of success, these are:

  • Female age
  • How long you have been trying to conceive and/or if you have been pregnant before
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions and/or factors affecting infertility
  • If you have had any previous infertility treatment

 

Is there an age limit for treatment?

While age is a significant factor in your chances of success, Galway Fertility Clinic offers a wide range of treatments to women up to the age of 45. Fertility declines with increasing age especially for the female partner. After the age of 43, there is a reduced chance of success, an increased risk of miscarriage and an increased risk of having a child with a genetic abnormality (eg Downs Syndrome).

 

Are IVF pregnancies at a higher risk of complications?

All pregnancies carry a certain amount of risk. The incidence of miscarriage occurring in a natural pregnancy is approximately 20%. This is similar in IVF pregnancies, but there is a higher risk for those who are 40+ years for both groups.

There have been numerous studies worldwide examining babies born from IVF treatment. This has not identified a difference in the incidence of abnormalities or development delays, compared to naturally conceived children.

Multiple pregnancies (eg twins or triplets) carry a higher risk of miscarriage, prematurity and neonatal problems, whether they are naturally conceived or from IVF.

The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is approximately 2.5% in both groups also.

 

Will the drugs used in IVF have any side effects?

The hormone injections used to stimulate the development of multiple follicles are the same hormones that a woman produces in a normal menstrual cycle, but at a higher dose. 

Some common side effects are – headaches, hot flushes, tiredness and mood changes. These vary for each client but often there are no side effects reported.

Careful monitoring by the medical team at Galway Fertility Clinic, using regular blood tests and ultrasound scans ensures that any risks of ovarian hyperstimulation are minimised and managed safely.

 

Is there anything I can do to help my chances of success?

It is well known and accepted that being in good health increases your chances of pregnancy occurring. Therefore both partners should try to improve their overall health in the months leading up to & during treatment.

Smoking is not recommended and greatly reduces your chance of success. Research has shown smoking during pregnancy may also increase the incidence of childhood cancers.

Alcohol and caffeine consumption should also be in moderation.

A good balanced diet especially in foods rich in vitamins and minerals, or perhaps a course of multivitamin supplements in the month preceding treatment is advisable. Men with male factor infertility may benefit by taking zinc, selenium, folic acid and vitamins A, C, D and E in particular. (Herbal medication is not advised as this may impact negatively on treatment).

Moderate exercise and a healthy BMI (20-25) are recommended for both partners also.

Galway Fertility Clinic has partnered with nutritional experts, which are available to support and advise you on how to optimise their health while preparing for pregnancy.

Galway Fertility Clinic has partnered with some experts in this field to assist you.

 

Is there an emergency number?

Galway Fertility Clinic operates from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. The phone lines are open from 9:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm. The phones are not manned at weekends or bank holidays.

In the event of an emergency related to treatment, outside of these hours, you should contact your G.P who will assess if you need to be referred to Galway University Hospital to be seen by the Maternity Registrar on-call (available at 091-524222) who will contact our consultant as needed.

 

Is there support available if I find treatment difficult?

Fertility treatment can be challenging for some clients.  The nurses are available to you at all stages of your treatment, to provide support as necessary.

Our nurses are all qualified midwives and are responsible for the co-ordination and management of client treatment plans as determined by our medical consultants, and strive to provide professional, compassionate, sensitive and understanding care.

We also have a list of counsellors available to you, but you may wish to access an alternative counsellor near you.

Ireland has a patient support group forum known as – The National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG). They hold regular meetings and publish a newsletter which is available in our waiting room. Visit www.nisig.ie for more information.

 

Is there a limit on the number of attempts?

Galway Fertility Clinic has avoided recommending an upper limit to the number of treatment cycles clients should try, since this can introduce undue stress. The staff are always available to talk about further treatment. Clients should generally have at least 2-3 months break between treatment cycles to allow for physical and emotional recovery.

 

Are IVF pregnancies at a higher risk of complications?

The incidence of miscarriage in women who conceive following IVF treatment is approximately 20%. This is similar to naturally conceived pregnancies. The miscarriage rate is increased for those over 40 years (with a 50% incidence for those age 43+).

The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is approximately 2.5% in both groups also.

There have been numerous studies worldwide examining IVF babies, showing no difference in the incidence of abnormalities or development delays, compared to naturally conceived children. Multiple pregnancies carry a higher risk of miscarriage, prematurity and neonatal problems, whether they are naturally conceived or from IVF.

 

Will the drugs used in IVF have any side effects?

The hormone injections used to stimulate the development of multiple follicles (‘superovulation’) are the same hormones that a woman produces in a normal ovarian cycle but at a higher dose.  Careful monitoring with regular blood tests ensures that any risks of ovarian hyperstimulation (over response) are minimised.

 

Are there any changes to lifestyle needed before embarking on treatment?

Both partners should endeavour to improve their overall health in the months leading up to a treatment cycle. Smoking in either partner reduces the success rate by about 25%. If successful in achieving a pregnancy there is an increase in the incidence of childhood cancers in the children born to smokers.

Moderation in alcohol and caffeine consumption would also be advised. A good balanced diet, especially in foods rich in vitamins and minerals, or perhaps a course of multivitamin supplements in the month preceding treatment is advisable. Men with male factor infertility may benefit by taking zinc, selenium, folic acid and vitamins A, C, D and E in particular. Moderate exercise and a healthy BMI (20-25) are recommended for both partners also. Ask our staff for information about nutritional support services that can help clients to optimise their health while preparing for pregnancy.

 

Are there additional tests that can be carried out on the sperm?

Sperm DNA fragmentation index and DNA integrity tests are available through Galway Fertility Clinic. These sperm tests analyse sperm for breaks within their genetic information (DNA). Sperm with high levels of breakages is associated with lower chances of pregnancy. The medical and laboratory staff would be happy to discuss these tests with you. The companies that carry out the testing are SPZ Lab in Denmark and Lewis Fertility testing in Belfast.

 

Is there an emergency number?

Galway Fertility Clinic operates from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. The phone lines are open from 9:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm. The phones are not manned at weekends or bank holidays.

Should emergency medical aid be required at weekends or after office hours, you should contact your G.P who will assess if you need to be referred to University Hospital Galway to be seen by the Maternity Registrar on-call available at 091-524222.

 

Is there support available if I find treatment difficult?

Fertility treatment can be challenging for some clients.  The nurses are available to you at all stages of your treatment, to provide support as necessary.

Our nurses are all qualified midwives and are responsible for the co-ordination and management of client treatment plans as determined by our medical consultants, and strive to provide professional, compassionate, sensitive and understanding care.

We also have a list of counsellors available to you, but you may wish to access an alternative counsellor near you.

Ireland has a patient support group forum known as – The National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG). They hold regular meetings and publish a newsletter which is available in our waiting room. Visit www.nisig.ie for more information.