IVF: three misses and you’re out!

So screamed the headline on the front page of today’s Sunday Times. Not having any personal experience of IVF I cannot comment on this article, so I would love to get your opinions on it.

The  basic tenet of the article is that the Women’s Health Council (WHC) of Ireland has said that infertile Irish couples should not be allowed an unlimited number of attempts at in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) because it is rarely effective after the third cycle and takes a huge toll on their mental and physical health.

Geraldine Luddy, the WHC director, said: “It’s a sad situation. Some people who are infertile would go to any lengths. Therefore it’s important that they have a way out of these treatments and that there is support and counselling for them. After a couple of attempts it might be time to let the reproductive technology end of it go.”

Last week the WHC launched two reports on infertility saying it is “a medical and social condition that often causes significant pain and distress to couples and which many people go to great lengths to overcome”.

It said that it was as stressful as divorce and death in the family, yet because of the stigma and shame attached to infertility it is the “last taboo” in Irish society.

At present fertility clinics are unregulated in Ireland, despite a report five years ago recommending that an authority be set up. As a result there is no limit to the number of times a couple can undergo IVF. Clinics do not have to report success rates, making it difficult for couples to choose where their best chances lie.

So what do you think? Is it time we regulated fertility clinics here in Ireland? Should couples themselves determine how many attempts at IVF they wish to try or are they just been offered  false hope and a drained bank account after the third attempt? I would love to hear your views.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane G
    Sep 27, 2009 @ 21:04:37

    Never having been through IVF I find it impossible to comment on it as regards how many cycles a couple should do. However, I do think that there should be some kind of regulation in place in this country for fertility treatment, especially as regards to success rate publication. I read that report the other day, and what really depressed me what the IVF success rate cited for women over forty – only 6%.

    Reply

  2. iamstacey
    Sep 28, 2009 @ 20:43:57

    I’ve read in numerous different articles that it takes an average of 3 IVF’s to be successful, so I’d definitely want to have at least 3! And what if you want to have a second pregnancy? Would it take 3 tries again? It’s hard to say what’s fair.

    Reply

  3. rachel
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 12:31:23

    Well said to iamstacey – i absolutely agree with her – you posted a story about someone earlier on your blog who had 15 attempts at IVF before a successful pregnancy so who has the right to tell you enough and no more!

    Reply

  4. caoimhe
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 12:32:02

    I would agree with Jane – i find those stats very depressing too 😦

    Reply

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