FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

There are always a lot of questions around fertility treatment, and we’ve answered the most common below. Our Patient Liaison team can answer all your initial queries by phone or email.

You can make an appointment any time by calling our Patient Liaison team or sending us a message via the Contact Form.

Your GP can refer you to us through their online system.

There are no waiting lists for appointments. Generally, there are about four weeks between contacting us or being referred and your first consultation.

Those few weeks allow you the time to have blood tests done and for your partner (if appropriate) to have a semen analysis test. We will give you a list of the blood tests required and these can be done in our clinic or at your GP.

Getting these tests done beforehand allows you to get the most from your consultation with the doctor and enable us to make the best plan possible for you.

It is far more common to need fertility treatment than anyone would think! Up to 1 in 5 couples will need fertility treatment in some form – ranging from very simple treatments to more advanced treatment.

Fertility issues are split fairly evenly between men and women, and there fore any couple that requires fertility treatment is treated as a couple. 

Most couples will have a baby with or without treatment. Of 100 couples who are trying naturally to conceive, up to 85% of them will have a baby within a year of trying. It is important to know your cycle and when to try, and to get tested early so any issues can have a simple fix.

You are not alone and most certainly are not the only one. At Waterstone Clinic alone, over 500 babies are born through our treatments – a large number of families created due to treatment!

At the first appointment, you’ll meet a fertility consultant and a nurse specialist.

During your meeting, we will go through your full medical history and examine the results of your blood tests and semen analysis (if you are attending with a male partner).

As part of the consultation, there will be an internal trans-vaginal ultrasound scan to look at the health of your pelvis and ovaries. The results of the scan will be discussed with you and the doctor will recommend a treatment plan or any further investigations that might be necessary before treatment.

The consultation is a perfect time to ask all your questions: jot them down and we will work through each of them individually.

Private medical insurance companies don’t tend to cover assisted reproductive services, but please do formally check with your provider as they may cover consultation costs, or even the cost of operative procedures such as a lap & dye procedure.

Taxpayers can claim tax relief on all expenses through the tax relief for medical expenses scheme by submitting a Med1 form. You can do this online, or forms are available from reception.

Irish residents can also access financial support for their fertility medications through the Drugs Payment Scheme. Patients currently pay a maximum of €124 in a calendar month to the pharmacy of their choice. From September 2020, the monthly charge will reduce to €114 as part of Budget 2020.

There is no straight forward answer to this, as it is all dependent on what you need: which treatment is most appropriate for you, if you need any procedures carried out before treatment, if you need to import donor gametes, etc. Our team will guide you and explain the llikely timeline for your treatment with you, so you can make a plan.

As a guideline, we treat female patients who are over 25 years of age, and under 45 years of age. Each person’s situation is considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you are over 45, the chances of success from treatment are very low and there are high risks associated with using your own eggs. In this situation, we recommend treatment with donor eggs and can treat women up until their 51st birthday.

Partners do not have to attend every appointment (unless you would like them to!) We do understand that life is very busy and work committments can make attending all appointments challenging, but we do encourage partners to attend as many appointments as possible as you are undergoing treatment as a couple.

Male partners must attend the first consultation, the consent meeting (where you will sign consent forms for treatment) and, if you are having IVF/ICSI treatment, the day of egg collection as a semen sample is needed.

Female partners must attend the first consultation and the consent meeting.

Our specialists at Waterstone Clinic work as a team and you will meet many of them throughout your treatment. We operate a seven-day service at the Clinic, so you will not always meet the same people, but we have an excellent communication system and every team member keeps up to date and will manage your care to the highest standard.

Fertility treatment can be difficult, and we are here to support you throughout your journey. Our patient liaison and nursing teams are available to answer any questions you have day to day.

We also know that professional counsellors play an invaluable role in facilitating and supporting patients through the stresses and emotions experienced during treatment. We have a fertility counsellor available at Waterstone Clinic and we offer this service free of charge. Our patients can access this support at any point before, during or after their treatment.

If you would like to book a session in our Cork, Limerick or Waterford clinics, please contact our team for an appointment.

Each of the medications prescribed to you are approved and safe to take. That said, every medication can have side effects and your nurse will go through these with you.

We have a specialised pharmacist available should you wish to meet them, and they can go through each medication prescribed and detail the minor side effects you may experience.

The most common of these are dizziness, headaches and hot flushes. As the drugs are stimulating the ovaries, there is a small risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This side effect is serious, but also rare. It will be explained fully during your consultation and consent sessions.

Patients sometimes ask us if fertility medications can cause an increased risk of developing ovarian or breast cancer. Recent research has suggested that there is no link between cancer risk and fertility medications.

If you need to take over-the-counter medications, we would recommend you tell the pharmacist that you are receiving fertility treatment. The pharmacist can then guide you as to the best medication to take, and which to avoid, while you are undergoing treatment.

If you have concerns, please speak to one of the nurses and they will assist you.

When you are undergoing fertility treatment, your care is managed between the clinic and your GP. If you have a general health worry, your GP will see you and guide you in that respect. If your worry is related to fertility, either treatment or medications, the team at Waterstone Clinic will manage your care.

Speak to our team
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