Infertility or fertility problems are when a couple or person wish to get pregnant but can’t. Some people have no difficulty getting pregnant but others may struggle.
There are many possible causes of fertility issues that can relate to the man, woman, or both. In some cases, there is no known cause. Around 1 in 6 heterosexual couples may experience challenges in getting pregnant.
The HSE has free fertility tests and treatment to help couples get pregnant.
If a couple have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, the first port of call should be the GP. The GP will be able to offer advice and arrange tests. They may refer to one of the six HSE Regional Fertility Hubs,
The Regional Fertility Hubs are based in public maternity hospital networks across the country, in;
- National Maternity Hospital, Dublin
- Rotunda Hospital, Dublin
- Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin
- Galway University Hospital
- Cork University Maternity Hospital
- Nenagh General Hospital as part of Limerick University Maternity Hospital.
The fertility teams in the hubs offer fertility tests, investigations, treatments and advice. There is no cost to patients for tests or treatment in the Regional Fertility Hubs.
From September 2023, publicly funded further advanced fertility treatment such as IVF, IUI and ICSI will be available in Ireland for the first time. This means that these treatments are free for people who meet the access criteria. You can find the access criteria here.
- IUI means that a sample of a man’s sperm is injected into the woman’s uterus around the time of ovulation.
- IVF is where a woman’s eggs are fertilised with a man’s sperm in a laboratory.
- ICSI is similar to IVF and involves the injection of sperm directly into a woman’s egg.
This service will initially be provided by approved private providers on behalf of the HSE.
As part of the rollout of the publicly funded Fertility Treatment Services, the National Women and Infants Health Programme have developed a series of Patient Information booklets. These will be provided in hard copy to patients referred to a Regional Fertility Hub or for further Fertility Treatment, and some available to the patients in GP clinics.
For more information on Fertility and Fertility Treatments, please visit hse.ie/fertility