Shared motherhood and single women having babies

Scotia pic

Posted on: 4th July, 2016

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Dr Mary Mc Caffrey, FRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician / Gynaecologist at The Scotia Clinic, Tralee and Kerry General Hospital discusses the options available to single women planning a pregnancy.

While the majority of children growing up in Ireland are conceived in heterosexual relationships, the number of children being reared by single women is growing. Advances in medical technology, such as egg freezing and IVF, are making this option easier for women. The attitudes of Irish people are also changing.

Over the last twelve months Ireland has passed legislation recognising same sex marriage and the 2014 Rose of Tralee ‘came out’ as a gay woman; in doing so she provided the support for other to follow suit.

Traditionally, women went abroad for such treatments. Clinics visited by Irish women report a significant in the numbers of Irish women pursuing parenthood with donor sperm. As attitudes and acceptance change in Ireland, women are staying in Ireland for such treatments.

IUI with donor sperm

The option of donor sperm, which is placed in the womb in a controlled medical environment, is the most common option pursued by single women. Legislation ensures that the used is safe and securely acquired. At The Scotia Clinic the sperm used is imported from Denmark and is monitored and traced under the Regulations of the HPRA (previously Irish Medicines Board). Pregnancy Rates with IUI and donor sperm vary, depending on a woman’s age, from 20-33 per cent. Women take medications and are scanned to optimise the timing of insemination.

It is recommended that women check their fertility in advance to ensure the treatment is appropriate for them.

IVF with donor sperm

Very occasionally additional medical factors such as endometriosis, reduced ovarian reserve may suggest that IVF is required. IVF is a more technological treatment and incurs additional cost.

Embryo donation and adoption

For some women IUI or IVF with their own eggs may not be possible, usually as they are older. In such cases the option of adopting embryos stored in an IVF clinic can be explored. Some women or couples prefer to opt for using both donor eggs and donor sperm to create embryos – we refer to this as embryo donation. In most cases we work with clinics in Spain or the Czech Republic who have a track record in this area.

Egg freezing

In recent times the technology called vitrification has enhanced the ability for freezing a woman’s eggs. Some women realise at an early point in their lives that they have not found their “lifelong” partner or that they will “go it alone” in years to come when they are ready for motherhood. Egg freezing is now an option. However, I would recommend attending a clinic with good expertise in this area. Having a check on Ovarian Reserve i.e. AMH blood test helps women to see whether they eggs to freeze. It is always best to do this at a young age (under 35).

Counselling prior to treatment

While most women /couples intending to undergo fertility treatments are content in their decision, it is a good idea to do a session or two with a Fertility Counsellor. This allows the parties to reflect on issues such as how to choose a donor and when to tell their children how they were conceived.

Key Points

• Irish legislation, which is derived from the EU Human Tissue Directive, ensures high standards, well regulated fertility care in Ireland. Any clinic providing IUI or IVT must be licenced to do so and regular inspections take place. More recent legislation means that sperm donors will no longer be anonymous; some couples may now wish to link to clinics outside of Ireland.

• A wide range of fertility treatments exist and your fertility clinic can guide you on what is best for each individual.

• Counselling has an important role in making the final decision on single parenting.

Latest News Articles:

Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme

Join us on Facebook

Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
... See MoreSee Less

8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to www.cope-foundation.ie/donate. We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
... See MoreSee Less

15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top