Men-only fertility clinic opens to women

Fertility treatment options in Cork are set to expand on foot of a partnership between a leading Dublin clinic and a Cork service that currently treats male infertility only.

Sims IVF is teaming up with Fertility Check Cork, an alliance that will allow the latter expand from treating men only, to providing certain services to women.

The service is separate to that provided by the Cork Fertility Centre on College Rd, Cork City.

Since it was set up last year, Fertility Check founder Dr Michelle O’Connor has provided a range of services to men, including semen analysis, consultations, sperm DNA fragmentation, sperm count check, and genetic testing.

However, the partnership with Sims means women will now be able to avail of consultations at her clinic in Victoria Station, Victoria Cross, Cork City, as well as a range of investigations and tests. Scans will be available in the not-too-distant future.

Sims director, Dr David Walsh, said it was trying to minimise the inconvenience to patients who travel from Munster to Dublin for fertility treatment.

“We can pretty much start offering services to women immediately, starting off with testing and moving on to develop other services. Scanning should be introduced in the next month or so. The idea is to try and limit the number of visits our patients have to make to Dublin.”

The Cork service will be able to provide immunology, genetic testing, and egg counts — “everything bar egg collection and transfer”, he said.

IVF treatment will not be offered in the short-term.

Dr O’Connor said the purpose of the alliance with Sims was to “do as much of the preparation as possible” with patients close to home and to “reduce as much as we can the drive time between Cork and Dublin”.

He said simple lifestyle changes can greatly improve people’s chances of conceiving naturally.

About one-in-six couples are affected by fertility problems — one third of which relate to the woman; one third to the man; with the rest unexplained.

For more information about the Fertility Check/ Sims partnership, an open day will be held on June 15 at the River Lee Hotel, Western Road, Cork, beginning at noon. It is free to the public and free consultations are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

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