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2.  Irish public opinion on assisted human reproduction services: Contemporary assessments from a national sample 
Objective
To measure Irish opinion on a range of assisted human reproduction (AHR) treatments.
Methods
A nationally representative sample of Irish adults (n=1,003) were anonymously sampled by telephone survey.
Results
Most participants (77%) agreed that any fertility services offered internationally should also be available in Ireland, although only a small minority of the general Irish population had personal familiarity with AHR or infertility. This sample finds substantial agreement (63%) that the Government of Ireland should introduce legislation covering AHR. The range of support for gamete donation in Ireland ranged from 53% to 83%, depending on how donor privacy and disclosure policies are presented. For example, donation where the donor agrees to be contacted by the child born following donation, and anonymous donation where donor privacy is completely protected by law were supported by 68% and 66%, respectively. The least popular (53%) donor gamete treatment type appeared to be donation where the donor consents to be involved in the future life of any child born as a result of donor fertility treatment. Respondents in social class ABC1 (58%), age 18 to 24 (62%), age 25 to 34 (60%), or without children (61%) were more likely to favour this donor treatment policy in our sample.
Conclusion
This is the first nationwide assessment of Irish public opinion on the advanced reproductive technologies since 2005. Access to a wide range of AHR treatment was supported by all subgroups studied. Public opinion concerning specific types of AHR treatment varied, yet general support for the need for national AHR legislation was reported by 63% of this national sample. Contemporary views on AHR remain largely consistent with the Commission for Assisted Human Reproduction recommendations from 2005, although further research is needed to clarify exactly how popular opinion on these issues has changed. It appears that legislation allowing for the full range of donation options (and not mandating disclosure of donor identity at a stipulated age) would better align with current Irish public opinion.
doi:10.5653/cerm.2013.40.4.169
PMCID: PMC3913896  PMID: 24505563
Assisted fertility; Legislation; Public policy; In vitro fertilization; Ireland
3.  Bivariate analysis of basal serum anti-Müllerian hormone measurements and human blastocyst development after IVF 
Background
To report on relationships among baseline serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) measurements, blastocyst development and other selected embryology parameters observed in non-donor oocyte IVF cycles.
Methods
Pre-treatment AMH was measured in patients undergoing IVF (n = 79) and retrospectively correlated to in vitro embryo development noted during culture.
Results
Mean (+/- SD) age for study patients in this study group was 36.3 ± 4.0 (range = 28-45) yrs, and mean (+/- SD) terminal serum estradiol during IVF was 5929 +/- 4056 pmol/l. A moderate positive correlation (0.49; 95% CI 0.31 to 0.65) was noted between basal serum AMH and number of MII oocytes retrieved. Similarly, a moderate positive correlation (0.44) was observed between serum AMH and number of early cleavage-stage embryos (95% CI 0.24 to 0.61), suggesting a relationship between serum AMH and embryo development in IVF. Of note, serum AMH levels at baseline were significantly different for patients who did and did not undergo blastocyst transfer (15.6 vs. 10.9 pmol/l; p = 0.029).
Conclusions
While serum AMH has found increasing application as a predictor of ovarian reserve for patients prior to IVF, its roles to estimate in vitro embryo morphology and potential to advance to blastocyst stage have not been extensively investigated. These data suggest that baseline serum AMH determinations can help forecast blastocyst developmental during IVF. Serum AMH measured before treatment may assist patients, clinicians and embryologists as scheduling of embryo transfer is outlined. Additional studies are needed to confirm these correlations and to better define the role of baseline serum AMH level in the prediction of blastocyst formation.
doi:10.1186/1477-7827-9-153
PMCID: PMC3241207  PMID: 22136508
serum AMH; IVF; embryo development; blastocyst transfer
4.  Recipient screening in IVF: First data from women undergoing anonymous oocyte donation in Dublin 
Background
Guidelines for safe gamete donation have emphasised donor screening, although none exist specifically for testing oocyte recipients. Pre-treatment assessment of anonymous donor oocyte IVF treatment in Ireland must comply with the European Union Tissues and Cells Directive (Directive 2004/23/EC). To determine the effectiveness of this Directive when applied to anonymous oocyte recipients in IVF, we reviewed data derived from selected screening tests performed in this clinical setting.
Methods
Data from tests conducted at baseline for all women enrolling as recipients (n = 225) in the anonymous oocyte donor IVF programme at an urban IVF referral centre during a 24-month period were analysed. Patient age at programme entry and clinical pregnancy rate were also tabulated. All recipients had at least one prior negative test for HIV, Hepatitis B/C, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis performed by her GP or other primary care provider before reproductive endocrinology consultation.
Results
Mean (±SD) age for donor egg IVF recipients was 40.7 ± 4.2 yrs. No baseline positive chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis screening results were identified among recipients for anonymous oocyte donation IVF during the assessment interval. Mean pregnancy rate (per embryo transfer) in this group was 50.5%.
Conclusion
When tests for HIV, Hepatitis B/C, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis already have been confirmed to be negative before starting the anonymous donor oocyte IVF sequence, additional (repeat) testing on the recipient contributes no new clinical information that would influence treatment in this setting. Patient safety does not appear to be enhanced by application of Directive 2004/23/EC to recipients of anonymous donor oocyte IVF treatment. Given the absence of evidence to quantify risk, this practice is difficult to justify when applied to this low-risk population.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-8-8
PMCID: PMC3107773  PMID: 21507224
5.  The long path to pregnancy: early experience with dual anonymous gamete donation in a European in vitro fertilisation referral centre 
Reproductive Health  2010;7:20.
Background
This investigation describes features of patients undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and embryo transfer (ET) where both gametes were obtained from anonymous donors.
Methods
Gamete unsuitability or loss was confirmed in both members of seven otherwise healthy couples presenting for reproductive endocrinology consultation over a 12-month interval in Ireland. IVF was undertaken with fresh oocytes provided by anonymous donors in Ukraine; frozen sperm (anonymous donor) was obtained from a licensed tissue establishment. For recipients, saline-enhanced sonography was used to assess intrauterine contour with endometrial preparation via transdermal estrogen.
Results
Among commissioning couples, mean±SD female and male age was 41.9 ± 3.7 and 44.6 ± 3.5 yrs, respectively. During this period, female age for non dual anonymous gamete donation IVF patients was 37.9 ± 3 yrs (p < 0.001). Infertility duration was ≥3 yrs for couples enrolling in dual gamete donation, and each had ≥2 prior failed fertility treatments using native oocytes. All seven recipient couples proceeded to embryo transfer, although one patient had two transfers. Clinical pregnancy was achieved for 5/7 (71.4%) patients. Non-transferred cryopreserved embryos were available for all seven couples.
Conclusions
Mean age of females undergoing dual anonymous donor gamete donation with IVF is significantly higher than the background IVF patient population. Even when neither partner is able to contribute any gametes for IVF, the clinical pregnancy rate per transfer can be satisfactory if both anonymous egg and sperm donation are used concurrently. Our report emphasises the role of pre-treatment counselling in dual anonymous gamete donation, and presents a coordinated screening and treatment approach in IVF where this option may be contemplated.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-7-20
PMCID: PMC2925351  PMID: 20701806
6.  IVF for premature ovarian failure: first reported births using oocytes donated from a twin sister 
Background
Premature ovarian failure (POF) remains a clinically challenging entity because in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with donor oocytes is currently the only treatment known to be effective.
Methods
A 33 year-old nulligravid patient with a normal karyotype was diagnosed with POF; she had a history of failed fertility treatments and had an elevated serum FSH (42 mIU/ml). Oocytes donated by her dizygotic twin sister were used for IVF. The donor had already completed a successful pregnancy herself and subsequently produced a total of 10 oocytes after a combined FSH/LH superovulation regime. These eggs were fertilised with sperm from the recipient's husband via intracytoplasmic injection and two fresh embryos were transferred to the recipient on day three.
Results
A healthy twin pregnancy resulted from IVF; two boys were delivered by caesarean section at 39 weeks' gestation. Additionally, four embryos were cryopreserved for the recipient's future use. The sister-donor achieved another natural pregnancy six months after oocyte retrieval, resulting in a healthy singleton delivery.
Conclusion
POF is believed to affect approximately 1% of reproductive age females, and POF patients with a sister who can be an oocyte donor for IVF are rare. Most such IVF patients will conceive from treatment using oocytes from an anonymous oocyte donor. This is the first report of births following sister-donor oocyte IVF in Ireland. Indeed, while sister-donor IVF has been successfully undertaken by IVF units elsewhere, this is the only known case where oocyte donation involved twin sisters. As with all types of donor gamete therapy, pre-treatment counselling is important in the circumstance of sister oocyte donation.
doi:10.1186/1477-7827-8-31
PMCID: PMC2861671  PMID: 20334702
7.  Pre-treatment preferences and characteristics among patients seeking in vitro fertilisation 
Reproductive Health  2009;6:21.
Background
This study sought to describe patient features before beginning fertility treatment, and to ascertain their perceptions relative to risk of twin pregnancy outcomes associated with such therapy.
Methods
Data on readiness for twin pregnancy outcome from in vitro fertilisation (IVF) was gathered from men and women before initiating fertility treatment by anonymous questionnaire.
Results
A total of 206 women and 204 men were sampled. Mean (± SD) age for women and men being 35.5 ± 5 and 37.3 ± 7 yrs, respectively. At least one IVF cycle had been attempted by 27.2% of patients and 33.9% of this subgroup had initiated ≥3 cycles, reflecting an increase in previous failed cycles over five years. Good agreement was noted between husbands and wives with respect to readiness for twins from IVF (77% agreement; Cohen's K = 0.61; 95% CI 0.53 to 0.70).
Conclusion
Most patients contemplating IVF already have ideas about particular outcomes even before treatment begins, and suggests that husbands & wives are in general agreement on their readiness for twin pregnancy from IVF. However, fertility patients now may represent a more refractory population and therefore carry a more guarded prognosis. Patient preferences identified before IVF remain important, but further studies comparing pre- and post-treatment perceptions are needed.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-6-21
PMCID: PMC2805613  PMID: 20017913
8.  Ovarian serous adenocarcinoma identified during IVF: diagnostic approach, surgical management, and reproductive outcome 
Background
To present a diagnostic evaluation and treatment strategy for serous adenocarcinoma of the ovary discovered during an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) sequence, and report on reproductive outcome after tumour resection and embryo transfer.
Case presentation
Cycle monitoring in IVF identified an abnormal ovarian lesion which was subjected to ultrasound-guided needle aspiration. Cytology suggested malignancy, and unilateral oophorectomy was performed after formal staging. After surgery, the patient underwent an anonymous donor oocyte IVF cycle which established a viable twin intrauterine pregnancy. No recurrence of cancer has been detected in the >72 month follow-up interval; mother and twin daughters continue to do well.
Conclusion
Suspicious adnexal structures noted during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation for IVF warrant assessment, and this report confirms the role of aspiration cytology in such cases. If uterine conservation is possible, successful livebirth can be achieved from IVF if donor oocyes are utilised, as described here.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-7-46
PMCID: PMC2689217  PMID: 19442277
10.  Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and prophylactic human embryo cryopreservation: analysis of reproductive outcome following thawed embryo transfer 
Objective
To review utilisation of elective embryo cryopreservation in the expectant management of patients at risk for developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and report on reproductive outcome following transfer of thawed embryos.
Materials and methods
Medical records were reviewed for patients undergoing IVF from 2000–2008 to identify cases at risk for OHSS where cryopreservation was electively performed on all embryos at the 2 pn stage. Patient age, total number of oocytes retrieved, number of 2 pn embryos cryopreserved, interval between retrieval and thaw/transfer, number (and developmental stage) of embryos transferred (ET), and delivery rate after IVF were recorded for all patients.
Results
From a total of 2892 IVF cycles undertaken during the study period, 51 IVF cases (1.8%) were noted where follicle number exceeded 20 and pelvic fluid collection was present. Elective embryo freeze was performed as OHSS prophylaxis in each instance. Mean (± SD) age of these patients was 32 ± 3.8 yrs. Average number of oocytes retrieved in this group was 23 ± 8.7, which after fertilisation yielded an average of 14 ± 5.7 embryos cryopreserved per patient. Thaw and ET was performed an average of 115 ± 65 d (range 30–377 d) after oocyte retrieval with a mean of 2 ± 0.6 embryos transferred. Grow-out to blastocyst stage was achieved in 88.2% of cases. Delivery/livebirth rate was 33.3% per initiated cycle and 43.6% per transfer. Non-transferred blastocysts remained in cryostorage for 24 of 51 patients (46.1%) after ET, with an average of 3 ± 3 blastocysts refrozen per patient.
Conclusion
OHSS prophylaxis was used in 1.8% of IVF cycles at this institution; no serious OHSS complications were encountered during the study period. Management based on elective 2 pn embryo cryopreservation with subsequent thaw and grow-out to blastocyst stage for transfer did not appear to compromise embryo viability or overall reproductive outcome. For these patients, immediate elective embryo cryopreservation and delay of ET by as little as 30 d allowed for satisfactory conclusion of the IVF sequence, yielding a livebirth-delivery rate (per ET) >40%.
doi:10.1186/1757-2215-1-7
PMCID: PMC2585559  PMID: 19014420

Results 1-10 (10)