Privately, IUI can cost around €900.
Patients in Ireland will be able to access intrauterine insemination (IUI) through the HSE later this year, as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced an expansion of basic fertility treatment in Ireland.
IUI involves placing washed and concentrated sperm directly into the uterus at the time when the uterus releases eggs to be fertilised. Many people opt for IUI for a number of reasons, including those who use donor sperm and those who are experiencing problems with fertility.
Privately, IUI in Ireland can cost around €900, though the Health Minister plans on rolling out the service in the HSE's regional fertility hubs.
There are currently five regional fertility hubs in operation – Cork University Hospital, the Rotunda Hospital, the National Maternity Hospital, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital and University Hospital Galway.
According to The Independent, Minister Donnelly said: "The 2023 allocation will be utilised to support the regional fertility hubs in order to expand their scope of services by introducing the provision of IUI – intrauterine insemination – a significant, yet less complex and less intrusive, component of assisted human reproductive (AHR) treatment."
He stipulated that the plan to introduce IUI is separate to plans for the provision of advanced fertility treatments, which can cost up to €4,500 in private clinics.
The criteria for eligibility for this provision has not been determined just yet, though it is understood that treatments will include IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). IVF involves the collection of mature eggs from the ovaries, which are then fertilised by sperm in a lab. ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm into the cytoplasm of the egg. If the egg is fertilised, it is grown in a lab for 1 to 5 days before being transferred to the uterus.
This article originally appeared on HER
Header images via Unsplash & Twitter/DonnellyStephen