Specialist treatment to help you get pregnant is available through HSE regional fertility hubs.
Your consultant at the regional fertility hub may recommend this if:
- you or your partner do not get pregnant after having other fertility treatment
- tests show this is the treatment you need
Types of treatment
The types of specialist fertility treatment you can get through a regional fertility hub are:
IVF is when eggs and sperm are fertilised in a lab to create an embryo. The best embryo is put in to the person's womb. If there are other good embryos, these can be frozen for future use.
ICSI is a type of IVF where sperm is injected directly into the egg.
IUI is a type of artificial insemination. Sperm is prepared in the lab and then put in to the womb.
How much free treatment you can get
Through the HSE you can get:
- IVF or ICSI once
- IUI up to 3 times
Each time you get treatment is called a 'round' or a 'cycle'. A round of treatment is made up of cycles.
Where you will have treatment
You will have this treatment for free in a private clinic that the HSE works with. You can choose which clinic.
You will need to:
- meet the access criteria
- sign a consent form to say that you understand the treatment and that your details can be shared with the clinic
To access free IVF, ICSI or IUI treatment you need to:
- be referred to a regional fertility hub by a GP or consultant
- be resident in the Republic of Ireland
- be in a relationship with your partner for at least 1 year
- have never had a sterilisation procedure to prevent pregnancy - this includes a vasectomy or blocking or sealing your fallopian tubes (tubal ligation)
- have no children with your current partner, including any children you are a legal guardian to
- be over 18
- be age 40 or under if you're a woman, or age 59 or under if you're a man
- have a BMI of between 18.5 and 30, if you are a woman
- have never had IVF or have had only 1 round of IVF - you must also have no unused embryos in storage
You cannot have this free treatment if more than 2 people plan to be parents to the child.
If you or your partner has a previous child
You and your partner must have no living children together to get this treatment for free. This includes any child you are a legal guardian to. At least 1 of you must not have a living child at all.
But if only 1 of you has children from a previous relationship, you can still be considered for treatment.
If you do not meet the access criteria
You may still be able to get other fertility treatments at a regional fertility hub if you do not meet the access criteria for free IVF, ICSI or IUI.
These treatments will not include free IVF, ICSI or IUI. But they may still help you have a baby.
You can still get a referral for other tests and treatment if you:
- are a woman age 41 or 42
- have a BMI below 35
If you need donor eggs and sperm
Free IVF, ICSI or IUI are not available through the HSE if you:
- cannot use your own eggs or sperm
- are in a same-sex couple
- are single
These will become available in the future to people who need to use donor eggs and sperm once new laws are put in place.
If you need donor eggs or sperm, you can get this treatment privately. Private treatment is not free. You'll have to pay for it.
If you have health insurance, they may part fund it.
If you have had HSE fertility tests or treatment in the past
You may still be able to access free IVF, ICSI or IUI if you were previously discharged from a regional fertility hub.
If you were discharged:
- before 1 March 2023 - go to your GP to get a new referral to a regional fertility hub
- after 1 March 2023 - contact the regional fertility hub and ask for a review appointment