Fertility Grant Scheme 2016 – Now Open!
The Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) Fertility Grant provides financial support to people with cystic fibrosis (PWCF) and their respective partners who wish to undergo fertility assessment/treatment in the hope of becoming pregnant. Since this scheme was first rolled out in 2010, a total of 70 fertility grants have been awarded to members.
Fertility in males with CF
Research states that approximately 98% of males with cystic fibrosis are infertile (Kotloff et al 1992, McCallum et al 2000). This is normally due to absence of the vas deferens, a tube that carries sperm from the testis to the penis – in males with CF this tube fails to develop properly and may prevent the passage of sperm to their intended destination. Males with CF are strongly advised not to assume they are infertilie and to discuss contraception with their CF team.
Fertility in females with CF
Fertility problems in females with CF may be related to general ill health, poor weight, or poor control of CF-related diabetes mellitus (Johannesson et al, 1997; Edenborough, 2001; Stallings et al, 2005). Midway through the menstrual cycle when the egg is released from the ovary the mucus that is found at the lower end (the cervix) of the womb (the uterus) thins and allows easier passage of sperm into the uterus. Increased thickness of this mucus in women with CF may theoretically act as a barrier to sperm penetration and reduce fertility. In reality, the majority of women with CF become pregnant without any difficulty. Women with CF do produce healthy, fertile eggs so effective contraception is necessary.
The decision to go ahead with any form of fertility treatment should be thoroughly discussed with your Cystic Fibrosis Consultant and multidisciplinary team.
How much funding is available?
The value of the grant for first-time applicants is €3,000. The value of the grant for second-time applicants is €2,000. Applicants can now apply a third time to this scheme. This decision was made in response to feedback from PWCF. The value of the grant for third-time applicants is €1,000.
How do I apply?
A Fertility Grant Application form and supporting documentation from your CF Consultant and the fertility clinic you plan on attending must be sent to the CFI National Office by a particular deadline. Members are advised to read the fertility grant guidelines in advance of applying for this grant.
Where can you get more information about this call?
- CFI Fertility Grant Scheme 2016 – Application Form
- CFI Fertility Grant Scheme 2016 – Policy and Guidelines (Includes general information, guidance on the application process & additional supports)
- Sexual Health in CF Information Booklet
- Watch these video clips:
These video clips are from our Annual Conference in 2013, where Rory Tallon (PWCF) speaks about his own experiences of pursuing fertility treatment, and Dr Sandra Brett from the Beacon Fertility Clinic talks about Fertility and PGD.
Rory Tallon, PWCF – PWCF Adult Group
Fertility & PGD – Dr Sandra Brett, Medical Director, Beacon CARE Fertility & Rory Tallon, PWCF
- CFI strongly encourages members to seek Genetic Counselling advice and support prior to pursuing assisted fertility treatment. Please talk to a representative in the Fertility Clinic you are interested in or contact the National Centre for Medical Genetics for more information Tel: 01 4096739.
- If you would like to be linked in with another member of the Association who has also undergone fertility treatment for advice or support, please get in touch and we will do our best to arrange this.
- At the time of writing these guidelines, there are some fertility clinics in Ireland that offer fertility treatment at a reduced cost to couples who are both medical card holders, subject to demand and at the discretion of the relevant clinic. If you and your partner meet these criteria, we recommend you talk to your GP or fertility clinic for more information.
- In addition, if you have private health insurance we recommend contacting your provider to see if fertility treatment is covered under your plan.
In some European countries including in the UK, IVF is available through the relevant public health service. However, it is disappointing to report that IVF is only available on a private basis in Ireland. The costs associated with IVF can be high/very high with no guarantee of success. CFI is lobbying the government for IVF treatments to be covered by public funding.
For further information about this call, please contact:
Grants and Services Co-ordinator
t: 01 496 2433