WORK­ING LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health -

Dr Bart Kucz­era, gy­nae­col­o­gist and fer­til­ity ex­pert, Bea­con CARE Fer­til­ity, Dublin 6.45am As my wife works over­seas, I’m on por­ridge/pan­cake duty for 10-year-old Hanna. The boys — Filip (23) and Miko­laj (17) — are self-suf­fi­cient. I take the Luas to work, It’s a short com­mute. 8.20am My days al­ter­nate be­tween the­atre and con­sul­ta­tions. This morn­ing I had a cou­ple of mi­nor di­ag­nos­tics pro­ce­dures, in­clud­ing a tubal as­sess­ment and an en­dome­trial biopsy. How­ever, the bulk of what I do in­volves egg re­trieval and em­bryo trans­fer. Dur­ing IVF, eggs are re­moved from ma­ture fol­li­cles within an ovary. An egg is fer­tilised by in­ject­ing a sin­gle sperm into it or by mix­ing the egg with sperm in a petri dish. The fer­tilised egg (em­bryo) is trans­ferred into the uterus. A cou­ple of times a month, I fo­cus on male sur­gi­cal sperm re­trieval. 12.30pm I have my main meal of the day, fol­lowed by a lunchtime meet­ing with our fer­til­ity nurses. We re­view the morn­ing cases, scans and blood tests, and dis­cuss any is­sues that have arisen for our pa­tients. We may need to mod­ify med­i­ca­tion doses or a woman may need more ovar­ian stim­u­la­tion. The goal of ovar­ian stim­u­la­tion is to get ovaries to pro­duce mul­ti­ple eggs with­out re­leas­ing them so that they can be re­trieved and fer­tilised in the lab­o­ra­tory. We also look at sched­ul­ing women for egg re­trieval and in­sem­i­na­tion.

2pm

I im­merse my­self in pa­per­work for an hour or so.

3pm

I hold con­sul­ta­tions. The pa­tients who come to us are mainly cou­ples who have had pre­vi­ous un­suc­cess­ful treat­ments. Most of the women we see are over the age of 38 and are aware time is of the essence. We also see a lot of same-sex cou­ples and women who want to pre­serve their fer­til­ity for the fu­ture while they build ca­reers or meet the right per­son. A cou­ple I saw to­day are con­sid­er­ing egg do­na­tion. We dis­cussed treat­ment us­ing fresh donor eggs at a part­ner clinic in the UK. Egg donors un­dergo a rig­or­ous screen­ing process.

“A cou­ple I saw to­day are con­sid­er­ing egg do­na­tion”

5.30pm

I head home. The boys are well trained and have cooked din­ner. We plan din­ners in ad­vance, as my wife Mar­garet Mal­go­rzata, an anaes­thetist, works abroad a lot, and I am es­sen­tially a sin­gle par­ent! Down­time is largely de­voted to read­ing. I’m a book nerd.

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