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.
I immerse myself in paperwork for an hour or so.
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”
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.