PARENTS are increasingly dipping into their savings to fund fertility treatment for their adult children.
As a growing number of Irish women prioritise financial stability and career prospects over starting a family, the average age for childbirth has been rising.
And this has led to a growth in the need for costly fertility treatments by both married and single women.
Dr David Walsh, of the Sims Fertility Clinic in Dublin, said some patients were financially "at the pin of their collar", forcing them to turn to their parents for a dig-out.
And with new legislation banning anonymous egg and sperm donation, the cost of certain fertility treatments is going to soar by "thousands of euro" in the next six months.
It will force many women to travel abroad, adding at least €1,500 to their bills.
While more affluent patients will "still have options", those without financial clout will be "discriminated against".
"It's going to make fertility treatment more restrictive in the future."
He also pointed out that there had been a steady increase in the number of single women - who have failed to find 'Mr Right' - looking to start a family.
Giant strides in the fertility industry, particularly in the last decade, make having a baby far more attainable, regardless of marriage or relationship status. The majority of these type of patients are in their late-30s.
"They're either in their 40th year or they're about to turn 40 and they feel forced at that point to do something about pregnancy," said Dr Walsh.
But he warned the treatments, and having a baby alone, was "not for the faint hearted".
"I feel sorry for some of these women in a way because they may not have anybody to really talk to about their decision.
"It's tough enough going through this process - even when you have a partner to discuss things with."
He said that for women without a partner it can be an "isolating" experience.
"It's definitely harder and it's not the easy option."