Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – when undergoing treatment using donor gametes

IVF FAQ

With treatment consisting of so many different elements, it is natural to have questions. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you on your journey.

Please click on the buttons below to learn more about each test.

Frequently asked questions – standard IVF cycle

Can fertility drugs increase my risk of getting cancer?

Ovarian cancer occurs in approximately one in 90 women in the general community and is more common in women who have not had children. Breast cancer occurs in one in 11 women, again being more common in those who have not had children. The variety of medical and surgical treatments, including the drugs used in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), may have unknown long-term effects. Australian cancer registers show no increase in breast or ovarian cancer since IVF treatments began.

Can I take antibiotics or antihistamines?

Usually yes. However, inform your specialist who is prescribing the medication. You may be pregnant and need to ensure that the medications are safe in early pregnancy. Please inform us about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking prior to and during your treatment cycle.

What if I have spotting?

If you notice bleeding in the two weeks after the embryo transfer, continue with your progesterone until the bleeding becomes heavy or a pregnancy test confirms a negative result.

Can an ectopic pregnancy be moved into the womb?

Unfortunately no. It must be removed either medically or by surgery.

What happens if I have a pregnancy in my uterus and in my tube at the same time?

It is rare, but if detected early it may be possible to remove an ectopic pregnancy without disturbing the pregnancy in the uterus.

Should I continue with Synarel (or Lucrin) after starting my FSH injections?

Yes, until the day of hCG or trigger injection. If your Synarel runs out close to the end of the stimulation phase, speak with your fertility nurse before purchasing more medication, and remember to record each spray.

What medication can I take to relieve cramping during my treatment cycle?

Paracetamol is the best option for pain relief. Check with your fertility doctor if pain relief is required.

Can I go straight into another cycle if this one is unsuccessful?

It is recommended that you have a review of your cycle with your specialist after each cycle. It is often advised that you have a month’s break between cycles; however, your fertility doctor will determine what is best for you.

Can I take other medications/supplements during my IVF treatment?

Always advise your fertility doctor exactly what medications/supplements you are taking as sometimes the effects of these are unknown when combined with IVF medication.

I am scared of the injections, will they hurt?

Be assured that your fertility nurse will give you full instructions on the use of your medication and ensure that you are comfortable with self-injection. The needles used are very fine and should only cause minor discomfort.

How many scans will I need during my cycle?

This depends on your individual cycle and your specialist’s requirements; however, the average would be two to three scans per cycle.

Can I have intercourse during my IVF treatment cycle?

It is recommended that you have only protected intercourse (if applicable) during your cycle.

Can I exercise during my cycle?

It is recommended that any exercise you do during your cycle should be light and low impact, especially after your embryo transfer.

Will I need time off work after an Egg Pick-Up (EPU)?

You will need the full day off work for your EPU as this is a surgical procedure. However, your other appointments should require only minimal time off work.

What is the chance of success?

Success rates vary greatly between individuals so please discuss your chance of pregnancy with your fertility doctor.

When do I collect my medications?

You can collect your medications from the clinic or a nominated pharmacy before the cycle starts. You will be given specific details about the collection of medications from your IVF nurse coordinator.

What time of day should I take my injections?

It really doesn’t matter what time of day, as long as it is at the same time each day.

What if my period commences on the weekend or a public holiday?

This is usually no problem at all. Please phone City Fertility at 8:00am on the next business day to arrange your medication collection appointment.

What if my period commences on the weekend or a public holiday?

This is usually no problem at all. Please phone City Fertility Centre at 8:00am on the next business day to arrange your medication collection appointment.

What if I have left-over frozen embryos after I have finished having my family?

There are a few options for excess frozen embryos. They can be disposed of, donated to another infertile person or donated to City Fertility for training purposes.

 

Frequently asked questions – donor cycle

Can I have the same chosen donor for all my cycles?

It depends on if the donor is still available for use at the time of your treatment. The reasons why the donor may not be available for use include:

  • the donor total family limit has been reached
  • the donor has withdrawn or varied their consent
  • donor stock levels have been exhausted
  • the donor gametes available are not suitable for your treatment type

Why can I not use the same donor as I had in my previous cycle?


This depends on if the donor is still available for use at the time of your treatment. The reasons why the donor may not be available for use include:

  • donor total family limit has been reached
  • the donor has withdrawn or varied their consent
  • donor stock levels have been exhausted
  • he donor gametes available are not suitable for your treatment type

Can I reserve more than one donor vial at a time?

For clinic recruited donor sperm, usually, one donor vial is allocated for your treatment.

What is CMV and why is this important?

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a member of the herpes virus family. Donors complete a blood test to determine their CMV status.

To reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, all patients planning to use donor sperm to conceive will also have a blood test to check CMV status. At City Fertility, CMV negative recipients can only use CMV negative donors.

It’s important to point out that while the risk of contracting the virus from a CMV-positive donor is not absolute zero, it is extremely low. The chance of transmitting congenital CMV to a developing foetus is also extremely low.

Do you have photos of the donors?

To protect the donor’s privacy, we do not include donor photos on our profiles.
In New South Wales and Victoria, you may wish to contact Voluntary Registers to see if your chosen donor has submitted any other voluntary information.

What if I want to change to another donor while I am in-cycle – can I do that? Will, it cost extra?

Yes, you can change the donor as long as that donor is available and is suitable for your treatment type.
You cannot change the donor on the day of your procedure.

When will I receive the donor summary list?

The donor summary list can be provided to you at any time and our friendly staff will inform you which donors are suitable for your treatment type. Full donor profiles of your selected donors will be provided to you after the first counselling session is complete and approved.

What information will I get on donors?

Donor profiles include non-identifying information about the donors, such as physical characteristics (eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, build etc), ethnic origin, family health and medical history, education, profession, interests, hobbies, personality and reasons for donating.

What is the difference between known and unknown donor?

When the donor and the recipient know each other and have an existing relationship, this is known as a known donation. In this case, the recipient usually receives a donation from a friend, relative or family member.

When a donor voluntarily donates their gametes to City Fertility for an unknown recipient, this is called a clinic-recruited donation. The donor and recipient do not know each other, and the donor can choose to keep their identity unknown; however, they must agree to provide identifying information to be revealed to a child conceived as a result of their donation once the child turns 18 or younger with counsellor approval.

What do I do once I have chosen a clinic recruited donor? How can I reserve?

Before you can make a reservation, your counselling sessions must be completed and consent forms returned signed, dated and witnessed. If you haven’t received a donor selection form, please contact your clinic. You are required to fill in a selection form to indicate three preferences, in case your first preference is unable to be allocated. The form needs to be submitted to the clinic and they will inform you of which donor has been reserved for your use. For donor sperm, usually, one donor vial is allocated for your treatment. Payment will be processed at the time of the reservation.

How long is the reservation for?

Donor gamete can be reserved for three months only. If we are unable to contact you at the end of the reservation period, the donor gamete is returned to the donor pool for use by other recipients.

If my cycle is unsuccessful do I need to reserve more sperm

Yes. Once your specialist has discussed your new treatment plan, please contact your clinic to make a reservation.

If I get pregnant and want to have another baby should I reserve more sperm?

Once your pregnancy is confirmed (scan/viable pregnancy), you can contact the clinic to inquire if the donor is still available for reservation. Please be aware that the donor may not be available for use for the following reasons:

  • the donor has withdrawn or varied their consent
  • donor stock levels have been exhausted
  • the donor gametes available are not suitable for your treatment type

Can my partner and I reserve the same donor?

If you both are looking at undergoing donor sperm treatment, you will be able to reserve the same donor, provided City Fertility has enough donor vials left for reservation.

What does it mean when you refer to a family limit?

The person conceived using donor gametes, and the donor, need to be protected from the consequences of having many siblings and offspring, respectively. A gamete donor is able to donate to up to 10 women in Victoria and 5 women in New South Wales. In Queensland and South Australia, there is no legislated limit for donations; however, City Fertility has set a limit of 10 families as its policy position. This includes any current or former partner of the donor.

How are donor pregnancies monitored and recorded?

City Fertility holds a donor register to ensure State family limit has not been reached. New South Wales and Victoria also have Central Registers to monitor the total family limit.

Why is a blood test required at the end of my cycle, if I get my period?

It is a regulatory/legislative requirement to limit the number of persons born from a single donor and therefore it is compulsory to have a blood test at a nominated pathology collection centre to confirm the pregnancy outcome at the completion of the donor (egg, sperm or embryo) ART treatment.

What sort of identifying information is filed about clinic recruited donors on the City Fertility Donor Registers and New South Wales/Victoria Central Registers and how does my child receive this?

People conceived using donated gametes are entitled to know their genetic parents, should they want this information, once they turn the age of 18. Therefore, donors must consent to the release of identifying details.

City Fertility collects non-identifying and identifying information about clinic recruited donors. Non-identifying information includes:

  • physical characteristics (eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, build etc)
  • ethnic origin
  • family health and medical history
  • education
  • profession
  • interests
  • hobbies
  • personality
  • reasons for donating

Identifying information includes:

  • donor name
  • DOB
  • last known address

In Queensland and South Australia, the release of information is processed through City Fertility clinics. In New South Wales and Victoria, Central Registers are responsible for the release of the information.

What are the success rates

We will do everything we can to help you conceive a baby.

When you embark on fertility treatment, you ultimately want to know what your chances are of taking home a baby. We assure you are in good hands at City Fertility.

While success rates are certainly affected by your age, the quality of your embryos and whether or not you have been pregnant before, perhaps the biggest predictor of success is the track record of the clinical team you choose to work with.

Our success rates at City Fertility can be attributed to the experience of our clinical and embryology teams as well as our highly trained staff and our investment in state-of-the-art equipment. The combined assisted reproductive technology (ART) experience of our clinical team is substantial and we pride ourselves on not only keeping up with the latest science in our field but also being innovators and early adopters of the best that technology has to offer.

How long can donor eggs and sperm stay in the freezer?

Usually 10 years, but the donor has a right to consent to a shorter storage period and withdraw or vary their consent.

How are donor eggs and sperm transported interstate

Any frozen material (including embryos) is stored in specialised tanks in the laboratory that is filled with liquid nitrogen. To move them between clinics, or states, a specialised canister (called a transport dewar) is primed with this liquid nitrogen to keep the inside very cold for the transportation process. Before release, consents are checked by the team and then the gametes that are being moved are checked via the identification procedure by the laboratory staff and then moved into the transport dewar. This is then tightly sealed for transportation. The companies that move these shippers are aware of the fragility of the canisters and what they hold so there is special handling required and the dewar itself is monitored for any temperature changes between clinics. For more detail, please speak to one of the embryologists who will gladly answer any further questions that you may have regarding this process.

Why do I need ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) if I use donor sperm?

When City Fertility Centre sperm donors are recruited, they undergo lots of checks, including a full semen analysis prior to any donations. Sometimes, even though the samples look good prior to the sperm being frozen, it does not always recover as well as other samples may do, or how other donors sperm samples recover. This is the variability that we see routinely across all sperm samples, not just for sperm donors.
Depending on the recovery (numbers of motile sperm) after the thawing and preparation of the sperm sample, it may be necessary to do ICSI (where the motile sperm is injected into the oocyte by the embryologist). The majority of the time we know this may be necessary beforehand, but sometimes it can be a required change on the day of egg collection. If you have any questions regarding your donor’s suitability for treatment options, or any concerns about ICSI please speak to your clinician prior to donor sperm selection

Have the donor gametes been tested and what tests?

All donors will have a medical check, compulsory counselling sessions and they are required to fill in a lifestyle consent form. Sperm donors will have a semen analysis to ensure their sperm is suitable for donation. Before donations commence, all donors are screened for infectious diseases and certain genetic tests. Clinic recruited donor gametes are quarantined for 6 months and donors are retested for infectious diseases before donor gametes are released for use.

What if I want to meet my donor?

When a donor voluntarily donates their gametes to an unknown recipient, this is called a clinic-recruited donation. The donor and recipient do not know each other, and the donor can choose to keep their identity unknown to a recipient; however, they must agree to provide identifying information to be revealed to a child conceived as a result of their donation once the child turns 18 or younger with counsellor approval.

In New South Wales and Victoria, you may wish to contact Voluntary Registers to see if your chosen donor has submitted any voluntary information.

Do I need to be in a partnership to use donor gametes?

No. Single people can access donor treatment.

Enquiries


Please leave this field empty.

I have read and agree to the terms of City Fertility's Privacy Collection Statement and Privacy Policy.

Partners

City Fertility Network