FAQs about fertility treatment

Frequently asked questions

With fertility consisting of so many different elements, it is natural to have questions. We have created a section of frequently asked questions to help you in your fertility journey.


Trouble getting pregnant

Why is this happening to us?

This may be the first question that goes through your mind after you have been trying to conceive for any amount of time, or if you have begun your treatment for infertility. Infertility is a tricky condition that evokes various emotions. The stigma in our culture is that pregnancy should be “easy” and “natural”, and this can cause couples to feel inadequate and frustrated with their situation. The truth is that infertility, which affects 10% of all couples, is a disease that should attract the same emotional support as other conditions and be free of that stigma.

Nothing you have done wrong has caused your infertility. Dealing with the emotions that infertility brings out can often lead couples to the blame game. They can criticise themselves (“Oh, if I just hadn’t waited so long”) or their partners (“Well, if he/she had just done this …”), when the truth of the situation is that the blame game will only hurt your relationship at a time when you need to support one another the most.

Take your infertility factor, whether it is related to the male or female or both, as your united diagnosis. Don’t make it a “my” or “your” issue, become a united front! You will probably feel sadness and pain, find comfort in your partner and offer comfort to him or her.

The journey of infertility can be long, with highs and lows. Knowing that it’s you and your partner against the world will help you during these times.

How do I know I am infertile?

Infertility is defined as 12 months of unsuccessful conception for women under 35. For women over 35, this decreases to six months. The majority of women will fall pregnant within six months of trying. If a longer period has passed, there may be something else to consider, and we suggest an initial consultation and work-up.

Do I need a referral to make an appointment with a specialist?

Yes, you are required to have a referral to your specialist of choice.

One way of obtaining a GP referral is by using Doctors on Demand. This is a 24-hour service that gives you access to Australian Registered doctors via video conference appointments. You can discuss your personal circumstances and get a referral to one of our fertility specialists from the privacy and convenience of your own home. Simply schedule an appointment via their website at a time that suits you.

Alternatively, you can download a City Fertility referral form and take it along to your GP appointment.

If your regular doctor (GP) is unable to provide a referral, or if you need help in obtaining one, please contact us.


IVF Treatment

We are preparing to bring in a sample for a procedure. Do we need an appointment?

Yes, you need an appointment for any procedure. This helps us to be sure all your paperwork is in order and will expedite your appointment.

How do we collect a semen sample for our procedure?

An optimal sample can be collected after abstaining for two days, but not more than five days. The sample container must be a sterile, previously sealed cup. You can pick one up at our office or at a pharmacy. Containers that have been washed are NOT suitable and may contaminate the sample.

Label the top and bottom of the container with the following information:

  • Both partners’ first and last names.
  • The date.
  • The time of collection.

You may produce your sample in our collection room, or at home if you live within an hour of our office. If you opt for the home setting, be sure you have the appropriate cup before needing to collect. Keep the sample at body temperature and upright during its transportation to our clinic.

Do I have any lifestyle or dietary restrictions during this process?

Think of this time as the preparatory period for a pregnancy. Light exercise, healthy foods, vitamins and rest are recommended. It is best to abstain from alcohol, smoking and other harmful substances.

How long will my ovarian stimulation process take?

Generally the process takes two to three weeks but is very patient-dependent. Most women average 11-12 days of stimulation (taking medications) in preparation for an IVF cycle.

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 to a nurse before buying more medication. Remember to record each spray.

What if I have spotting/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.

Will I feel bloated and have breast tenderness during this process?

Some bloating and tenderness is common, but if it is excessively painful you should discuss this with a nurse coordinator or your specialist.

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

Panadol, Panadeine and Mersyndol are the best options. Check with your specialist if pain relief is being considered.

Can I take antibiotics or antihistamines?

Usually. However, please advise your prescribing doctor that you may be pregnant, so that he or she can ensure the medications are safe in early pregnancy. Please inform us about all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you are taking before and during your treatment cycle.

Can I have intercourse during my treatment cycle?

Yes, but you should abstain two to three days before egg retrieval and one week after embryo transfer.

I need to talk with someone about the way I am feeling. What are my options?

You are not the first, and won’t be the last, on this journey through infertility. Several resources are available to help you. You are welcome to contact our clinic and speak with our nurse coordinators, who are always available to listen and advise. You do NOT have to be a patient of our clinic to use this service. We realise that sometimes just an understanding ear is needed during this uncertain period. Alternatively, our clinic provides counsellors (see our Counselling section) who specialise in infertility.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need to speak with someone about the way you are feeling.



Can an ectopic pregnancy be moved into the womb?

No, an ectopic pregnancy must be removed, either medically or surgically.

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.




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