Your First Consultation
When you attend your initial appointment with a Melbourne IVF fertility specialist they will confirm that your pre-pregnancy screening tests and a basic fertility assessment has been undertaken. If it hasn't been performed already, they will organise this for you.
Initial consultations can be face to face or online, depending on your Doctor and what works for you.
We can offer secure medical appointments by Zoom. We are here to talk to you, to provide medical advice and make plans for the future with you, all in the privacy and the safety of your own home.
As part of your initial consultation your fertility specialist will take a full medical history with special attention to fertility factors:
- menstrual history
- timing of intercourse
- any sexual issues and previous pregnancy history
Please bring a doctor’s referral from a GP (valid for 12 months) or specialist (valid for three months). This will also ensure you are eligible for Medicare rebates.
Female & male pre-pregnancy screening tests
Depending on the level of testing already performed, your fertility specialist may order further pathology tests.
- rubella (German measles) immunity,
- chicken pox immunity,
- syphilis serology,
- full blood count,
- blood group and antibody status,
- hepatitis B and C,
- current pap smear and breast check (within last two years).
- hepatitis B,
- hepatitis C,
Pre-pregnancy screening for some genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis is available and can be discussed with your specialist.
A basic fertility assessment includes ovulation testing and a pelvic ultrasound, together with hormone measurements and other gynaecological investigations as required.
Your fertility specialist will also organise a more thorough advanced fertility assessment, particularly for women of advanced maternal age, or where previous surgical or medical conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome is present. An advanced fertility assessment includes specialist blood tests to assess egg reserve, pelvic ultrasound for tubal patency, and if required fertility surgery.
A semen analysis will be organised for the male partner, and in some cases blood tests and a physical examination may also be performed.
Treatment plan and change of success
You may need to attend a follow up appointment with your fertility specialist to discuss the results of your initial tests and explain in detail your recommended treatment plan.
Your fertility specialist will give you an indication of your chance of pregnancy with recommended fertility treatments. This could vary between 5% and 50%, depending on:
- Your age,
- Your partner’s age,
- How long you have been trying to conceive,
- Whether either of you already has a child,
- Any pre-existing medical conditions, and
- If you have had any previous treatment for infertility.
Read more about IVF success rates
Preparation for treatment
There are several preliminary steps you need to take in preparation for fertility treatment at Melbourne IVF.
New patient appointments
If the recommended treatment is intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) a member of our patient liaison administration team will contact you to arrange your new patient appointments with Melbourne IVF staff so that your treatment can proceed. Alternatively, you can call them on (03) 9473 4444.
These appointments can be undertaken at any of our Melbourne IVF clinics.
The initial appointments include meeting with:
- Nursing: your nurse will explain what to expect in your upcoming IUI/IVF/ICSI treatment cycle, including injection techniques and medications. It is best to arrange for the appointment to occur about a week before your expected period in the month that you plan to start a treatment cycle.
- Patient Liaison Administrator: they will explain the treatment costs and answer any questions you have related to these. This includes explaining the Medicare Safety Net, Medicare rebates and your estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
- Counselling: to discuss the information you have been given about your proposed treatment (required by law in Victoria).
How do you find out if you're fertile or not? - Fertile Minds Video
How do you find out if you're fertile or not?
Fertile Minds Video
My name is Dr. Fleur Cattrall and I am a Melbourne IVF fertility specialist. So are you fertile?
Well, if you're a woman and you have periods, at least you know that you have a normal uterus and your lining is shedding every month and building up again to prepare for the next ovulation and pregnancy. If you don't have periods, this could be a sign that you're not fertile but for women with polycystic ovaries, they might have very infrequent ovulation and still ovulate one egg a year. So you couldn't say that they're not fertile.
Your past medical history may give you a clue of whether you're fertile or not. So women that have had sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, that can damage the pathway for the sperm and the eggs to meet the fallopian tubes. So that can affect your fertility. Women that have very painful periods, could have conditions like endometriosis, which is where the lining of the inside of the uterus implant somewhere in the pelvis. And every time they have a period that lining will bleed and cause pain in their pelvis. If you've had a family history of endometriosis that increases your chance of having endometriosis six times. Some women have an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus called fibroids and that can lead to very heavy, painful periods. So if you have heavy, painful periods, this could be a sign of having trouble falling pregnant, but it's more of a clue that you might have trouble with fertility not a diagnosis.
Now for men, the best way to have to know if they're fertile is to organise a semen analysis. But before you get to the doctor, one clue would be looking at the testicular size. So men with very small testicles maybe the size of a blueberry they might not be fertile, but it's not conclusive. It just is a clue. Testicular size actually varies a lot but there is some correlation between testosterone production and testicular size. So men with large testicles probably have high testosterone but there is also quite a huge variation in this.
The other thing that men can look out for is whether they actually have two testicles. So have they had some problem in the maybe as a child, such as undescended testicles. Now those men have a slightly higher chance of having a low sperm count. The other thing that men could look for is whether there's evenness in the size of the testicle. So if one is smaller than the other, well the larger one could be an early indicator of a testicular cancer that would commonly present as an enlarged area in the testicle that might be firm but fortunately it's quite a rare condition.
So men, if you have any worries, get checked out with your family doctor or your fertility specialist. The other condition that men might notice is a bag of worms in their scrotum which is known as a varicose seal. Now varicose seals are varicose veins of the testicle and they can leave men with a dragging painful sensation at the end of the day. All these things will give us a bit of a clue of fertility but to know whether you're fertile or not you really need to have further tests.
For women, the other thing to think about is whether there is any family history of going through the menopause early because this might be an indicator that you might be at risk of this as well. Irregular periods can be an indication that you're not ovulating, but some women of your life anyway even if they have infrequent periods. So you can't assume that you're not fertile if you have infrequent periods.
There is a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome and that is associated with irregular periods. But there's lots of reasons for irregular periods and you really need further test to work out whether this could be an indicator that you're fertile or not.
So today I've given you some clues on how you work out whether you're fertile or not. But at the end of the day you probably need some tests done to go to the next level. So make an appointment with either your family doctor or a fertility specialist, and we can do some extra tests to give us some more information and then we can work out whether you're fertile or not.
If you wanna see more videos like these, click the subscribe button. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Take care and good luck with your fertility journey.
If you have been trying to conceive for twelve months or more without success (or six months if you are over 36) we recommend a fertility assessment with a Melbourne IVF fertility specialist.
If you would like to make an appointment please call us on 1800 111 483 or complete the form below.
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