Many couples wanting to start a family need simple advice as to how to ensure optimum health prior to pregnancy, and/or to maximise the chances of conception. It is important that any woman understands her own menstrual cycle so that she can identify when she is ovulating. Some conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may find it difficult to predict ovulation, as this occurs irregularly. If a woman is over 35 years old and has been trying unsuccessfully for more than 6 months to fall pregnant, she might be “fast tracked” for further investigations. Our doctors at Gynaecare’s Sydney north shore clinic are expertly trained in the field of reproductive health, and will give you the best and most appropriate support regarding reduced fertility or just peace of mind. Many factors can affect fertility including age, medical problems, previous surgery, and the pattern of ovulation and sperm production.
Some women request information about their future fertility if they are anxious about delaying pregnancy due to career, health or relationship factors. There are some simple tests which can be undertaken to check on basic factors, such as tests of ovulation, semen analysis or ovarian reserve. NB some of these tests may NOT be covered by Medicare, and therefore incur out of pocket expenses. We can help advise women regarding options available to evaluate reproductive age, current developments regarding sperm, egg, and embryo storage and approaching pregnancy as a same sex couple or as a single person. Egg freezing has become more popular in recent years, as the quality of eggs will decline with age, and a woman may wish to put her eggs “ on hold”, frozen in a state of good health, until she is ready to start her family. Egg freezing and storage is a relatively expensive option, and is one of the newer assisted reproductive technologies, and has a lower success rate in terms of yielding a healthy baby, compared with embryo freezing and storage. Likewise, semen storage is an option of men, who wish to stash their genetic material, frozen in time, awaiting use. Most IVF clinics will be able to arrange semen freezing and storage, with an initial up front fee and then annual storage fees. Men who are about to undergo chemotherapy, may wish to freeze semen.
Some couples need referral to specialised fertility clinics and we can prepare you for what may lie ahead if this is what you choose to do. We will undertake all the preliminary investigations prior to any referral to a fertility clinic.