One in six Australian couples will have a fertility issue at some point in their lives and one in 10 couples will have trouble conceiving their second child. You are not alone.
Don’t panic, your fertility journey doesn’t have to be an express service straight to IVF. Some simple changes can improve your chance of conceiving naturally.
It's important to remember the emotions, worries and thoughts you are currently trying to deal with are valid and common. You are not alone. Read on
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The World Health Organisation predicts that infertility will be the third most serious health condition in the 21st Century
We're dedicated to helping you achieve your dream - having a baby. We offer a range of services - from IVF to genetic diagnosis of pre-implantation embryos - all with the aim of easing your journey to successful pregnancy.
Are you a female struggling to conceive? Read through potential reasons why, or learn more about testing options.
With 40% of fertility issues being male related, find out what may be causing you troubles, or learn more about male fertility testing
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Because of the care, technology and expertise we put into your care, we maximise the potential of having a baby.
The Genea blog shares information, thoughts and advice with patients as well as those looking for all things fertility.
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Most women who miscarry can conceive again and will most likely carry that pregnancy to deliver a healthy baby. In fact, studies suggest that a 20-year-old who has had three previous miscarriages faces a 90 per cent chance of the next pregnancy successfully going to term, while a 30 year old with the same history has an 80 per cent chance of success. Even though pregnancy loss can take a heavy emotional toll on you, these stats are important to remember.
While we’d recommend couples who have experienced three or more miscarriages come to speak with us about their options, if you've had only one pregnancy loss, then your best bet is to try again. And it makes sense that you need to be happy and healthy if you are trying to get pregnant. Our advice is that you should aim to be in peak health for a good four months before conceiving. Here are some guidelines for keeping yourself in shape for pregnancy.
The role of stress and psychological barriers is variously played up and down depending on who you’re speaking with or what research you’re reading. Whether or not it does affect pregnancy outcomes, learning to relax and reducing the stress in your life will certainly improve how you feel in the meantime. It’s also very normal to experience grief about your pregnancy loss. When a pregnancy is lost, intentions are thwarted and the hopes, even fantasies, about the planned baby are dashed and there is often little chance to prepare oneself emotionally for such a loss. It’s important not to brush those feelings under the carpet and instead to take the time to work through them and seek help if you need it. We offer a counselling service for couples who have experienced pregnancy loss, to help them through this difficult time.
Try to eat a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables and cereals - we can help you with a seven day Healthy Eating for Fertility Plan. If you decide to supplement your diet with multivitamins, make sure that they are safe to take in early pregnancy and that you do not exceed the recommended daily limits. Check with your pharmacist if you’re unsure. We recommend that you take folic acid to minimise the risk of spina bifida (a birth defect) and also to overcome some rare causes of pregnancy loss. You should take at least 500 micrograms a day from the time you start trying to get pregnant until you are at least three months pregnant.
Some infections that could affect pregnancy can be present in foods (eg. Listeria and Salmonella). While there’s no need to be militant about avoiding infection, here are some precautions that you can take:
Toxoplasmosis is an infection that can be carried by cats or in the soil. Wear gloves when gardening or, if you have cats, when emptying their litter tray. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating if you have been handling a cat. Make sure you are immunised against German measles (rubella) before you get pregnant.
It’s a good idea to have a regular exercise regimen to maintain general health and well-being. In particular, exercises that strengthen your back, buttocks, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles are highly recommended and will help you both during your pregnancy and once you have your baby. It’s important to exercise in moderation so don’t over do it!
Generally, you can continue with your normal exercise unless it causes you discomfort or your doctor advises against it. Never persist with exercise if you have a discharge from the vagina in pregnancy or if you have back pain - these are danger signs of cervical incompetence and you should see your obstetrician immediately.
The #1 piece of advice our patients pass on to people not having success in having a baby themselves is to ask for help earlier.
Genea’s Fertility Specialists are experts in helping people conceive and seeing one is not a fast track to IVF - in fact we help more than 50% our patients have a baby with fertility treatments other than IVF.
Cigarette smoking has been shown to significantly affect the quality of sperm and eggs, and is poisonous to very early embryos. We strongly recommend that you stop smoking altogether, or failing that, don't smoke while you’re trying to conceive, during your treatment or pregnancy. If giving up is problematic for you or your partner - seek some help as this is an important issue.
Studies have not concluded what amount of alcohol, if any, is safe in pregnancy, so you should consider avoiding it completely, though a small amount (1 glass of wine once or twice a week) is allowable while you are attempting to conceive.
Caffeine is found in tea, coffee and cola. There are a few studies that suggest that a high caffeine can have an adverse effect on fertility, so you should moderate your intake.
These drugs should not be taken at all in pregnancy or while you’re trying to conceive. They can impact both yours and your partner’s fertility, cause damage to the embryo and possibly cause your baby to develop a dependency and then have to withdraw from the drug after birth - a process that can take several weeks.
Paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) in the usual doses is safe to take for pain while pregnant. If you are taking any medication, tell your doctor that you are planning a pregnancy and that you want his or her advice on the safety of your current medications for both you and the baby. If in doubt about anything, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Some vaccinations are safe, but others (such as rubella) need to be given well before you conceive.
Safety data, during infertility treatment, pregnancy and lactation are still largely lacking for many herbal medications, and recommendations for usage and dosage vary greatly from brand to brand and clinician to clinician. Genea does not recommend taking herbs but you can read our suggested safe supplement list here. You can also speak with your doctor about the specific safety of particular preparations in pregnancy. Preparations suspected of being harmful include St John's Wort and composite root extract (and any herbal medications used to promote uterine contractions).
At Genea we have a number of Fertility Specialists who specialise in miscarriage and we also have a Miscarriage Management Program. If have experienced the trauma of multiple miscarriages and you’re concerned then we’d recommend an appointment with a Fertility Specialist is a good starting point.
Make an appointment with our fertility GP and find out what your options are.