Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who does treatment apply to?
Infertility affects both men (40% of cases) and women (60% of cases), which is why both partners are encouraged to attend the initial consultation. The balance of cases are considered ‘unexplained’.
2. Is IVF the only option?
No. Many patients commence with simple treatments such as timed intercourse, ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination.I personally manage each patient’s treatment program and will work with you to decide on a treatment plan that is right for your circumstances.
3. What are my chances of success?
In understanding your chance of success with Queensland Fertility Group it is important to remember that IVF success rates depend upon many factors like the age of the patient, the causes of infertility, the approach to treatment and the number of IVF cycles the patient has undergone.
Variable factors like egg and sperm quality, and individual variations that occur during the cycle will also have an effect. Dr Swift’s success rates per age group are considered industry best and are published quarterly for the clinic.
4. Is there an age limit to treatment?
There is no defined age limit, but natural fertility decreases significantly after age 35. It is widely acknowledged that female fertility decreases with age and the miscarriage rate increases with age.
Success rates approach zero at a maternal age of 44 and thereafter, donor eggs or embryos may be required to achieve success.
Female age is therefore critical to success in conceiving both naturally and with artificial reproductive treatment.
I encourage couples over the age of 30 who are experiencing difficulties to seek help sooner rather than later.
5. Does weight affect conception?
Yes. Women who are overweight and women who are underweight experience a reduced chance of conception. Ovulation may become infrequent or even stop and periods can become irregular and/or heavy.
A healthy lifestyle and good diet is encouraged prior and throughout their treatment.
6. Is there a greater risk of having twins or triplets with treatment?
There is a higher incidence of multiple pregnancies with any artificial reproductive treatment. The risk of multiple births has been reduced with IVF treatment since the introduction of the 1-2 embryo transfer policy. However treatment with intrauterine insemination and ovulation induction does pose a 10% risk of a multiple pregnancy. Dr Swift will closely monitor your treatment to minimise this risk.
7. Will I need time off work?
Depending on the type of cycle Dr Swift recommends, he will aim to minimise your time away from work.
We open at 7.30am, and most patients can visit on their way to work. There will be times when you will need more time.
The following is a guide:
- Initial doctors consultation – 1 hour
- Nurse interview ideally both partners – 1- ½ hours
- Blood tests – ½ hour
- Blood tests and scans – ½ to ¾ hour
- Egg collection – day off (may need 2 days)
- Embryo transfer – 1-2 hours (ideally day off)
- Insemination – 1-2 hours.
8. Does IVF involve lots of needles and blood tests?
Yes IVF does involve a number of self-administered daily injections for a short period of time. The injection is similar to a diabetic pen and is user friendly with minimal discomfort, although this does vary from person to person.
Dr Swift’s experienced nursing staff will teach both you and your partner how to use and administer all drugs and are always available to assist you with any concerns.
Blood tests assessing hormone levels are an important tool in the successful management of fertility treatment. The number of blood tests required will be kept to a minimum as best possible. My team are all highly experienced and will support even the most nervous patient through each visit.
9. Will I feel unwell during my treatment?
Every patient is individual and every patient responds differently to fertility drugs. At any stage of treatment my team is always on hand to answer your questions or concerns.
10. Does my partner need to attend the first consultation?
Dr Swift strongly encourage partners to attend the initial consultation and where possible, subsequent appointments. It is very important that both partners are involved in investigations, decision making and support each other through treatment, since treatment may be required for both partners.
11. How much does IVF cost?
Upon diagnosis, I will discuss the treatment options suitable for you. A detailed cost breakdown and plan to minimise out of pocket invoicing, will then be provided, meaning that rebates can be received from Medicare as quickly as possible.
Today, treatment for infertility remains more affordable than ever before. Medicare rebates, Medicare safety net refunds and private health insurance provide substantial financial support for people requiring treatment.
Treatments related to Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) attract rebates under The Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) scheme.
12. What is the Medicare Safety Net?
The Medicare Safety Net was devised to assist with medical expenses.
For IVF patients this provides significant financial support. Safety net accrual commences in January each year once the relevant threshold is reached. From 1 January 2010 Medicare will pay up to an additional capped amount in respect of each initial and subsequent cycle in a calendar year.
In order to claim this benefit, couples and families must be registered with Medicare. It is important to check with Medicare that you are registered before commencing any fertility treatment.
In order to understand these capped amounts and how they will affect your ultimate out of pocket expense, your level of treatment must first be determined.