The majority of the initial tests will be completed at QLD Fertility Group’s Gold Coast rooms, right next door to our clinic. During treatment, the QFG nurses become the central point of contact, although Dr Swift makes the therapeutic decisions and performs the procedures. The outcome of these investigations will be an optimised and 100% customised treatment program. For your peace of mind, many of these consultations will be bulk billed.
DEVELOPING A CUSTOMISED PROGRAM
Dr Swift will look at 5 key areas to arrive at your optimal treatment –
Ovulation disorders are one of the most common causes of female infertility. An initial hormone profile can identify problems with ovulation and assist in the diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), thyroid and pituitary function.
With male infertility contributing to 40% of the cases that we see, semen testing is a priority at QFG. All male partners undertake a semen test to determine quantity and quality of sperm. We also offer a unique test, Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA) to identify damaged DNA within the sperm, which may be affecting a couple’s fertility.
Advanced maternal age is a major cause of infertility in women. As a female ages, the quality of her eggs decrease and ovulation becomes less frequent, limiting her ability to conceive. The age of the female will help determine the intensity of the treatment required. From 35, there is steady decline.
Scans and laparoscopic surgery may be used to assess pelvic normality, endometrial development, tubal blockages and other gynaecological conditions which may be resulting in infertility.
Some couples experiencing infertility have a chromosomal abnormality affecting their success. QFG is the only IVF clinic in the state with an onsite genetics laboratory. Their laboratory provides chromosome studies for all new patients and these are bulk billed to Medicare. The results can explain precise causes of infertility, and often determine appropriate treatments
Queensland Fertility Group (QFG)
While Dr Swift manages your treatment program, the QFG Nurse Coordinators are available to provide support and information as and when you need it. They understand how challenging this process can be and will educate you and your partner on how to use and administer any drugs you may need to take as part of your treatment. For additional information please visit the Queensland Fertility Group website www.qfg.com.au
Your initial assessment includes testing for a standard panel of infectious diseases, a complete blood count and blood typing. In addition, the blood tests will measure your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH). Depending on ethnic background or other predisposing factors, genetic testing may be ordered to assess risks for possible inherited diseases.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
In addition to problems with your general health, thyroid imbalances can cause menstrual disturbances, infertility, and miscarriage.
Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH)
The AMH test helps provide a picture of your ovarian reserve, how many eggs you have left. It is most useful to determine if the relative number of your remaining eggs is lower, normal, or higher compared to what is expected for others of your age.
This information can help Dr Swift make some important decisions about your treatment plan.
Assessing the health of your Fallopian tubes and uterus is an important part of your fertility evaluation. Dr Swift will determine if it is necessary for you to have any of the following tests.
Antral Follicle Count (AFC) by Ultrasound
The AFC is a transvaginal ultrasound that gives us similar information to the AMH level about your ovarian reserve.
An HSG is an X-ray test that looks at the inside of your uterus and fallopian tubes and the pelvic area around them. This is a very safe, informative procedure.
Depending on your HSG findings or other reasons determined by your physician, a hysteroscopy may also be required. A hysteroscopy is a procedure that involves a physician inserting a tiny camera through the cervix and into the uterus, to see if the environment within the uterus looks favourable for embryo implantation. This is the “gold standard” method for assessing the uterine cavity.
Hystero-Contrast-Salpingography (Hy-Co-Sy) is an ultrasound test performed to assess your uterus and fallopian tubes. During the Hy-Co-Sy Dr Swift looks for possible polyps and fibroids and checks if your tubes are open or blocked.
A semen analysis involves analysing a freshly ejaculated sperm sample under a microscope to determine sperm quantity, motility (movement) and morphology (shape). If a consistent and severe problem is found in the semen analysis, the patient may be referred to a urologist for additional evaluation.
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
A minimally invasive procedure performed under general anaesthetic, where sperm is retrieved by a fine needle. This technology can be used if a man has had a vasectomy.