Fertility. It’s a topic a lot of us don’t think about at all, until we hit that magical age (whatever it may be for you) and then it suddenly becomes the centre of a lottttt of conversations. How much time do you have, what is your personal fertility like, what speed bumps might you encounter, why is it taking a while to fall pregnant, when should you seek professional and medical assistance… and this just scratches the surface.
As a 28 year old woman, I’m in that fascinating stage of life where some of my friends have children, some are trying, and some don’t even have it on their radar yet. And while I’m so lucky that we’ve got each other to talk to and share our experiences, thoughts, emotions and questions — none of us are experts!
The team at Genea Fertility (formerly Fertility SA) have years and years of history, education, and stellar results behind them, making them one of Australia’s leading fertility and IVF clinics. Created in 1986 with professor Robert Jansen’s founding of Sydney IVF, they’ve remained at the forefront of fertility, dedicated to realising the parenthood dreams of many.
It’s no wonder that we jumped at the chance to ask the Genea team a bunch of our fertility questions — and are so happy we were able to get some of YOUR questions answered at the same time. Now, over to the experts!
And stay tuned for more fertility info to come when we chat to one of Genea Fertility’s specialists from Adelaide in January!
I’ve recently been diagnosed with PCOS, and my husband and I have been trying for a baby. There is so much conflicting information I have read; do you have any advice on how to reduce symptoms and get ovulation started again?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition involving hormonal imbalances and metabolism problems. In Australia, approximately 8 to 13 percent of individuals in their reproductive years are affected by PCOS and a significant number remain unaware of their condition. PCOS can interfere with ovulation and infertility in women.
Each person’s experience with PCOS and fertility is unique, and what works for one individual may not be the best approach for another. Seeking advice from a fertility specialist will help you understand your specific situation, provide a diagnosis, and offer guidance on the best course of action. Our team at Genea has many experienced fertility specialists who can discuss your situation and suggest measures to help you start a family.
How long should you try naturally for, before getting professional help from somewhere like Genea?
In general, healthcare providers often suggest that couples under the age of 35 try to conceive for about a year before seeking fertility assistance. For couples over the age of 35, the recommended duration is often shorter, typically around six months.
Individual factors such as age, overall health, and specific fertility issues can influence the decision to pursue IVF sooner. If a couple has known fertility challenges, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, male factor infertility, or other reproductive health issues, healthcare providers may recommend earlier intervention.
What are some of the fertility issues that Genea can help with?
Genea is more than just IVF. We can help couples with reproductive health assessments, ovulation disorders, fertility preservation (also known as egg freezing), donor eggs and sperm, and surrogacy. Collectively the fertility specialists at Genea in Adelaide have many decades of combined fertility experience.
What is the success rate for IVF?
Your chance of having a baby comes down to two things – your personal situation (fertility, age, general health) and the expertise of your doctor and your fertility clinic. IVF success rates are reported by clinic (as required by the government) and can be searched online at https://yourivfsuccess.com.au/. At Genea, we pride ourselves on our leading IVF success rates that have come from years of scientific advancements through our research and development.
Genea supports couples by providing additional online information on how to interpret success rates and what they mean. However, it’s best to speak with a fertility specialist in person to understand your unique situation.
Can Genea do genetic testing? What can they look for in embryos?
Genea does offer genetic testing of embryos. However, before going down this path, it is important to consider reproductive carrier screening by discussing this with your GP or a Genea Fertility GP.
When screening for the 3 most common conditions in the Australian population; cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and Fragile X syndrome, around 1 in 240 Australian couples will be identified as high-risk of their child being born with one of these conditions. Reproductive carrier screening not only equips individuals and couples with essential information but also helps them to take steps towards preventing genetic disorders in their children and empowering them with choice.
For natural conception, reproductive carrier screening is done before or in the early stages of pregnancy. If a couple is identified through genetic carrier screening to have a high risk of having a child affected with a condition, preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos for the specific condition is available to ensure transfer of an unaffected embryo.
Medicare has recently started covering the cost of reproductive carrier screening for three of the most prevalent genetic disorders including cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and Fragile X syndrome.
Genea provides the additional service of a free Genetic Counselling Session with our leading genetic counsellors if couples are identified as having an increased chance of a child affected by one of these conditions or any other condition picked up on carrier screening for a broader range of genetic conditions.
When should you start considering egg freezing?
The peak age for fertility for women is in their 20s, but the quality and quantity of egg supply begins to deteriorate from mid 20s and more rapidly from the age of 35. Egg freezing, whilst it is not an insurance policy, can help preserve a woman’s fertility and has the highest chance of higher quality eggs when they are retrieved at a younger age.
I want kids one day, but I’m not ready yet. What is the latest that I should wait to start trying for children/seeking assistance?
It’s a biological fact that as women and men age, their potential to have children decreases. Women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs, and these gradually decrease in both quality and quantity with age. If you’re thinking about or are ready to start a family, Genea can help, whether that’s boosting your chances of getting pregnant naturally or considering IVF. Our free Fertility Concierge service can help answer your questions on 1300 361 795, or visit Genea’s ‘Get started’ section at www.genea.com.au.
Can I see any doctor/fertility specialist or are different specialists trained in different areas? How do I know how to pick the right doctor in my personal journey?
Fertility specialists often have specialty areas of interest and finding a doctor that you feel comfortable with is important. Equally as important, and what sets Genea Fertility apart, is finding a clinic that combines leading outcomes with a personalised experience where you feel like you’re looked after based on your individual needs.
Our free Fertility Concierge service can help guide you on this journey, answer your questions on 1300 361 795, and help you find a specialist for your unique needs.
Why did Fertility SA change their name to Genea?
Fertility SA joined the Genea Fertility network in 2023, leveraging the leading outcomes and R&D expertise from Genea with the amazing fertility specialists from Fertility SA – helping support you every step of the way. We are extremely proud of our results, have helped bring more than 2,000 South Australian babies into the world, and welook forward to continue to help our patients achieve their family dreams .
Knowledge is power; so we hope anyone reading is feeling mighty powerful in whatever stage of their fertility journey they are in.
Your experience and results may vary. Always consult your medical professional for advice on what’s best for you.