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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can a fertility expert do for me?

    My doctor said I have a hormone imbalance and that my ovaries are not functioning properly. What is the process and benefits of seeing a fertility specialist?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    A fertility specialist diagnoses and treats problems related to infertility. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year (or six months if you are over 35) and natural conception is not working, a fertility specialist can diagnose and treat the following infertility problems:
    Endometriosis
    Problems with ovulation
    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
    Abnormalities of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and/or uterus
    Also, if you have had two or more miscarriages, a fertility specialist may diagnose the cause of the miscarriages. The specialist would then guide you in selecting procedures that may help prevent miscarriage so you carry the baby to term.
    You need to get a referral from your General practitioner in order to see a Fertility Specialist
    Brenda
    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide

    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).

    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

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  • Dr Carolyn Ee

    Acupuncturist, GP (General Practitioner)

    I'm a Sydney GP with a special interest in women's health especially menopause and TTC ( trying to conceive). I specialise in acupuncture, and am ... View Profile

    Adding to the very informative post above, a fertility specialist can offer some procedures that assist conception. (I am not a fertility specialist but have referred many women to them, and the following information is what I have learned from my clinical practice of managing these referrals).

    After investigating the possible causes of difficulty conceiving, a plan is made with you as to how to proceed. Most common first options are ovulation induction, when you are given a medication to increase the number of eggs released each cycle, and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) when your partner's sperm is introduced into your uterus with a small catheter. These treat ovulation problems and sperm problems respectively. IVF, or In Vitro Fertilisation, when sperm is injected into an egg and the embryo is “grown” for a few days and then inserted into the uterus, is another step.

    However, it doesn't sound like you are quite at that stage yet (for IVF). Is your “hormone imbalance” due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? If so there are management options for you that will improve your hormone balance and increase your chance of conception. The Jean Hailes Foundation have a very good website on this, http://www.managingpcos.org.au/ and a fertility specialist can also help with PCOS management to maximise chances of natural conception. Most usually PCOS requires exercise and dietary changes, in particular low GI diets. It would be useful to see a dietitician about this.

  • Louise Johnson

    Health Professional

    As Chief Executive Officer for the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority I am involved with administering aspects of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008. With ... View Profile

    In addition to the information provided, a GP can provide you and your partner (if you have one) with a preconception checkup. Your GP can also help you work out whether referral to a fertility specailist would be useful. A fertility specialist can assist you to explore whether there are any barriers to becoming pregnant and having a health pregnancy and baby. If you have been trying for a baby for over 12 months or (or 6 months if over 35 years) it is important to seek help. If you have a partner, it is important for both of you to seek assistance together as fertility problems are shared equally between men and women. Your GP or fertility specialist can also discuss what you can do to optimise your chances of conceiving. The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority has a brochure ‘What is ART?’ that explains assisted reproductive treatment options - see www.varta.org.au. The Your Fertility website www.yourfertility.org.au has information about how to optimise your chances of conceiving in relation to lifestyle and timing of sex.

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