How long should we allow ourselves to fall pregnant naturally before considering fertility treatment?

If you have regular periods and are 35 years of age or younger you should allow one year of trying naturally before undergoing any fertility investigations.

If you are over the age of 35 it may be reasonable to undertake some preliminary fertility testing sooner than this as your chance of falling pregnant, either naturally or with assisted reproductive technology, decreases with age.

If you have irregular menstrual cycles this can be a sign of irregular ovulation and it would be reasonable to have this investigated early on regardless of your age.

What is a ‘cycle’?

Your menstrual ‘cycle is the time between day one of one menstrual period until day one of your next period, usually around 28 days. If you are undergoing any type of fertility treatment your treatment cycle will be based around your menstrual cycle.

What is in vitro fertilisation?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a procedure whereby eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and inseminated outside the body. Embryo(s) that result are then placed in the woman’s uterus where they may implant and grow.

How long does treatment take?

Your treatment cycle is based around your menstrual cycle, so each treatment cycle takes roughly the same amount of time to complete.


Where is Life Fertility Clinic located?

Life Fertility Clinic is located at St. Andrew’s Place adjacent to St. Andrew’s Hospital. We are on Level 1, Suite 298, North Street Spring Hill.

Off-street parking is available at both St. Andrew’s Place and St. Andrew’s Hospital.

What accommodation options are available near Life Fertility Clinic?

There are a number of hotels close to the clinic offering a range of accommodation options including:

  • Hotel Grand Chancellor, 23 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill ¥ Urban Brisbane, 345 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane
  • Watermark, 551 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane
  • The Summit, 32 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill
  • Spring Hill Mews Apartments, 27 Birley Street, Spring Hill
  • The Novotel, 200 Creek Street, Spring Hill

Do I need a referral to make an appointment with a fertility specialist?

Yes you will need a referral letter (usually provided by your GP) to your fertility specialist of choice. This is a requirement of Medicare in order for you to claim any Medicare benefits you are entitled to for your treatment.

I am from out of town, how long would I need to be in Brisbane for my treatment?

Generally speaking if your fertility specialist is managing all aspects of your IVF treatment, you will need to be in Brisbane for approximately two weeks during the active phase of the IVF treatment. Sometimes it is possible for some aspects of your treatment to be carried out elsewhere so you should talk to your fertility specialist and nurse co-ordinator about this.

Does Life Fertility Clinic treat single females?

Absolutely, we treat all patients equally regardless of their marital status or sexuality.

Does Life Fertility Clinic offer treatment using donor sperm/donor eggs?

We do treat patients who have elected to use donor sperm or donor eggs in their treatment. Our nurse co-ordinators will be able to assist you with the process of using a sperm or egg donor.

Does Life Fertility Clinic offer treatment involving surrogacy?

Life Fertility Clinic does treat patients who wish to use a surrogate, however, the arrangement must be altruistic and comply with current Queensland law. If you are considering undergoing fertility treatment using a surrogate our nurse co-ordinators will be able to assist you in understanding the arrangements that need to be in place before treatment can commence.

I’m a healthy woman in her early 40’s and I’ve never conceived. Is it too late for me to try IVF?

The chance of a successful pregnancy, using your own eggs with in vitro fertilisation, is very small if you are over 42 years of age. In our experience, a successful pregnancy (using IVF) in women between 40 and 42 years of age will occur between five and ten per cent of the time.

In these circumstances, the best chance of achieving a pregnancy is to use donor eggs from a woman younger than 35 years of age as the chances of a pregnancy rise to approximately the pregnancy rate for the female population of this age, even if the recipient is well over 40 years of age.

How do I find an egg donor?

Egg donors cannot be paid in Australia so donation must be altruistic and commonly involves a friend or relative. If a patient (potential recipient) needs donor eggs, we recommend she find her own donor (known donor) due to the limited number of egg donors available in Australia. If this is not an option a patient may add her name to the waiting list at Life Fertility Clinic, however it could be a couple of years before a donor becomes available. These donors are called ‘clinic recruited’ donors. Another alternative is to advertise and if the recipient does not wish to be known to the donor the IVF nurses at Life Fertility Clinic are able to act as the go-between.

What are Life Fertility Clinic’s success rates?

We are happy to provide the most up to date Life Fertility Pregnancy results for your information but it is important to discuss your individual treatment and the chances of success with your fertility specialist.

Success of ART is dependent on many factors, the most critical of which is the age of the woman but the reasons for infertility, fertility history and the type of treatment can also have a significant impact on outcome.

It is important to be wary when comparing pregnancy rates between clinics as data can be presented in a variety of ways that can be confusing. A pregnancy rate calculated for example using women of all ages will be significantly less than the pregnancy rate quoted for women less than 30 years of age.


Can stress impact the likelihood that my treatment will be successful?

If a woman is not taking fertility drugs, stress can inhibit normal ovulation and therefore decrease the chance of pregnancy. However, during in vitro fertilisation (which is usually a stressful time) there is no evidence that stress has a negative impact on the chance of pregnancy. On the other hand, there is some evidence that emotional stress can have an impact on the risk of miscarriage.

Can I exercise as usual during my fertility treatment?

We suggest that you avoid strenuous exercise while undergoing fertility treatment, although gentle exercise may be fine. If you are considering exercising during your fertility treatment we recommend discussing this with your fertility specialist or nurse co-ordinator first.

Is it safe to take herbal products during my fertility treatment?

It really depends on the type of herbal product and your individual treatment plan. Many medications, including herbal medications, can have powerful biological effects and some may influence the safety and/or outcome of your fertility treatment. For this reason it is important for your fertility specialist to know about all of the medications you are taking (including herbal medications) so that your treatment can be planned with these in mind.

Can I continue to have acupuncture while on a treatment cycle?

It is completely fine to continue having acupuncture during your treatment cycle; in fact some studies have suggested that acupuncture may be beneficial for fertility patients both in terms of how they feel during treatment and the outcome.

Can I have intercourse during my treatment cycle?

Yes you can have intercourse during your treatment cycle, however we do advise you abstain from intercourse for a minimum of two days prior to your egg collection and also for two days post egg collection. We also advise you abstain from intercourse for 2 days after your embryo transfer. Your fertility specialist or nurse co-ordinator will discuss this with you.

Do I have any lifestyle or diet restrictions during this process?

A healthy lifestyle is recommended prior to and during pregnancy. It is also important to maintain a suitable diet and exercise program to optimise your reproductive health. We recommend discussing your own circumstances with your fertility specialist or nurse co-ordinator however there are some recommendations with regard to diet and lifestyle that apply to most patients:

  • A folic acid dose of at least 500mcgs daily be commenced a minimum of a month prior to your treatment cycle and should be continued for the first three months of pregnancy.
  • We recommend the cessation of alcohol consumption for both partners whilst trying to conceive and for the duration of the pregnancy for the female.
  • Cigarette smoking has a negative impact on the ability to achieve and maintain a pregnancy, so it is strongly discouraged for both male and female partners undergoing a treatment cycle.
  • Life Fertility Clinic also recommends that women limit caffeine intake to 200mgs (one cup) a day.

I feel like I need to talk with someone about the way I’m feeling, what are my options?

We understand that this can be a difficult and stressful time. You have lots of options available to you if you need someone to talk to about how you are feeling. We suggest contacting your nurse co-ordinator to begin with, they may be able to help you directly or refer you on to our counsellor or your fertility specialist.

How long will my ovarian stimulation process take?

The ovarian stimulation phase of your treatment cycle usually takes around 2 weeks although the exact amount of time varies depending on how your body responds to the medications you are given.

Will I feel bloated and have breast tenderness during this process?

Some bloating and breast tenderness is common during a treatment cycle. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms please contact your nurse co-ordinator.

Should I still be in pain the day after my egg collection?

Some cramping and discomfort is normal following egg collection. This should be reasonably mild and improve in the days following your egg collection. If you are at all concerned about any of the symptoms you are experiencing please contact your nurse co-ordinator.

Should I still be bleeding the day after egg collection?

It is normal to experience some bleeding following your egg collection and it is normal for the bleeding to persist the day after. If you are concerned about the amount of blood loss please contact your nurse co-ordinator.

Why didn’t all of my eggs fertilise?

It is quite normal to have some eggs that do not fertilise, regardless of which method of fertilisation is used. There are a variety of reasons for why this happens and these can vary between patients and/or treatment cycles. We suggest you discuss any concerns regarding your fertilisation results with one of our embryologists or your fertility specialist.

How many embryos are transferred in a treatment cycle?

The number of embryos transferred in a treatment cycle will depend on a number of factors including the age of the female partner and whether or not you have had any previous success with any type of fertility treatment. You should be aware that Life Fertility Clinic is required to follow specific guidelines from our licencing authority regarding the maximum number of embryos that can be transferred in a given treatment cycle and these are based on the age of the female partner.

What if I have spotting/bleeding in the two weeks after the embryo transfer?

It is best to contact your nurse co-ordinator if you experience any spotting or bleeding while you are waiting for your pregnancy test following embryo transfer. Spotting or bleeding during this phase of your treatment cycle can have a number of causes but can potentially be due to the embryo implanting in the lining of your uterus.

For this reason it is very important to continue with your medications until you are advised otherwise by your fertility specialist or nurse co-ordinator.

Why weren’t all of my spare embryos all frozen?

At Life Fertility Clinic the most common stage that we freeze embryos for our patients is the blastocyst stage, this usually occurs on day 5 or 6 following insemination. We know that an embryo must form a blastocyst in order to go on to form a pregnancy, however, not all embryos are destined to reach the blastocyst stage. This is quite normal and is the reason why most patients find that not all of their excess embryos are suitable for freezing. If you are concerned about the number of embryos you have had frozen we suggest you discuss this with one of our embryologists or your fertility specialist.

Do I need to have a break between cycles?

It is best to check with your fertility specialist or nurse co-ordinator but as a general rule it is not usually necessary to have a break between cycles.


Life Fertility Clinic is conveniently located within the St Andrew’s Hospital campus. Should you require accommodation there are a number of Hotels close to the clinic offering a range of comfort. We recommend the Sofitel and Novotel Hotels. The Marriott Hotel is also within walking distance. The Inchcolm is a boutique Hotel nearby. Our reception staff can also assist you with accommodation advice.



For more information or queries regarding any of the services offered at Life Fertility Clinic, please contact us.