Fertility Treatment & IVF

Understanding Infertility

What is infertility, and how do you know if you need treatment?

At Newtown Fertility Centre, we see couples struggling with infertility every day, and it can be reassuring for many couples to know they are not alone on their journey. But what is infertility, and how do you know if you need treatment?

The consensus within the medical community is that infertility is defined as having attempted to conceived for 12 months without success.

Roughly one in six Australian heterosexual Couples will have a fertility issue in their lives, and one in ten will face difficulty in conceiving their second child. Contrary to popular belief, infertility is common.

Between the ages of 25 and 35 there is approximately a 20% chance of conceiving each cycle, and between 85 and 90% of couples of this age will conceive within 12 months.

What is a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week and is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. Two or more consecutive pregnancy losses is termed as recurrent miscarriage.

What are the causes of miscarriage?

In 50% of cases, the cause of miscarriage is not known.

Known causes of miscarriage include:

  • lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking and excessive alcohol use
  • genetic abnormality in the embryo, egg or sperm
  • abnormalities in the uterus or womb, such as fibroids or polyps
  • disorders of clotting
  • disorders of immunity
  • infections, such as bacterial infections in the vagina
  • hormone disorders, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • sperm factor, such as elevated sperm DNA damage

The following are factors that could increase risk of recurrent miscarriage:

  • being above the age of 35
  • being overweight or underweight
  • previous pregnancy loss
How is recurrent miscarriage diagnosed?

Generally, Dr Andreadis will start by taking a thorough history and examination of the patients. Then, she will often order a series of tests to determine the cause of recurrent miscarriage.

How is recurrent miscarriage treated?

Treatment for patients with recurrent pregnancy loss is based on the cause of the miscarriage.

If you have a genetic cause, you will be recommended genetic counselling, where you are counselled about the genetic abnormality and the possibility of having a normal pregnancy in the future. In cases of uterine abnormality, you may be recommended for surgery.

Medications may be prescribed to treat miscarriages related to diabetes, thyroid or hormonal problems.

Should an obvious cause not be found, Dr Andreadis can provide supportive therapy to help you achieve an ongoing pregnancy.

Early treatment is best

Some couples feel anxious or uncomfortable and may delay seeking help. Other couples may not be clear on what infertility is, which may result in a less proactive approach to learning more about why they haven’t conceived. Or after one successful conception and birth, some couples may not recognise that they may need help for infertility.
Infertility affects everyone, and getting an early diagnosis is critical to maximising your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

What causes infertility?

The reasons for infertility are varied, with possible causes ranging from diet to endometriosis and low sperm count. I have plenty of experience managing infertility and encourage early diagnosis so that a treatment plan can be implemented, giving the greatest chance of success.

For further information, view our factsheet  ’causes of infertility’

Fertility Treatments

Ovulation tracking

Ovulation is the process by which a mature egg is released from an ovary. The egg moves into the fallopian tube where it is available for fertilization with sperm. The timing of ovulation within the menstrual (monthly) cycle plays a very important role in determining when pregnancy can occur.

Learn more

To find out more about ovulation tracking, please book an appointment with Dr Andreadis.

The time of ovulation during the menstrual cycle is associated with certain signs that can be closely monitored to determine the window period:

Cervical mucus changes

During ovulation, vaginal mucus appears slick, clear and slippery, resembling the white of an egg. This is one way of tracking ovulation.

Basal body temperature

Body temperature rises immediately after ovulation. Ovulation can be tracked through recording basal body temperature (BBT) using a BBT or fertility thermometer each morning (after waking) throughout the cycle.

Ovulation calculator

An ovulation calculator is a kit available over-the-counter to predict the day of ovulation. Certain hormones surge during ovulation. The test measures the levels of these hormones present in urine or saliva to determine the window period.

Ovulation Induction

Ovulation is the process by which a mature egg is produced and released from the ovary to be fertilised by a sperm. In response, the uterus (womb) lining thickens and prepares for the implantation of the fertilised egg. Ovulation is controlled by hormones. However, low hormonal levels may lead to problems with conception. Ovulation induction involves hormone therapy that stimulates ovaries to release eggs.

These hormones may be oral – clomiphene citrate or injections.

Learn more

To find out more about our fertility treatments, please book an appointment with Dr Andreadis. 

What are the indications for Ovulation Induction?

Ovulation induction is used to stimulate egg development and release in those who cannot ovulate. The ideal goal is to produce one egg in a single cycle to increase the chance of conception. It is usually performed in conjunction with other assisted reproductive techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI, injection of sperm directly into the womb).

What does the procedure involve?

Clear instructions will be given prior to induction with what to do, when and how to take medications.

The Patient’s menstrual cycle is monitored by measuring your blood hormone levels. A vaginal ultrasound scan is performed to view the development of follicles in the ovary, and appearance and thickness of the lining of the womb. Ovulation may not occur spontaneously or it may need to be encouraged with the use of extra medication (trigger).

Ovulation induction controls the time of egg release so sexual intercourse can be accurately scheduled and other assisted procedures such as IUI to increase the chances of pregnancy. After ovulation, extra medication may be given to support the lining of the uterus. A blood test is performed a week after ovulation to check the levels of progesterone – the pregnancy support hormone.

What are the risks and complications of Ovulation Induction?

The procedure may sometimes lead to the over stimulation of the ovaries- OHSS(ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), which may cause severe pain in the chest, abdomen and pelvis, weight gain, nausea and difficulty in breathing.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a treatment for infertility. IUI involves placing sperm into the uterus. IUI gives the sperm a head start in entering the womb, but will still have to reach and fertilize the egg on its own.

Learn more

To find out more about our fertility treatments, please book an appointment with Dr Andreadis. 

What are the indications for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

IUI is a fertility treatment indicated for couples with conditions such as unexplained infertility, abnormal sperm count or mobility, cervical problems and ejaculatory dysfunction. IUI is also used in single women and LGBTQ patients.

What is the process of IUI?
  • Ovulation (release of an egg) is monitored via ultrasounds and blood tests. This is done using ultrasounds and blood tests.
  • Dr Andreadis may ask you to take medication to stimulate the ovaries and to improve egg production and chances of pregnancy.
  • A semen sample is provided washed and prepared.
  • There are higher chances of conceiving if a highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm is used.
What does the procedure involve?

There is minimal discomfort and it is completed in a short time. IUI are usually performed a day or two after ovulation is identified. A speculum is inserted into the vagina (just like a pap smear). A soft catheter is used to place the sperm into the uterus. You may want to discuss inserting the speculum yourself with Dr Andreadis if you have any concerns.

What are the risks and complications of Ovulation Induction?

IUI is relatively safe and is not associated with serious complications; however, certain risks may occur such as infection and vaginal bleeding due to the placement of the catheter inside the uterus.

IUI by itself may not be associated with a risk of multiple pregnancies. However, when coupled with ovulation inducing medication, there may be a higher risk of multiple pregnancies.

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

What is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)?

In vitro fertilisation(IVF) is a form of assisted reproduction. This revolutionary combination of medicine and technology has helped create millions of healthy babies since the late 1970s.

Learn more

To find out more about our fertility treatments, please book an appointment with Dr Andreadis. 

What are the indications IVF?

The most common indications for patients requiring IVF include:

  • Infertility, including:
    • Unexplained infertility
    • damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
    • ovulatory disorders
    • endometriosis
    • poor sperm quality
    • obstruction of sperm production
  • Genetic issues: both eggs and sperm can carry genetic conditions that cause infertility or miscarriage. They may also be carriers of a genetic disorder and by offering IVF treatments, we can potentially test embryos and help couples avoid passing on the disorder to their offspring.
  • Fertility preservation: it is common for patients to require egg or sperm freezing prior to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, gender affirmation or other treatments that may potentially cause loss of fertility.
What is involved in the IVF process?

The basic steps involved in your IVF plan are:

      • Medical review with Dr Andreadis
      • Nursing review by nurses: If necessary, review by a counselor, geneticist or scientist
      • Ovarian stimulation:
        • Daily Injection: to boost follicle (egg) development. There may be more than one type of injection. There are also different types of stimulation protocols
        • Ultrasounds and blood test: to monitor the response to treatment
        • Trigger injection: to help the eggs mature prior to egg collection
      • Egg retrieval: removal of eggs from ovaries using a vaginal probe under ultrasound guidance. I perform all egg collections with an anaesthetic doctor present. The anaesthetist ensures patients are provided with adequate medication to be as comfortable as possible in a safe environment.
      • Sperm collection: occurs as soon as eggs are obtained
      • Insemination: eggs and sperm are brought together in the laboratory on the day they are collected. This can be with routine IVF or ICSI (where the sperm is directly injected into the egg).
      • Fertilisation check: occurs the next day. Scientists check how many eggs have been fertilised.
      • Embryo culture: embryos are nourished in the lab. The aim is to see which embryo stands out as the best and to then transfer this embryo. The remaining embryos may be frozen if suitable.
      • Embryo transfer: may occur on Day 2, 3 or 5. This procedure is much like a pap smear. A speculum is inserted and the embryo inserted into the uterus with a soft catheter.
      • The waiting begins: once the embryo has been transferred, it is then up to the embryo to implant. Implantation is when the embryo and endometrium form special and complex connections. If this goes well, a pregnancy then develops.
What are the risks and complications of IVF?

As with any surgical procedure, risks and complications can occur. The possible complications associated with specific steps of an IVF program include:

    • risks of egg retrieval include: bleeding, infection, and damage to the bowel, bladder, or blood vessels
    • ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): a condition of ovarian enlargement accompanied by fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity
    • ovarian torsion
    • risk of multiple births
    • risk of premature and low birth weight babies
    • possibility of ectopic or tubal pregnancy

Our commitment

“At Newtown Fertility Centre, we understand many of the challenges patients face on their fertility journey or path to better health. We are committed to providing a comfortable and supportive environment and working in partnership with our patients to achieve the best possible health. Patients know their bodies better than anyone else, and it is this respect for the patient that sets us apart.”

Your journey starts here

Submit an enquiry – or call (02) 9519-9707