Expertise across male and female fertility assessment

Infertility is a common condition, affecting one in six Australian couples trying to conceive. If you have been trying to fall pregnant for six months or more, it is recommended that you consult a fertility specialist.

As a couple, your fertility is a complex interaction of female and male factors, so it’s a good idea for both partners to come for a consultation. When it comes time to investigate the causes of infertility, both of you will most likely need to have tests done.

Sometimes testing won’t reveal any issues, but unexplained infertility does not mean you won’t be able to fall pregnant. We may just need to explore other options.

What causes infertility?

There are many possible causes of infertility. Generally, we say that:

  • 20% can be due to male factors
  • 40% can be traced to female factors
  • 30% can be traced to factors in both the male and female partners
  • in 15% of couples the cause of the infertility cannot be traced to specific factors in either partner

One of the most important factors affecting your ability to conceive is your age. If you are a woman aged over 36 and have been trying to conceive for six months, you should ask your GP for a referral to see a fertility specialist.

Your first appointment

At our first meeting we will have a general discussion to identify some of the potential cases of your infertility.  It is best for both of you to attend as we will discuss your medical histories, general health, previous pregnancies and how long you have been trying to conceive.

Before you make an appointment, you will need a referral from your GP. Getting a referral is also a good time to get your pre-pregnancy screening tests done. Please ask your GP to include the results of these tests along with your referral.

Pre-pregnancy screening test checklist

For women:

  • Current pap test and breast check (within the last two years)
  • Rubella (German measles) immunity
  • Chickenpox immunity
  • Vitamin D levels check
  • Syphilis serology
  • Full blood count
  • Blood group and antibody status
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV

For men:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV

Preparing for your first appointment

There are some simple things you can do when trying to conceive or when starting fertility treatment which can boost your fertility and prepare you for treatment.

  • Tell your GP you are trying to conceive as some medications are harmful during pregnancy.
  • Ask your GP for a pre-pregnancy health check (see pre-pregnancy check list).
  • Take folic acid for at least three months before trying to conceive in order to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your baby.
  • Eat well and exercise to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), between 18.5 and 25.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine (this applies to men as well), and remember that soft drinks and even some over-the-counter medications contain caffeine.
  • Make simple notes of your cycle length and fertile period for a few months. You can ask your doctor for guidance if needed.
  • Check your private health insurance to ensure you are covered for pregnancy.

Find out more about booking an appointment and consultation fees.