• Procedure done conveniently on site at our clinic
• You only need to arrive an hour before procedure to be admitted by nurse
• Take oral pain relief half an hour before procedure
• Extra pain relief of the ‘green whistle’ can be provided if needed, this not only helps with making you more comfortable but also makes hearing Dr Sterling jokes easier
• You get a running total of egg numbers from scientist, so will know your final egg number before you leave the procedure
• As you are awake you get to have stimulating conversation with Dr Sterling, as well as get to hear all his latest jokes and some oldies but goodies
• You are able to go home roughly an hour after the collection once you are feeling comfortable and one of the nurses has discharged you
We’ve all heard the familiar catch cry that stress can reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. It turns out that tension, stress and worry don’t impact your chance of getting pregnant. But in the long term they will certainly impact quality of life and general health. This is the conclusion of a 2011 British-based study led by Jacky Bovin at Cardiff University.
The analysis included findings from 14 studies with 3583 women undergoing a cycle of IVF treatment. Prior to treatment the women were assessed for anxiety and stress. At the completion of the cycles, data was compared between the women who achieved a pregnancy and those that did not. It became clear that varying degrees of psychological distress was not a factor in achieving a pregnancy.
While this is good news for those couples who are worried about worrying, it does not alleviate the fact that IVF treatment can be a harrowing experience coupled with uncertainty and heartbreak. Preparation is critical in dictating how you will cope during this time and at Bulk Bill IVF we strive to ensure that your emotional and physical needs are met. Of course there will be days that will be very hard but with the right support in place, it is possible to go through it feeling positive and hopeful.
We all have those moments, when we have a turning point in life. Whether it is achieving a job promotion, illness or loss of a loved one, ticking something big off your bucket list or finally bringing home a much wanted baby. It’s an event that changes you forever.
I had one of those moments last year. I lost a friend to brain cancer and then swam solo across the English Channel to raise money for Brain Cancer Research. I was successful in my attempt and staggered onto French sand 14hrs and 44mins after diving into the icy water off the English coast.
You are probably wondering what on earth this has to do with IVF. Once the swim was completed I started looking at going back to work as a nurse and was lucky enough to get a job as an IVF Nurse Coordinator. Working within the IVF community I started to see similarities in the principles of preparing for an ultra-marathon and a life altering event such as undergoing fertility treatment.
There are 3 critical components in preparing for a marathon.
1. Physical training
2. Assembling an expert team to help along the journey
3. Developing positive mindset and encouraging self-talk
With IVF the first 2 steps are relatively straight forward and can include maintaining good health with a healthy, well balanced diet and regular exercise.
Finding the right team to help you along the way is absolutely critical. The team must provide a holistic approach to your care. At Bulk Bill IVF we maintain at all times that your emotional and physical needs are met. Success rates and recommendations are very important, effective communication is non-negotiable. Staff are supportive, understanding, happy to answer your questions and strive to effectively prepare you for all components of your treatment.
IVF is tough. We all know that. But what if we could make a few small changes to help us cope with the strains associated with the rollercoaster of fertility treatment.
During my swim across the channel, my crew had a cardinal rule that I’m never told how far to go or how long it will take, because we don’t know how far it is. What’s going to happen to you between this point and that point what’s going to happen with the weather and the tides. I just had to stay in the moment and keep swimming until I ran out of water.
Fertility patients may find it helpful to try and stay in the moment. Take each day as it comes and expect a few obstacles along the way. Positive self-talk can be invaluable when it comes to self-injecting, scans and procedures. Your inner voice can be best ally or your worst enemy. Be kind and praise yourself on how far you have come on your journey.
Attempting fertility treatment is a strong and courageous act. No matter what the outcome of your IVF cycle may be, you have taken charge of your life and dreams. That is something to be very proud of.
To minimise risks to our patients all IVF/ICSI cycles at Bulk-Bill IVF are ‘freeze all’ cycles. This means your embryos are grown to the blastocyst stage following egg collection and then all suitable blastocyst stage embryos are placed in storage for use on a subsequent cycle.
Harry and Hermione (and the rest of the gang) are home to hundreds of frozen sperm samples, eggs and embryos. They are specialised storage vessels that are designed to store samples in liquid nitrogen, keeping their temperature at -196 degrees Celsius, until they are needed.
When we freeze embryos for you at Bulk-Bill IVF your embryos are stored in one of these tanks until you are ready for your frozen embryo transfer. Harry and his friends are monitored by our scientific staff as part their ongoing quality assurance activities to ensure their precious contents remain safe.
On average your ‘Antagonist’ cycle will take 14 days to Egg Retrieval. Your embryos will be created and frozen on day 5 or 6 after egg retrieval at ‘Blastocyst’ stage. ‘Ovarian Hyperstimulation’ is prevented by administering an ‘Agonist’ ‘trigger’ 36 hours before the egg retrieval.
Once your next period arrives you are able to proceed with your ‘Frozen Embryo Transfer’ cycle and plan for a pregnancy.
Procedures such as ‘ICSI’ ‘TESA’ (Testicular biopsy) ‘Assisted Hatching’ and ‘Embryo Glue’ are available on the Bulk Bill program at an additional cost.
BBIVF offers Local Anaesthetic for your Egg Retrieval procedure for a low fee.
The day following your egg collection (Day 0) is when we check for fertilisation (Day 1), and you will be contacted with the number fertilised.
This image is what we are looking for:
This is a normally fertilised egg. The two structures in the middle are called pronuclei, and there is one from the female and one from the male. The two structures just outside of the egg, between the egg and the zona pellucida (outer shell) are called polar bodies, and the two signify the chromosomes are dividing correctly.
Any non-fertilised eggs could be a variety of things:
• Immature eggs
• Abnormally fertilised eggs (more than 2 pronuclei)
• Degenerate eggs
We will only keep the normally fertilised eggs, and will culture them until the blastocyst stage (Days 5 and 6), at which point we will assess them for suitability for freezing.
There are several medications that are usually taken in an IVF cycle. These are a mix of injections and medication administered vaginally.
A medication called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH ) is taken to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual. It is available as a subcutaneous pen type injection that you will inject daily for around 10-12 days. FSH injections need to be stored in the fridge.
A second medication called an antagonist (Orgalutran) is then used to prevent the release of eggs too early. This is usually started 5 days after the start of FSH injections. This medication is available as single dose daily subcutaneous injections. It does not need refrigeration.
These injections may cause bloating, tiredness, headaches, nausea and irritation at the injection site.
Treatment with FSH and Orgalutran will continue until the follicles are mature. At this point egg collection can be organised.
You will then take a medication called a trigger injection to trigger ovulation and allow the collection of mature eggs at egg collection. It is usually taken 36 hours prior to egg collection. The timing of this injection is very important. You will need to keep it in the fridge until advised to take it.
Prior to having an embryo transfer you will commence Progesterone pessaries to prepare the endometrium for pregnancy. These are administered vaginally and will produce some discharge. These can be stored at room temperature.
The nurses at Bulk Bill IVF will order your medications when you are ready to commence. They will show you the medications, teach you how to administer the injections, and make sure you know how to manage them at home.
Bulk Bill IVF are committed to offering you a reduced fee service without compromising your treatment and reducing any potential side effects. One potential condition that can result from IVf medications includes Ovarian Hyperstimulation (OHSS).
OHSS is a medical condition that not a lot of people know about unless they have either been diagnosed with it, or know someone who has had it. It is a condition affecting the ovaries and is directly related to IVF and the medications used within an IVF cycle.
Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe and can include weight gain, increased abdominal bloating, nausea and shortness of breath, just to name a few. The milder symptoms can often be treated with an increase of fluids and plenty of rest, however the severe cases may result in hospitalisation and IV fluids.
The Good news is, in recent years, new medications have been introduced to IVF so that conditions like OHSS can be avoided. At Bulk Bill IVF, your medications have been carefully chosen by our experienced Fertility Specialist to incorporate these new and improved drugs so that the chances of developing this condition, particularly if you are considered high risk, is almost zero.
At Bulk Bill IVF, we are ALWAYS committed to patient safety and our experienced nurses are available if you ever have any concerns regarding OHSS or anything else related to your treatment.
-Your consult with Dr Sterling can be via skype/teleconsult
-Nurse education via skype (45-60 minutes)
-Our pharmacy can courier your medications to your door (fee involved)
-All cycle paperwork can be emailed or posted to you
-Any pathology requests should be honoured at your local collection centre
-The trans-vaginal ultrasound required when in cycle can be done close to you at your nearest Diagnostic centre.(Please note Medicare will not cover for cost of scan outside of clinic when in cycle.)
-Support from IVF clinical nurses via phone/email Monday- Friday 8-4pm
-Travel to Brisbane for egg collection procedure day.
-Following cycle 1 trip to Brisbane for embryo transfer
-AS LITTLE AS ONLY 2 SHORT TRIPS TO BRISBANE FOR YOUR DREAM OF YOUR FAMILY
Phone or Register now 07-36063135