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Many women will spend most of their life trying to avoid pregnancy, so when you decide you do want to become pregnant but it doesn’t happen, it can be both frustrating and disappointing! But you are not alone. It may come as a surprise to you that in fact 1 in 6 couples may have difficulty starting a family. At Alana, we have a team of specialists ready to help you navigate your journey towards having children.

At Alana, We Care About your Fertility

When seeking advice and help for your fertility problems, the first contact and assessment you have with your care team is crucial before you start your journey.

At Alana, your fertility consultation will encompass an assessment by one of our doctors, as well as our naturopath if you choose, to allow us to provide you with the most comprehensive review of your reproductive health.  The management that we institute at this stage is critical for your fertility journey.  You will be cared for by a team focusing on all aspects of your fertility and working together to ensure the plans made are complimentary and in unison with your goals, a baby.

Whether you decide on one consultation to initiate the path of preconception planning or want to have a complete assessment of your reproductive health, our team will not only investigate your problem but give you the tools to optimise and create a fertile environment for your growing baby.

Fertility Services include:  Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), Donor IVF, Fertility health check, Fertility preservation (egg freezing), In vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Male infertility, Oncology fertility preservation, Surrogacy, Transgender fertility.


Dr Giselle Crawford

Fertility Specialist, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist


Susan Arentz

Naturopath & Herbal Medicine Specialist


Dr Erin Nesbitt-Hawes

Obstetrician, Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon


Dr Lalla McCormack

Obstetrician, Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon


Professor Jason Abbott

Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon


Dr Stefaan Pacquée

Urogynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon

Infertility Causes and Symptoms

In order to become pregnant you will need to release an egg, your hormones need to be finely tuned, your fallopian tubes need to be open, there needs to be healthy sperm to meet your egg and your uterus needs to accommodate the embryo to create an optimal environment for the baby to develop.  Many factors are involved and you and your partner may have infertility or sub fertility based on one, or any combination of these factors.

Common causes for female infertility include biological age (since there is good science that the older you are, the more difficult it is to become pregnant), anovulation (when you do not release an egg) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Other causes include endometriosis or previous infections. Some women have endometrial polyps, or structural abnormalities such as fibroids, or development problems of the uterus that may interfere with pregnancy.

Male infertility due to sperm abnormalities is surprisingly common and this may be identified in a sperm count as a change in the volume, quantity or quality of sperm and seminal fluid produced. There can also be an issue in sperm being transported effectively or hormonal issues that lead to poor production of sperm.

Treatment for Infertility

Because treatments for infertility are targeted at the cause of the infertility, you may require a number of tests to find the problem and come up with the best tailored management plan for you. Common tests may include a check to make sure that ovulation (release of an egg) is occurring; the tubes are open (this may be checked with a special type of ultrasound called a HyCoSy) and a sperm count to check that there are adequate numbers and quality of sperm.

Some treatments for female infertility include ovulation induction where, if release of an egg is not occurring, a number of medications may be trialed to help with this. Where there are structural issues with the uterus, the ovary or suspected diseases that may impact fertility, then surgery may be considered, such as a laparoscopy and removal of endometriosis or a hysteroscopy and removal of a polyp. Sometimes a direct cause cannot be found and your infertility is “unexplained”. When this occurs or if other treatment options have not been successful, then discussion of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) as an option may be appropriate. This is a highly effective form of treating many infertility issues and will be discussed with you fully should this be the recommendation for you based upon your wishes and your clinical circumstances.

Many sperm abnormalities may be treated by initially trying to improve the quality or directly inserting sperm into the uterus (called intrauterine insemination or IUI). However a further process called ICSI (where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg) may be needed for severe sperm abnormalities or when other processes are unsuccessful. This means that only one sperm is necessary for fertilisation to occur.

Preconception Care

You may wish to have a preconception consultation ensuring you are best prepared for your upcoming pregnancy. Although many women do not routinely undertake this, we recommend every woman have a preconception check-up prior to pregnancy as best practice care to help optimise health and reduce risks to both you and your baby. At Alana this can be performed by any of our doctors and will include specific advice for you based on your medical history, previous obstetric history and other contributing factors. Blood tests may be required and booster vaccinations may be recommended prior to conceiving. Recommendations for pre-pregnancy supplementation will also be addressed. Preconception check-ups are most important for women who have preexisting medical conditions and may need adjustment of medications prior to conception.

Fertility Care at Alana

At Alana we offer a range of fertility services where we will discuss the best management plan for your specific needs and goals.  If you feel pressured by your biological clock ticking you might wish to discuss your future fertility including options like egg freezing. If you have been actively trying for twelve months and haven’t seen that second line on your home pregnancy test, or you have gone through miscarriages, you may wish to discuss further investigations or treatments for infertility.

You and your partner are welcome to see one of our gynaecologists or our naturopath at Alana. We take the time to get to know your medical and reproductive history, explore possible infertility causes and specific symptoms, organise tests for you and your partner and then discuss on how to best proceed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my chances of a pregnancy if I need IVF?
As there are so many factors involved it is in general hard to give an exact number. Depending on your age, successful pregnancy may occur in between 15-45% of women after an embryo transfer.
Can I see a Naturopath at Alana to assist in my fertility goals?
At Alana our naturopath will be able to assist you in preparing for a pregnancy or optimising your general health during IVF, with a focus on your stress levels, digestive and immune systems and hormone balance. Natural treatments may include a diet, exercise, nutrients, homeopathy and life style adjustments.
I’m considering starting a family in about 1 year. Can I just book a visit to make sure I’m well prepared?
You most certainly can. We will discuss your general and reproductive health, your life style and make sure all preventative health checks (like cervical screening test, vaccinations) are up to date. We will give you tailored advice on how to get to the most healthy version of you in preparation for a pregnancy.
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