Fertility Counselling

 

Pre-conception and fertility support

Narelle has specialised her practice in the area of Infertility counselling for close to 20 years. She is an active member of ANZICA (Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association), the professional association for infertility counsellors practising in Australia and New Zealand. Infertility counsellors must have and maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the contemporary human reproductive technologies, the legislative frameworks within which the technologies are practised, and the emotional/ psychological experiences and needs of infertility patients and other relevant third parties.

Specialist infertility counselling provides an opportunity to ensure that anyone undertaking fertility treatment understands the possible consequences of the proposed treatment for themselves, their relationships, family and any child born as a result of treatment.

Support may be sought for:

  • assistance with coping with non-pregnancy cycles/treatment failure
  • Help to better manage the emotional and physical demands of treatment
  • developing stress management/coping skills and self-care strategies

In some cases, counselling may be concerned with more disturbing and distressing consequences of both infertility and fertility treatment. Such as:

  • clinical disorders such as depression, anxiety and panic states
  • relationship difficulties, including sexual difficulties and dysfunction
  • grief and loss issues related to infertility, pregnancy loss, repeated treatment failure
  • preparing for and adjusting to ceasing treatment and planning for the future
  • preparing for and adjusting to parenthood after a long period of infertility,  including adjusting to parenting a child conceived with the help of a donor or surrogate.
  • The decision to conclude treatment when treatment has not been successful

Fertility Preservation

More and more people are wondering whether they should protect and preserve their fertility for the future. For some, fertility preservation treatment is recommended in the context of a medical diagnosis where the treatment places their fertility is at risk (eg cancer). For others, it might be that they are not yet ready to become parents, but want to ensure they are still fertile when the time is right to begin trying for a pregnancy – a type of “fertility insurance policy”. We can support your decision making around whether to embark on fertility preservation, and what the best treatment might be for you. Queensland Family and Fertility Support remains proudly independent from all fertility treatment providers.

 

Donor Conception Counselling

Narelle has close to 20 years experience providing implications counselling for egg, sperm and embryo donation.  If you wish to become a donor, or you need to use a donor to concieve, you may benefit from the opportunity to speak to a counsellor who is fully independent from any fertility clinic. Narelle can support you through the complex decision making process required to determine if donor treatment is right for you and your family.  Narelle has close to 20 years experience providing implications counselling for egg, sperm and embryo donation.  If you wish to become a donor, or you need to use a donor to concieve, you may benefit from the opportunity to speak to a counsellor who is fully independent from any fertility clinic. Narelle can support you through the complex decision making process required to determine if donor treatment is right for you and your family. 

If you require mandated implications counselling prior to the commencement of treatment utilising donated gametes Narelle understands the legislative requirements for donor treatment across all Australian jurisdictions, and her counselling practice is fully compliant with the Practice Guidelines enforced by NHMRC, RTAC and ANZICA.

Narelle will require a minimum of two sessions of counselling for both donors and recipients. For known donations a joint session involving all parties will be undertaken as part of the two sessions.  Further sessions can be made available for any party wanting this or at the discretion of the counsellor where issues may still require addressing.A “cooling off” period may be helpful for all parties before signing consent and proceeding to treatment to allow thorough consideration of the issues raised in counselling. (In some jurisdictions this is a legislative requirement as is post cooling off period final counselling review.)

Counselling in relation to the donation/ receipt of donated eggs, sperm or embryos will include discussion of:

  • Decision-making re whether to us a known or identity-release (clinic recruited) donor.
  • motivations of the donor and recipients in the context of their family and social history
  • recipients’ and donors’ feelings about non-genetic parenting
  • examination of the risks and benefits of donation
  • short and long-term consequences for all parties concerned, including that the donation may result in an adverse outcome
  • exploration of expectations of all parties (if known donation) regarding relationship between recipient(s) and donor and donor conceived child and donor
  • exploration of the acknowledged importance that donor information be accessible for any donor conceived person and the future availability of donors for information about identity attitudes to telling others, plans to disclose donor conception to children and how to do this the donor-conceived child’s potential interest in knowing more about the donor and potentially having contact
  • relevant federal and state legislation and RTAC/NHMRC guidelines.

“Making the decision to have a child—it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

ELIZABETH STONE