GP Resources

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A Guide for Family Doctors

At Rainbow Fertility we understand that as a GP you are generally the first point of contact for LGBTI individuals and couples with questions regarding their fertility and family-building options. To assist you in providing your patients with the best information and guidance, we have put together the following information.

Family-Building options for LGBTI individuals/couples

For LGBTI individuals/couples there are a number of viable routes that can be considered when achieving parenthood is the goal. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is one of them.

ART is increasingly being used to enable LGBTI people to have their own children. It is important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are infertile or have a fertility problem; however, in some cases LGBTI couples/individuals may learn that they have a fertility problem after starting the family-building process with ART.

In this section, we provide general information about some of the family building options that may be available for the LGBTI community – select an option below to learn more.

Family Building Options for Lesbians

Family Building Options for Gay Men

Family Building Options for Transgender People

Family Building Options for Intersex People

One of the unique things about intersex people, is that no two people are the same, not just psychologically, but physically too. That’s why we offer a tailored service to each of our intersex patients, based around their very specific needs.

We encourage intersex patients to give us a call to book an initial consultation, where we’ll take the time to better understand how we might be able to help them.

 

Please note: all treatment procedures are carried out in our RTAC (Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee) accredited fertility clinics, where gametes (eggs/sperm) and embryos are also stored.

 

What Does Infertility Mean for LGBTI individuals/couples?

The term infertility is used when the biological ability of an individual to contribute to conception is diminished or absent. However, this term is generally used if a heterosexual couple has failed to conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse.

Infertility can happen if there are problems with the normal functioning of the male or female reproductive system. At times the cause of infertility is unexplained (“idiopathic” infertility).

LGBTI individuals/couples may learn that they have a fertility problem after starting the family-building process with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

Common Causes of Infertility

In recent years the trend for delaying starting a family has led to increasing infertility rates, with age being the most common and significant fertility factor in females. However, there are a number of other factors that can play a part in causing infertility:

Male

  • Sperm production problems
  • Blockage of sperm transport
  • Sperm antibodies
  • Sexual problems
  • Hormonal problems

 

Female

  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Fallopian tube structure – tubal blockage
  • Salpingitis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Hydrosalpinx
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Fibroid tumours
  • Advanced maternal age

When to refer to a fertility specialist

Our specialists will be more than happy to discuss in further detail with your LGBTI patients their options to create a family with Assisted Reproductive Technology, so please don’t hesitate to refer them to Rainbow Fertility.

You should also refer a patient to one of our specialists if the patient has the following:

  • Indicated PCOS
  • Irregular cycles
  • Endometriosis or a history suggestive of tubal damage
  • Premature menopause
  • Poor semen quality
  • Genetic conditions such as: Turner’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis and Klinefelter’s

It is important to note that there is no test that absolutely has to be done before referring an infertility patient as we are always happy to organise them.

 

Oncology patients

We advise to refer oncology patients as soon as possible, before treatment begins, to enable us to give them the best chance of future fertility. Cryopreservation of sperm, eggs or embryos provides them with a more optimistic prognosis.

 

Fertility management after vasectomy or tubal ligation

If patients have undergone a vasectomy or tubal ligation Rainbow Fertility is able to provide treatments to achieve a pregnancy. Surgical aspiration and microinjection of sperm (ICSI) offers an alternative to vasectomy reversal and standard IVF treatment offers an alternative to female sterilisation reversal.

Counselling

We offer a counselling service accessible to outside referrals (at no cost to the patient) for specialised infertility counselling. At the clinic, patients have the opportunity to use a complimentary counselling session once during every stimulated cycle.

Private Health Insurance

It is not necessary for patients to have private medical insurance for an appointment or treatment at any of our centres.

Patient Resources

We offer a range of support services and information to assist your patients in their journey towards parenthood.

They can access information and support via:

Individual State Legislation Links

Find below a list of links you may find useful:

Commonwealth

 

South Australian Legislation

 

Queensland Legislation

 

Victorian Legislation

 

New South Wales Legislation

Please note

  • All individuals/couples are encouraged to refer to their own state legislation for more/ up-to-date information
  • All individuals/couples are encouraged to seek independent legal advice before attending the donor program.
  • Rainbow Fertility accepts no responsibility for the content or advice given on these sites.

 

For more information or resources please contact our friendly team.

Call: 1300 222 623
email: info@rainbowfertility.com.au

 

Current as at 01.02.2016

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Rainbow Fertility has a responsibility to provide Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) based on relevant state or federal laws and guidelines. All individuals/couples are encouraged to obtain their own legal advice regarding the relevant legislation applying to their circumstances.