Getting Started: What Are The Steps To Becoming A Parent For Lesbians?
A step by step guide to conceiving with the assistance of a Fertility Specialist.
If you are in the process of making the important decision to start a family but are not sure what to do next, we have the answers for you. Dr Andy Stamatiou from Rainbow Fertility shares the important steps required to secure a smooth beginning for your fertility journey, whether you are in a relationship or not.
First things first, as is often the case, a referral is needed from your general practitioner to a fertility specialist. You then make an appointment with a fertility specialist at Rainbow Fertility. During your first appointment, your specialist will gather all relevant information about you, your circumstances, and medical history etc. You will also receive an insight into the various fertility options pertinent to you and the processes that will follow. The subject of accessing donor sperm (known or clinic-recruited) will also be discussed. You will be able to claim some of your consultation costs through Medicare.
You, and any partner involved in conception, will be required to have a series of blood tests as part of the routine screening process before starting treatment. All women considering using donated sperm and their partner must attend two counselling sessions. Counselling is important for several reasons including allowing for the open discussion of fertility treatment on a personal level, enabling any issues to be raised and allowing for the emotional responsibilities of becoming a parent to be discussed. At Rainbow Fertility (and most clinics) there is then a “cooling off” period of 14 days, between the two counselling sessions, to allow for the person/couple to digest the information they have discussed, before proceeding.
The next step is for you to participate in an information session with a fertility co-ordinator. At this point, a discussion will occur about your individual treatment plan as created by your fertility specialist, medications and the daily requirements of your treatment cycle. Consent forms are also provided for signing once you have a full understanding of the processes required. Before actual treatment commences a final review will take place, whereby your specialist and fertility coordinator will review counselling reports, blood tests and consent forms to ensure everything is complete ready to proceed. Dr Stamatiou advises and encourages his patients to ensure they are following a healthy lifestyle before, during and after treatment to maximise their chances of success. This includes, for example, watching important aspects like diet and exercise, and limiting or quitting habits like smoking and alcohol.
Fertility treatment will typically begin in line with your specialist’s recommendations. While this is the normal process, sometimes there will be variations depending on your personal circumstances. By utilising a clinic like Rainbow Fertility, which has extensive experience with LGBTI families, and its supporting personnel, you are ensured a smooth fertility journey for everyone involved and achieving the desired outcome.
For more information about the steps to becoming a parent go to www.rainbowfertility.com.au or call Rainbow Fertility's advice centre for a confidential chat on 1300 222 623.
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.