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Frequently Asked Questions

General Enquires

How do I make an appointment at Cairns Fertility Centre?

Contact our friendly team at Cairns Fertility Centre reception on 07 4040 6888 to make an appointment. We are usually able to make an appointment within two weeks of your initial enquiry.

Do I need a referral to be seen at Cairns Fertility Centre?

Yes, you will need a referral to be seen by our Doctors. If you have a partner, both names will need to be on the referral or you will need separate referrals.

Should I bring in any results from my GP or referring specialist?

Please bring a copy of any of your test results to your first appointment. Some tests may need to be repeated or updated, however we do aim not to repeat tests unnecessarily.

I need to talk to someone about the way I am feeling. What are my options?

We understand that the infertility journey may be very stressful. Several resources are available to help you.  

You are welcome to contact our clinic and speak with our Nurse Manager or one of the clinic nurses, who are always available to listen and advise. 

Our clinic also provides a specialized counselling service specific to Women’s Health and Infertility.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need to speak with someone about the way you are feeling.

Do I have any lifestyle or dietary restrictions during this process?

As part of preparing for your pregnancy, we suggest: Light exercise, healthy foods, vitamins and rest. It is best to abstain from alcohol, smoking and other harmful substances. Your Cairns Fertility Centre Doctor will also be able to provide you with more information at the time of your initial consultation.

What is In Vitro Fertilisation?

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a procedure whereby eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and inseminated outside the body. Embryo(s) that result are then placed in the woman’s uterus where they may implant and grow.

How long does treatment take?

Your treatment cycle is based around your menstrual cycle, so each treatment cycle takes roughly the same amount of time to complete.

My partner has had a vasectomy. What can be done to help us have a child together?

At Cairns Fertility Centre, sperm can usually be retrieved by needle aspiration MESA and used in an IVF Treatment Cycle to achieve a pregnancy. The Doctor would be able to address all of your questions at the initial consultation.

Fertility treatments following "day procedures"

Can I continue exercising following my egg collection, embryo transfer or intra-uterine insemination?

Following your procedure and until your pregnancy test, we ask that you avoid any strenuous exercise where you become short of breath.  

Strenuous exercising elevates your core body temperature, and following egg collection, could lead to increased swelling, torsion or heavy bleeding of the ovaries. Likewise do not use saunas or have very hot baths. Also try to avoid heavy lifting.

I've had my embryo transfer / intrauterine insemination what should I be doing?

  • Light exercise / light duties only.  

  • ‍It is advisable to avoid alcohol and smoking during this time also.  

  • ‍Drink 6 - 8 glasses of water a day. 

  • ‍Take a supplement containing Folic Acid. Avoid herbal / Chinese medicines. 

  • ‍Check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting other medications. 

  • ‍Avoid very hot baths / saunas. 

  • ‍Eat a well balanced diet. Abstain from sexual intercourse for 7 days following your embryo transfer.

Can I receive acupuncture during my treatments?

Yes, you may have acupuncture during your treatment cycle, and following your embryo transfer.

What can I take if I have a headache, or any aches and pains?

Paracetamol medications such as Panadol, Panamax and Panadeine are safe to take should you need it. It is not recommended to take more than 8 tablets within 24 hours. If these medications are not providing relief, please contact the clinic (or after-hours doctor) for further advise.

There is some thought (although unproven) that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) pain killers (e.g. Nurofen, Naprogesic, Ibuprofen etc.) may interfere with the process of embryo implantation, so its advisable to avoid these following your egg collection and embryo transfer.

Is it normal to have cramps after egg collection, intra-uterine insemination or embryo transfer?

All of the hormones that your body has produced in response to your medications can make your ovaries larger than what they normally are, as well as more active than usual.  

Therefore, you may experience “period like” discomfort that varies from patient to patient, as well as from one treatment cycle to another.  You may also experience some abdominal bloating. These symptoms are common, but please contact us with any concerns.

What can I take for constipation?

  • Increased fluid intake.

  • High fibre diet.

  • Prune or Pear Juice.

  • If no relief “Lactulose” (according to product directions).


I want to do Surrogacy - can I just come to the clinic and commence treatment?

To participate in a Surrogacy Arrangement, there is an extensive process that includes medical assessments, legal consultations, psychological assessment and implications counselling. Upon completion of all these requirements, a submission will be made to our Medical Director. Only when  the Medical Director’s approval is given can a Surrogacy treatment cycle commence.

What type of surrogacy does Cairns Fertility Centre manage?

Cairns Fertility Centre will manage a Gestational or a Traditional Surrogacy Arrangement.

Is there a Medicare rebate for Surrogacy?

Currently there is no Medicare or Private Health Insurance rebates for Surrogacy. A Surrogacy arrangement could cost up to $50,000 (including legal fees, medical expenses for all parties, psychology assessment fees, private hospital delivery, court fees for parenting order etc). The Arranging Parents must bear all costs for themselves as well as the Birth Parents. This may include loss of wages, childcare etc for the Birth Mother.


How do I become a donor (egg or sperm)?

In the first instance you should contact the clinic via phone (07 4040 6888) or email ( and request an information package. Once you have read and understood all the information provided, you should complete the paperwork also included and return to the clinic. This will be reviewed and if there are no issues identified, appointments will be made for you to attend the clinic to begin the “donor suitability” assessment process.

Will I get paid for my donation?

All donations of human material are to be of an altruistic nature. We are however, permitted to reimburse “reasonable out-of-pocket expenses”. This reimbursement is for your time, travel and inconvenience to attend the clinic for the assessment and donation process.

Is there a waiting list for donor sperm, eggs and embryos?

Unfortunately due to the shortage of and high demand for donor eggs, sperm and embryos, there is a waiting list. To place your name on this list you must become a Cairns Fertility Centre patient. To become a Cairns Fertility Centre patient/s you will need a referral from your GP.

How long is the waiting list?

For eggs, the waiting list can be up to 2 years (eggs are usually the most difficult to acquire). For embryos up to 12 months wait and there is currently no waiting list for donor sperm. These times can also vary dependent on “conditions of donation” (where the donor has placed stipulations/conditions on the donation).

NB: These times are approximations only and the clinic cannot be held to these.

How do I know the donations are safe to use?

All donors at Cairns Fertility Centre are put through a rigorous assessment process. All donors must complete a full medical and family checklist and are made aware of the ramifications of withholding vital information. Full infectious screening blood tests, along with some Genetic screening is undertaken. All donations are quarantined for 6 months (180 days), followed by clearance screening bloods, before being offered to prospective recipients. 

Why do I need to see a Counsellor?

All recipients of donor material must see a Counsellor. This is to make them aware of the rights and responsibilities of the donor and also their rights and responsibilities as a recipient of the donation. Also discussed in this session is the belief that all donor conceived offspring have a right to be made aware of their genetic origins. Advice relating to the why, how and when of relaying this information is discussed with potential recipients.

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