Preparation for Treatment Counselling

Preparation for Treatment Counselling

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act (2008) requires all patients (including partners where applicable) planning to undergo fertility treatment to attend counselling prior to beginning treatment. Although it is something that is ‘required’, the No.1 Counsellors endeavor to make sure that counselling sessions are useful to patients.

The counselling team understand that this can be a difficult time for patients and having conversations about often private fertility experiences may initially feel uncomfortable. The counsellor will endeavor to create a supportive environment for the session. They are passionate about supporting patients with the emotional aspects of treatment.

IVF/IUI Counselling
IVF/IUI

The counsellors will ask about your background and your experiences in trying to conceive, your thoughts about proceeding with fertility treatment, your readiness to start and any concerns or questions that you might have about treatment, its potential impact on yourself, your relationship, and your life. They will also ask about any current or past emotional difficulties and mental health history and work with you to create a plan for your emotional wellbeing during treatment.

The counsellors may share their expertise about common emotional responses to treatment, strategies for coping and managing questions and conversations about fertility treatment with friends and family. They might also share their tips for taking care of your relationship during treatment. They can be a useful resource for referrals to other support services too.

Your counsellor will also take you through some decisions that you will need to make about embryos on your consent form.

Egg Freezing

There can be many reasons why someone might consider freezing their eggs. For some, it can be that you wish to preserve your fertility now as you are not ready to become a parent.  You may also be considering freezing your eggs as you feel ambivalent about parenthood but want to take a practical step to keep your options open.  For others, it may be due to illness and wishing to preserve your fertility before undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy. Finally, you might be commencing the transition process and want to preserve your fertility before commencing gender-affirming hormone treatment.

A session with a No.1 counsellor can give you the space and opportunity to talk through the decision to freeze your eggs, address some of the feelings that you might have going into treatment and help create a plan for your emotional wellbeing during treatment.

You can also talk through how you might consider using your eggs in the future, including the possibility of donor treatment. In the session, the counsellor will also discuss the circumstances in which you may be able to use your eggs in future for IVF treatment, including legislative requirements.

What will counselling cover?

Your counsellor will ask about your background, how long you have considered freezing your eggs and your decision to proceed with treatment. They may also talk to you about your readiness to start treatment and any concerns or questions that you might have about treatment, its potential impact on yourself, any relationships and your life. They will also ask about any current or past emotional difficulties and mental health history and work with you to create a plan for your emotional wellbeing during treatment.

The counsellors may share their expertise about common emotional responses to treatment, strategies for coping and managing questions and conversations about egg freeze treatment with friends and family. They can be a valuable resource for referrals to other support services too.

Your counsellor will also take you through some critical aspects of your Consent to Egg Collection and Storage.

Donor Treatment Counselling
Pre donor treatment counselling

Before being booked for counselling sessions, you will have contact with the No.1 Donor and Surrogacy Team (link) who will take you through all of the necessary processes to prepare for donor treatment. They will ask you for further information and to fill out a Donor Treatment Registration Form. Once this paperwork is received, your counselling sessions will be booked in.

The counsellors will ask about your background and your experiences in trying to conceive, your thoughts about proceeding with using a donor, your readiness to start and any concerns or questions that you might have about donor treatment, its potential impact on yourself, your relationship, and your life. They will also ask about any current or past emotional challenges and mental health history and work with you to create a plan for your emotional wellbeing during treatment.

A key focus of sessions will also be on the importance of early disclosure to donor conceived children, the donor registers https://www.varta.org.au/donor-conception-register-services and legislation in Victoria. Counsellors can also share information about useful resources to support families with donor conceived children.

There are a minimum of two individual sessions (and one joint counselling session for known donor arrangements).

How should I prepare?

There is no specific requirement for preparation, however, it can be useful to consider how ready you feel to progress with donor treatment, any questions and concerns you might have and read the information sent to you by the No.1 Donor team about The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority  https://www.varta.org.au/ and donor legislation in Victoria.

Becoming a Donor Counselling
Pre-donation counselling

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act (2008) requires all potential donors (and partners, if applicable) to attend counselling prior to beginning treatment.

The counsellors will ask about your background, your motivations for being a donor and explore any potential impact on yourself, your relationships, and your life. They will also ask about any current or past emotional challenges and mental health history.

If you know the recipients, the counsellor will explore how you might view future relationships with the recipients and their donor conceived children. The joint session will also give space for this discussion and an opportunity for recipients and donors to discuss any issues or concerns.

A key focus of sessions will also be on the importance of early disclosure to donor conceived children, the donor registers and legislation in Victoria.

How should I prepare?

There is no specific requirement for preparation, however, it can be useful to consider how ready you feel to progress as a donor, any questions and concerns you might have and read the information sent to you by the No.1 Donor team about The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority https://www.varta.org.au/ and donor legislation in Victoria.

Surrogacy counselling
Surrogacy counselling

The No.1 Donor and Surrogacy team (link) will book in all of your surrogacy counselling sessions and any other required appointments at No.1 Fertility.

Under the Victorian legislation, all potential surrogacy arrangements are required to obtain approval from the Victoria Patient Review Panel (PRP). There are very specific criteria that must be met before an arrangement is approved. One of the requirements is the completion of at least three counselling sessions with an approved counsellor for intended parent(s) and surrogate (and partner if applicable). At least one session will be a joint session with both parties present at the session. The information obtained in these counselling sessions will form the basis of a comprehensive counselling report (written by the No.1 counsellor) which will be included as part of your PRP application.

For detailed information about what is required by the PRP, please visit their application form (including documentation checklist) at:

https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/hospitals-and-health-services/patient-care/perinatal-reproductive/assisted-reproduction/applications

What will counselling cover?

Counsellors are required under the law to discuss certain topics with you, such as expectations about the conduct of a surrogacy pregnancy and how relationships may change during and after the arrangement. We understand that it can be difficult and emotionally complex to consider such future based questions, however they are essential topics and required information for the Patient Review Panel that will be in your counselling report.

The counsellors will ask about your background, your motivations for a surrogacy arrangement, family and life history and your relationships. They will also ask about any current or past emotional challenges and mental health history and work with you to create a plan for your emotional wellbeing during treatment.

How should I prepare?

Read through the questions in the Surrogacy Counselling Information Booklet which lists topics for discussion during sessions. Spending some time together going through these topics and questions prior to sessions can make the sessions run more smoothly.

Join us for an informative webinar on egg freezing, hosted by Dr. Lynn Burmeister, a leading CREI specialist, at No.1 Fertility.

When: Wednesday, 26th of June, 2024 at 6:00pm

Discover the benefits, processes, and latest support available in egg freezing from an expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Don't miss this opportunity to get your questions answered, register now to secure your spot!