Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Fertility Unit
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Counselling

As well as physical effects, your infertility diagnosis and treatment will also have emotional consequences. The infertility counsellor is part of the team of professional staff available at RPAH to care for you and your partner before, during and after your fertility treatment. The emotional effects of infertility can be distressing and unsettling, despite being a normal reaction.  If you find that your diagnosis or treatment is adversely affecting the way you feel, your relationships, work or other aspects of your life consider seeing the counsellor.

Counselling is an opportunity to:

  • identify and understand what is causing you distress
  • identify your strengths and develop new coping strategies
  • develop a sense of control in your treatment by knowing your options and actively making the choices that are right for you and your partner
  • reduce the intensity of depressed mood or anxiety
  • discuss decisions about stopping treatment
  • consider new options.

Stresses that you may like some help in dealing with include:

  • coping with other people's pregnancies and births
  • family reactions to your needs
  • reproductive losses such as miscarriage
  • cancelled cycles or cycles outcomes that have not met your expectations
  • approaching more than 3 stimulated cycles
  • communication problems
  • balancing the demands on your time
  • sleep disturbance.

What happens in counselling?

The counsellor will ask you about your background, your history of infertility, its effects and how you have managed so far. The counsellor's job is to provide a framework for you to explore your thoughts and feelings, to develop your coping strategies and to assist you in managing IVF stresses. Some people may choose to use the service once or twice while others may use it over a period of time. You may wish to see the counsellor individually or as a couple.

The decision to see a counsellor is generally your own choice. However in some situations, such as when patients are requesting the use of donated gametes, all parties and their partners must have implications counselling before proceeding to treatment.

At RPAH there is no charge for the counselling service. We can arrange an interpreter for families from non-English speaking backgrounds, which is also free of charge.

To arrange an appointment or to discuss your needs, please contactSally Ann Heaney, our counsellor on (02) 95158119 or email: sally.heaney@sswahs.nsw.gov.au.