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Frequently Asked Questions

Your fertility journey is stressful and overwhelming! 
There's so much information to take in.  So it's only natural you have questions ... both about unlocking your fertility through mindful moments and fertility in general.  
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  • What does the MindBody Program for Fertility include?
    The MindBody Program for Fertility includes eight (8) face-to-face sessions with psychologist Therese Sheedy. These sessions will have a different focus and include training in: MindBody medicine;– mindfulness and meditation; cognitive behavioural therapy strategies, self-care and self-compassion, nutrition and lifestyle advice; and information about aligned treatments and how they relate to stress and fertility.
  • Who is the MindBody Program for Fertility for?
    To put it simply, this program is for anyone struggling with fertility. Whether you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or apprehensive at the start of your fertility – or even if you’re mid IVF treatment – this program will support you with the stressors that accompany each stage of the fertility or infertility journey to bringing home a beautiful baby.
  • What if I fall pregnant during the program?
    Firstly, we’ll celebrate with you and check in to see where your stress levels and emotions are at. Unfortunately, many women who have experienced difficulty conceiving also run a greater risk of miscarriage or other complications during their pregnancy and birth. Anxiety greatly impacts a woman’s mental health and wellbeing and has been linked with effecting the functioning of the placenta which can limit nutrients reaching the unborn baby. The beauty of the MindBody Program for Fertility 1:1 format means we can still work through the program as planned – by adjusting some of the content to suit your needs as your pregnancy develops – giving you the best chance of taking your baby home from hospital.
  • What if I already have a child and I'm trying for another?
    If you already have one child you may be experiencing what is called Secondary Infertility. The MindBody Program for Fertility can definitely help and work through the shock, stress and overwhelm of infertility – which may be a new experience for you.
  • Is Therese qualified to guide and support me through the program?
    You’re in very safe hands! Therese has been a registered psychologist for more than 25 years. She has also studied mindfulness and wellbeing science. She walks her talk and practices mindfulness in both her work and personal life. Therese is honoured to have been personally trained in the MindBody program by Dr Alice Domar of Boston IVF (and an Associate Professor at Harvard University). Alice is the creator of the MindBody Program for Fertility. You can learn more about Therese here.
  • Can my partner be involved with the program and attend sessions?
    Absolutely!. Partners are very welcome to attend the first session so they understand how the program works. The program includes an at-home partner session and we encourage you throughout the program to share the outcomes of sessions along with meditations and mindfulness strategies for added support.
  • Can I reschedule sessions?
    We understand life gets in the way sometimes, so we use a flexible calendar system to find the times that work best for you and your world. Once your session is booked in Therese holds the time in her diary, so we do request at least 48 hours notice if you need to reschedule a session. In saying that we totally get 48 hours isn’t always possible, so just let us know as soon as possible and Therese will be as flexible as she can to work around the change.
  • Will any of the content be in my IFV counselling session?
    Most IVF clinics will offer you one counselling session which is compulsory. The MindBody Program For Fertility works alongside and is complementary to the the sessions with your IVF counsellor. You are most welcome to share any or all of what you’ve spoken about with your IFV counsellor – or not. Therese is one of only a few people in Australia trained in the MindBody Program For Fertility.
  • Will finishing the program improve my chance of conceiving?
    Infertility is very complex so there are no guarantees with any fertility treatment or program. However, research on the MindBody Program For Fertility – in a live group setting – has indicated an increase of 52-55% in take-home baby rates. This is compared with 20% of women in a control group who weren’t in the program. Therese has adapted the program to an online format and is proud to have seen similar levels of success working one on one with her participants.
  • Can I claim the program through my private health insurance?
    The simple answer is, you likely can. Depending on your level of cover and what your insurer includes in your policy, you may be able to claim the cost of the program. Your insurer will ask for an itemised receipt – so if you can claim – Therese will issue an itemised receipt at the end of the program when all eight sessions are complete. You can then send this through to your insurer.
  • Can I pay for the program in instalments?
    Absolutely! If you pay upfront the program is $1997 + GST. If you’d like to stretch your payments over two smaller payments we take a $1100 payment upfront to get your journey started. Before our fourth session together we’ll invoice you for a second payment of $1100. A payment plan is slightly higher to cover the administration costs.
  • Can I speak with someone before committing to the program?
    Absolutely! This is a big decision to make and we get that. Reach out to Therese on our Contact Us page and we'll be in touch as soon as possible to schedule a time for a call to go through any questions you have. It would be an honour to support you through this difficult time – no matter where you’re at in your fertility journey – and it’s my heartfelt hope you’ll join me for the MindBody Program For Fertility and take home a beautiful baby.
  • How useful are home ovulation calculators and apps?
    Many women who have been trying for 12 months or more to get pregnant often turn to calculator and apps because they want certainty they're having sex at the best possible time to conceive. However IVF Australia suggest while it's helpful to understand your cycle, there is no evidence these apps and calculators will help you get pregnant. We recommend heading to the IFV Australia website - - for a full list of calculators they recommend. Our thoughts: what do you have to lose?
  • What is the definition of infertility?
    Generally speaking for under 35s the definition is 12 + months of trying to concieve while having unprotected sex. For those over 35 the definition reduces to 6+ months of unprotected sex. If you've spent 12 months or more trying to fall pregnant with no success we recommend you book an appointment with your GP for a conversation about your concerns and next steps.
  • How can I improve my fertility?
    Fertility is so complex. There are many factors that impact your fertility: - Timing - choosing the most fertile window to have sex; - Age - it's a biologicalfact that as women age the ability to naturally concive decreases; - Lifestyle + Environment - making healthy choices can increase your fertility; - Health + Medical - underlying health conditions such as diabetes can affect your fertility; and Weight - maintaining a healthy weight can increase your fertility. We recommend maintaing a healthy lifestyle and minimising your stress levels. Most importantly, remember that sex isn't always about procreation, so enjoy it.
  • How does PCOS/endometriosis effect fertility?
    *PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)* Many women don't realise they have PCOS until they struggle to conceive. The symptoms include irregular or no periods. According to IVF Australia "It is important to remember that the presence of polycystic ovaries is not always bad news. Many younger women can have severe side-effects from the syndrome caused by the hormone imbalance associated with polycystic ovaries. However, as women age, the follicle number drops and the hormone imbalance corrects itself. The result is that women who suffer polycystic ovary syndrome in their teens and twenties can sometimes end up having more eggs in their thirties without the syndrome and therefore a better chance of conception." *Endometriosis* Around 10% of fertile age are effected by endometriosis. Symptoms include heavy and/or painful periods. cells that line the uterus or endometrium, grow in places outside the uterus. According to IVF Australia it isn't always clear how endometriosis effects fertility. "Severe endometriosis can distort the tubes and ovaries and can block the egg’s release by causing scar tissue or cysts. However, while mild endometriosis is, in some cases, associated with infertility, how this happens is not known.It’s also important to remember that many women who struggle with the severe pain of endometriosis can still conceive naturally.
  • What causes infertility in women?
    One of Australia's leading fertility specialists - City Infertility - lists the following causes of infertility in women: - Quality of the uterine lining: e.g. endometriosis can cause damages to reproductive tissue. - Ability of the ovaries to produce eggs: e.g. ovulation disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which may prevent an egg from being released. -Fallopian tube structure: e.g. a tubal blockage that prevents the egg and sperm from meeting. - Age is a major cause of infertility in women, affecting the quality of the eggs and limiting her ability to conceive. Want to know more? We recommend these highly reputable resources as a starting place: - -
  • How common is infertility?
    Infertility is more common than you probably realise. In fact, infertility effects about 1 in 6 couples in Australia. There is a wide range of causes for infertility which include: 30% caused by female related issues such as ovaries or tubal issues; 30% caused by male related issues such as sperm count or sperm quality; 30% a combination of male and female related fertility issues; 10% is unexplained.
  • What are symptoms of infertility?
    Unsurprisingly, the most common symptom of infertility is an inability to fall pregnant within 12 months of unprotected sex for under 35s and 6 months for those over 35. The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor for advice if you: - Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer - Are over age 40 - Have irregular or absent periods - Have very painful periods - Have known fertility problems - Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease - Have had multiple miscarriages - Have undergone treatment for cancer
  • What is infertility treatment?
    Your doctor will talk with you about infertility treatments. They will take a full history and then may order some tests for both you and your partner to work out what the cause of your infertility might be. Treatments: treatment usually aims to either fix the underlying cause of infertility, or use an assisted reproductive technology like IVF to help you fall pregnant. Treatments for infertility in women The treatment that might suit you depends on the cause of infertility. Treatment could include hormone treatments to stimulate ovulation, surgery to treat fallopian tubes, endometriosis, fibroids etc. If infertility is unexplained your doctor may recommmend Intrauterine insemination (artificial insemination) in which they place sperm directly to the uterus. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a well-known form of infertility treatment. Eggs are collected from ovaries and sperm from a man and the egg is fertilised in a laboratory. The fertilised egg is then placed into the woman's uterus directly. Resources: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a type of IVF, and involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg in a laboratory. It is used to treat male infertility associated with sperm problems.
  • How can I improve my fertility?
    There are many ways to improve your fertility and they all centre around your lifestyle. Here's some tips: - Moderate exercise - moderate exercise is important ... however, if you're exercising so heavily you aren't ovulating this can impact your fertility. So moderate is really the key word (and remember it's mindful!) - Avoid fluctuating weight - being over or under weight can impact your menstuation cycle, so try to keep your weight in the healthy range. - Quit smoking - this one speaks for itself and will improve your overall health. - Avoid excessive alcohol - when you're trying to fall pregnant the occasional glass of wine is fine socially, but doctors recommend avoiding excessive alcohol (and without a hangover you're more likely to be mindful!) - Medication - limit medications that may affect your fertility. Your doctor will give you advice on any medications you may need to reduce of avoid. - Limit caffeine intake - if you're a caffeine addict now is a good time to think about limiting your how much coffee or tea you're drinking. - Healthy food choices - fill your plate with plenty of veges and avoid too much sugar so your blood sugar doesn't spike.
  • I'm over 35 how can I improve my fertility?
    The hard to swallow truth is that your age does impact your fertility. And this isn't just for women (don't believe all you read). Here's the simple truth. We are born with our eggs, so egg quality starts to decline (in quality and quantity). As such, fertility rates start to drop in early thirties as well. By the age of 40 the chance of conceiving naturally drops to just 15%. So how can you improve your chances of conceiving? Consider an egg donor with younger eggs or even freezing your eggs earlier if you aren't in the right relationship or ready for babies yet. And for the men ... their fertility declines with age as well. New research is showing sperm quality starts reducing from the age of 40.
  • Common fertility myths (and the truth!)
    Myth #1: The best time to concieve is day 14 of your cycle. Truth: Everyone's cycle is different. The best time is n the three days leading up to and including the day of ovulation. Using an app to track your cycle can help to know when this occurs month to month. Myth #2: You can have a baby at any age - even mid-forties Truth: Fertility starts declining in your early thirties and this decline speeds up from 35 onwards and even further in your forties. You'll likely need ART to help you all pregnant in your 40s. Myth #3: I only need to give up smoking when I fall pregant Truth: Smoking can effect every stage of reproduction and can damage both egg and sperm quality. So giving up smoking when you're trying to fall pregnant is important for both men and women. Myth #4: If I'm diabetic I won't be able to fall pregant. Truth: Women who work with their medical team to manage their diabetes can have a healthy baby. It's recommended you work closely with your doctor for better (and safer) results. Myth #5: I can't stand up after having sex or my eggs won't be fertilised. Truth: Studies on women who had artificial insemination showed there was no diffference in pregnancy rates between those who stayed lying down for 15 minutes and those who moved around straight after the procedure.
  • Does nutrition and hydration impact fertility?
    To put it simply, yes. Water intake is essential as hydration is a key element for a healthy cycle. Water assists the delivery of hormones through your body, increasing your chances of regular cycles and healthy egg production. Water also aids sperm motility and mobility, supporting it through your cervical mucus. If you are undergoing IVF, water assists the lining of your uterine wall and supports healthy cell division and metabolism during implantation.
  • Does meditation improve fertility?
    Meditation and mindfulness - used in the MindBody Program for Fertility - have been shown to activate the relaxation response (Benson & Proctor, 2010) which calms the nervous system, decreasing metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing. Research on the MindBody Program for Fertility has shown a 52-55% increase in take-home baby rates for women trying to conceive naturally or undergoing IVF. Meditation also results in a clearer thinking process to improve attention and decision-making, which is necessary while you are on your fertility journey.
  • Can infertility lead to PTSD?
    It's completely natural to find the whole experience of your fertility journey highly distressing and there is a possibility it can lead to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr Alice Domar - creator of the MindBody Program for Fertility - has found that women experiencing fertility challenges can have levels of anxiety and depression equal to women facing a life-threatening illness, such as cancer! The good news is we have a strong focus on managing depression, anxiety, and stress levels when we work with you through the program. The stress of going through your infertility journey DOES NOT have to lead to PTSD. You can learn the skills to cope with this massive trauma of trying to conceive and come out ok at the end, whatever the end looks like.
  • Does infertility cause depression?
    Given that having a baby is the strongest instinct in the animal kingdom, wanting to have a baby is a very natural desire. Once that decision is made, each month is filled with a roller coaster of emotions ending in disappointment, concern, and sadness. The truth is depressive symptoms are incredibly common in women trying to conceive; these include tearfulness, sadness, not looking forward to things, not sleeping, fatigue, withdrawing from activities you enjoy and irritability. It is important to treat these symptoms as it is unpleasant to feel like this most or all the time. Plus, women who are experiencing depression tend to have lower success rates even with ARTs and tend to drop out of treatment, further limiting their chances of conceiving. The MindBody Program for Fertility combines cognitive behavioural therapy with meditation and mindfulness to address distorted thought patterns that keep you stuck in a depressive cycle. We also look at lifestyle behaviours which can greatly impact on depression.
  • What is mindfulness?
    The simple truth is mindfulness is important for all of us at all stages of life. Mindfulness is the key challenge to your busy 24/7 lifestyle. It is a way to pay attention to where you are, what you are doing and who you are with. It is a particular way of paying attention – we do this with openness, acceptance and without judgment. So, when you apply mindfulness to your life, you'll develop a greater understanding of yourself and others. When you feel more connected with a calmness to cope with the situation in front of you, you'll make better decisions and be better able to cope with unexpected and unpredictable events along your fertility journey.
  • Is mindulness different to meditation?
    Yes and no. Meditation is deciding to stop for a certain period of time and pay attention to an anchor, such as the breath, or sounds or touch. This is often called formal mindfulness. But, not all meditation is mindfulness meditation. In the MindBody Program for Fertility we also use guided imagery, relaxation, and mini meditations. Mindfulness is the more informal practice of focusing and paying attention, like when you're cooking, walking, talking, driving, doing anything in your daily life. Both mindfulness and meditation do need attention. Mindfulness invites you to bring an open mind and acceptance of what's happening in your life so that you can bring your best self to any situation - especially trying for that much longed for baby.
  • What if I'm too jittery to sit still to meditate?
    If you're asking yourself this question you are very much not alone! This is a very common question. Sitting still can often be very difficult when you first take up a mindfulness and meditation practice. It's called practice for a reason - because it's unrealistic to expect perfection. When you are stressed your body becomes agitated so sitting still is a challenge. That is why we'll start with short periods of sitting, accepting that you might feel restless and will need to persevere through that feeling. Remember you don’t need to avoid feeling restless by moving. You can teach your body to sit still bit by bit, and when you do, trust me it's a feeling you'll want to come back to again and again!
  • What if I have too much on my mind to meditate?
    This doesn’t surprise me and I've heard this one many, many times. Mine was too, and some days I notice just how busy it still can be. Noticing the busyness of your mind is part of the process. We are not trying to empty your mind – actually, we aren’t trying to achieve anything except noticing thoughts and bringing your attention back to the anchor such as the breath. When you notice your mind wandering - and it will because that is what minds do - when you notice, that is your mindful moment. Trust me, with training and practice your mind will focus more quickly and for longer periods of time and your mind wandering reduces. The best part is that there is a hangover effect where your mind also reduces mind wandering during your non-meditation times, which means you aren’t being swept away and overwhelmed with disappointing thoughts of the past or anxiously worried about the unknown future.
  • How can I find time to meditate when I'm so busy?
    Life is busy and getting busier. There's only 24 hours in the day and the to-do list stops for no-one. Trust me, I get it. Here's some tips. Firstly, it's important to recognise the busyness of your life. Take time to notice where your time is being chewed up with things that don't serve you or your wellbeing. During the program we'll work with you to help you carve out the time for your meditation practice so your life feels more supported rather than disrupted. This might mean you have to give up some time in front of the tv, getting up earlier or actually taking a break during the day to prioritise you and your wellbeing. I promise it'll be worth it though. We recommend starting with short practices so you can see the benefits. Once you see the benefits you'll find more time in your busy day to prioritse mindfulness and meditation, trust me.
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