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Have a question? Interested in finding more information about a certain topic? We’ve got you covered.

Appointment FAQ

No, at Heartland Fertility, no physician referral is required to book an appointment. Click here to request an appointment today,

Generally no, the initial assessment for infertility is covered by your provincial health plan. If you are a resident outside of the country, a consultation fee will be charged.

Yes. Heartland Fertility is a place where human rights are respected and where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer people, along with their friends, families and allies are welcomed and supported. Family is not defined by the gender, race or sexual orientation of the parents.

At Heartland Fertility, we recommend treatment commence before age 44 for IVF and prior to age 48 for Oocyte donation.

No. If you are a female under the age of 35 who has been trying to get pregnant for at least 12 months, then you may want to consider consulting a fertility specialist. The sooner your issue is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of conceiving.

Our goal is to book your appointment as soon as possible, once your referral has been received. Availability for your appointment depends on many factors, such as the time of year, whether you want to see a specific physician or first available specialist, and if you have up to date lab results from your referring doctor.

We recommend speaking to your family physician about obtaining the recommended tests, as outlined on our website referral forms. Bringing these test results to your first consultation can be very beneficial if they have been done in the last 3 months.

Yes. We welcome out-of-province patients who can seek care through their provincial health plans. We are able to treat out-of-country residents for IVF only.

We understand that unforeseen events can occur and the Heartland team will do their best to accommodate your changes in schedule throughout your journey. To provide you with the most efficiency in the event that a rescheduling is needed, we ask that you please give our office a 48-hour notice. If you unfortunately miss an appointment without contacting our office prior, this will be considered a missed appointment and a fee based on the type of appointment will be charged to you for a missed appointment.

In order to provide the best care for all our patients, we ask that you be mindful of your scheduled appointments. If you accumulate a total of three (3) missed appointments, you may not be rescheduled for future appointments and may be asked to leave the practice.

Yes. Please keep in mind each physician has different practice styles, patient profiles and patient loads. Each physician’s waiting time varies due to these reasons.

Changing physicians within the practice isn’t encouraged, but will be considered and facilitated whenever and wherever possible for appointments. The treatments, however, are shared between the physicians, so you may see any one of the doctors in the clinic, during a treatment cycle, based on their call rotation. Due to each physician’s practice, changing your primary Heartland physician could affect your waiting time.

Your experience at Heartland Fertility is important to us. Should you have any concerns, recommendations or suggestions to improve overall patient experience, please submit them to us in writing and we'll address them as soon as possible.

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Once you have been seen at Heartland Fertility, your referring physician may have requested tests that require time to be submitted and reviewed. Once this occurs, a letter from our office will be sent to your referring physician’s office, outlining your treatment plan. Your referring physician should receive a follow-up letter within 1 month of you being seen at the clinic. If this has not occurred, please contact our office.

Surgical Gynecology FAQ

Your physician and doctor’s assistant will provide all the necessary information at your pre-operative assessment.

Guidelines prior to surgery depend on each patient’s situation. The pre-anaesthesia clinic nurse at the hospital your surgery is booked at will review your medications and advise you on which can be taken prior to your surgery. Please come prepared to the pre-anaesthesia clinic with a complete list of all your current medications and questions.

It depends on the procedure and variable recovery rates.

Here are some general guidelines when you can return to work:

  • Diagnostic laparoscopy/hysteroscopy: 1 week

  • Operative laparoscopy/hysteroscopy: 1-2 weeks

  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy/myomectomy: 2-4 weeks

  • Traditional abdominal surgery: 6-8 weeks

On average, you can travel within 1-2 weeks.

It depends on the type of surgery, but generally you can drive within 1-4 weeks.

Each procedure will vary. Minor surgical procedures are usually 1-2 weeks, major surgeries between 4-6 weeks. Consult your surgeon for their recommendations.

Each procedure and individual varies; however, a general guideline is within 2 weeks for minor surgery and 4 – 6 weeks following major surgery. Consult with your physician prior to beginning strenuous activities.

Following a surgical procedure you can shower within 48 hours and bathe after 7 days.

If there is no outward sign of infection at your incision sites, then the average time is 2-3 weeks.

Surface bandages can be removed, under clean conditions, within 48-72 hours. Steri-strips can be removed within 7-10 days. If rash or blistering occurs, you may be allergic to the adhesive. Notify your physician as they may have to be removed sooner.

Stitches/stables come out usually within 7-10 days.

You normally would start Lupron within 1 week following surgery.

Female Health FAQ

Cycle day 1 is the first day of your menstrual flow, not necessarily the heaviest flow. Spotting doesn’t count. Click here to learn more about the monthly ovulation cycle.

The target group recommended for vaccination are girls and boys between the ages of 12 – 26 years. In Manitoba, Gardasil is paid for by the provincial government for girls and boys aged 12 (grade 6 or 7). Contact your family physician, pediatrician or gynecologist to arrange for vaccination. Three vaccines are required within a 6-month timeframe.

It is recommended that routine pap screening should occur every 3 years above 18 years of age, or sooner if sexually active.

In Manitoba, regular screening is offered, beginning at 50 years of age. If you have a family history of breast cancer, a mammogram may be done earlier. Everyone should perform regular self breast exams and report any changes to their physician.

Fertility Facts FAQ

With a regular menstrual cycle, you are most fertile between cycle days 10 – 20.

Females are most fertile when they are in their late teens and early 20’s.

Infertility is the inability to conceive after 6-12 months of trying, if you have regular menstrual periods and are under 35 years of age. If you are 35 or older, have been trying to conceive for 3 – 6 months unsuccessfully, you should request a referral to an infertility specialist for further investigations.

  • Male factor infertility

  • Ovulation disorders

  • Tubal factor

  • Endometriosis

  • Uterine factor

  • Age

  • Unexplained infertility

Visit our When To Seek Help section for more information.

Folic acid should be taken when attempting pregnancy, in either a regular multiple vitamin or as a supplement by itself at a minimum dose of 0.4mg – 1.0mg daily.

Fertility Treatments FAQ

Heartland Fertility will continue to provide you with the utmost care and will transition you to another clinic physician.

The average time is less than 4 months, once confirmation or a diagnosis of infertility has been made. This time frame may vary slightly due to patient volumes and scheduled lab closures for quality assurance.

Some extended health plans do cover fertility medications. Check with your insurance companies about the DIN (drug identification number).

It is strongly recommended that both partners quit smoking as smoking is known to affect both sperm and egg quality and therefore ability to fertilize. It is also recommended that you maintain a healthy weight and body mass index. Reducing stress will improve your sense of well being and help you to cope with your difficulties in conceiving. Avoid excess caffeine or other stimulants, and abstain from alcohol consumption and recreational drug use.

There are no studies to assess how herbal supplements may influence outcomes of infertility treatments; therefore it is recommended you stop all herbal supplements. Vitamins are OK to take. Persons attempting pregnancy should take a folic acid supplement.

Regular, moderate exercise is beneficial to your overall health and to reduce stress. Strenuous physical activity, especially any new activity is not advised during treatment.

If you are having a test where pregnancy could be negatively affected, such as an HSG, your physician may recommend not having sex or using condoms to prevent pregnancy if you do. During IVF treatment, once stimulation injections start, you may find intercourse uncomfortable as their ovaries can get quite enlarged. If you are pregnant, it is OK to resume sex unless you have any cramping or spotting. Often times, patients feel more comfortable with resuming sex after they have had their first early obstetrical ultrasound, around 6 – 8 weeks gestation.

There are no significant differences in miscarriage rates between pregnancy achieved through IVF and conceiving naturally. The risk of miscarriage increases significantly with advancing maternal age, whether conceived naturally or through IVF.

As the ovaries are stimulated, they become enlarged and there may be some pelvic and abdominal bloating. Some women also experience minor mood changes, headaches or nausea, although these are uncommon.

If your cycle is unsuccessful a return appointment with your primary care physician will be arranged through the nurses to review your cycle, make any changes and discuss other options.

Yes, but with the development of new embryo freezing techniques (Vitrification) pregnancy rates following frozen embryo transfer are becoming almost equal to that of a fresh embryo transfer.

As long as they are maintained in liquid nitrogen they can be frozen indefinitely.

After your embryo transfer you will be able to void, empty your bladder and leave the clinic within a few minutes. In the first 24 hours you should rest and limit strenuous activity, but do not require strict bed rest. Implantation of the embryo occurs within the first 3 – 4 days after transfer. Maintaining light activities, for the first week, is recommended.

Multiple pregnancies occur in about 20% of IVF cycles. In females under 37 years of age only 1 embryo is recommended for transfer, for those who are older, up to 3 embryos could be transferred. These guidelines limit the risk of high order multiple pregnancy.

Occasionally cramping can be felt during this procedure, but generally it is not painful.

Yes. The donor sperm has to meet rigorous screening criteria as set forth by Health Canada.

Yes. There is evidence that it does no harm during treatment cycles, however, there is no evidence that it increases pregnancy rates in IVF treatment either.

It is not recommended as it is best to be able to visualize and assess any amount of bleeding. Not using tampons or menstrual cups also decreases the risk of infection.

Yes, it is quite common, however you need to stay on your birth control pill as it is important in preparing your ovaries for your treatment cycle.

It is recommended that caffeine intake be decreased during treatments. Decaffeinated herbal teas are fine.

Aside from the day of egg retrieval, it is safe to continue working. Once on stimulation medications avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. If complications arise, your Heartland team may advise you to take a medical leave from work.

Please be available to the clinic for about 3 weeks. During this time you will need to be seen for a screening ultrasound and blood work at the beginning of your cycle to determine if things are suitable to proceed. These are done during early morning appointments, between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Repeat ultrasounds and blood tests will occur after one week of medication stimulation and then every 48 hours thereafter until egg retrieval date is confirmed and embryo transfer is arranged.

The flu shot is safe and encouraged. Immunizations for rubella and varicella require a 4-6 week wait before proceeding with attempting pregnancy.

Heartland Fertility follows the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (SOGC)'s statement on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended during pregnancy in any trimester

  • All available COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada can be used during pregnancy, but the SOGC recommends following provincial and territorial guidelines on the type of vaccine to prioritize for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals.

Read the SOGC’s full statement here

It is not recommended to increase your core body temperature for prolonged periods of time for females or males when attempting pregnancy.

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