Northern Region Fertility Service (NRFS)
The COVID-19 response period has meant many changes across health services and general life in New Zealand.
Fertility treatments are now able to resume safely and services provided by Northern Region Fertility Service have re-started.
All Northern Region Fertility Service clinics have implemented strong safety protocols and continue to work together to ensure consistency and safe practice. Adjustments have had to be made to ensure that clinics and treatments are safe for patients and staff.
These include such measure as:
- Continuing to provide consultations virtually (phone or video) as much as possible
- Screening of patients by asking health questions prior to patients entering the clinic premises
- Reducing the number of face to face contacts to a minimum, including for laboratory visits and scans
- Reducing the number of people entering the clinic (including partners or support people)
- Spreading out individual patient visits to reduce crossover of patients. (This may mean that your appointment is at an unusual time as the clinic hours may be extended to accommodate this).
- Additional hygiene measures in relation to cleaning and sanitising
- Staff use of protective personal equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and gowns in accordance with agreed clinical protocols.
As COVID-19 is a new illness, it is not known what impacts this infection may have on unborn children. The following advice has been prepared for patients undergoing fertility treatment to consider and includes links to clinical advice that is updated as the understanding of this disease develops. Please see the patient information in the link or in the downloads section below.
Many fertility procedures were ‘paused’ during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period. We understand this is very distressing and stressful for the people and families involved. Clinics are working to re-book people who were impacted by the closure and work through the 'catch up' phase to minimise any negative impacts.
For those for whom the delay caused by COVID-19 will impact their eligibility criteria related to age, a grace period will be extended to accommodate the COVID-19 delay. This is intended to prevent any person’s eligibility from being adversely affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.
Your fertility clinic will be in touch to confirm the next steps for your treatment.
The provision of NRFS services will continue to be reviewed as we know more about the COVID-19 Alert Levels going forward.
Take care and stay safe.
The Northern Region Fertility Service (NRFS) provides coordination of referrals for publicly funded fertility services for the Northern region (Auckland, Waitematā, Counties Manukau and Northland region).
The NRFS has a Northern Regional Fertility Services Advisory Group; the purpose of this group is to:
- monitor, review and oversee regional fertility services
- provide a forum for addressing questions and issues related to the regional provision of fertility services
- ensure there is a coordinated approach to public fertility services
- review and monitor referral pathways
- review, improve and monitor consumer feedback.
In the Northern Region there are three providers of publicly funded fertility services. They are:
The three fertility clinics provide a range of specialist Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) assessment and treatment services. People may need this service if they are:
- experiencing infertility
- experiencing familial genetic disorders
- experiencing biological infertility
- requiring fertility preservation for patients whose fertility may be permanently impaired by treatment, such as cancer treatment
- requiring advice and information on services and best practice guidelines on fertility issues.
Social work and counselling should be available to all patients to address the social and psychological effects of undergoing infertility treatment, fertility preservation, as well as other options such as adoption or living without children.
The needs of Māori people or those of other cultures may include involvement of whānau in counselling sessions.
There are a range of investigations and treatments that may be offered to you depending on the clinical reasons for the infertility. Ensure these are fully discussed with you and your whanau as appropriate. Informed consent is important before any treatment is commenced.
The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) website from the United Kingdom provides valuable information for patients considering fertility treatment.
Public Referrals - please see your GP if you have concerns regarding fertility issues.
If your GP confirms a referral to fertility services is required a referral will be sent to NRFS, eligibility for a publicly funded specialist appointment will be checked and from there you will be allocated to one of three providers in the Auckland region. The clinic will make contact with you to organise your first appointment. This appointment is called a First Specialist Appointment (FSA). The purpose of the FSA is to:
- Complete an initial assessment by a specialist fertility clinician
- Confirm that you meet the service’s access criteria and are suitable for treatment - if you do not meet the criteria for further treatment you will be referred back to your GP with an explanation of the reason(s).
- Discuss potential treatment options and management plans. This discussion will include expectations, possible risks, after care arrangements, expected waiting time to receive treatment. Essential information should be supplied in writing.
Please note that eligibility for an FSA does not mean eligibility for fertility treatment. At the FSA patients will be assessed for their eligibility for treatment using a CPAC scoring system. For more details please visit National Women's website. Once this CPAC scoring is completed you will then be informed of your eligibility for treatment.
Eligibility criteria for publicly funded referrals to NRFS for a first specialist appointment (FSA) for biological infertility:
- Woman <40 years at time of referral
- New Zealand resident(s) or work permit for at least two years (this applies to both couples, not just the woman). Proof of residency/citizenship/work visa must be provided before eligibility for treatment can be confirmed
- One year of infertility or known severe cause.
The referral requires information on both the patient requiring review and their partner.
If the couple have 2 or more children they are not eligible for publicly funded fertility treatment.
Women with a BMI >32 and / or smoke may be eligible for an FSA but they will not be eligible for publicly funded treatment.
The following tests should be completed but do not need to be attached to the referral:
- Semen analysis
- Current smear
- HIV, Hep B, Hep C (male and female)
- FSH and estradiol level Day 2-4 of cycle (within 6 months)
- Progesterone level 6-8 days before menses.
Public referrals should be sent to:
Northern Regional Fertility Service
Fax: (09) 486 2710
37 Taharoto Road, Private Bag 93 503, Takapuna, Auckland 0622.
Any woman who is or is not eligible for a public referral or public treatment can approach any of the providers for a private consultation and/or treatment.
Conditions / Procedures / Treatments
No co-payment will be sought from patients for any fertility treatment if they are eligible for publicly funded treatment, this includes supplies and equipment but there may be prescription charges.
Charges for transfer of embryos from clinics outside the region may apply.
See download "Detail on Eligibility for Publicly Funded Fertility Services" for further detail related to PGD and fertility preservation.
Detail on Eligibility for Publicly Funded Fertility Services
(PDF, 628.3 KB)
Northern Region Fertility Service detailed guidance on eligibility for Publicly Funded Fertility Services
- Information for People Requesting an Egg or Sperm Donor (PDF, 531.5 KB)
COVID-19 Patient information NRFS
(PDF, 246.3 KB)
Information for patients on COVID-19 from Northern Region Fertility Service
(09) 486 8920 ext 43848
(09) 486 2710
Referrals will not be picked up on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Referrals sent on these days will be actioned on Mondays.
Northern Region Fertility Service
37 Taharoto Road
Private Bag 93503
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This page was last updated at 11:06AM on July 20, 2020. This information is reviewed and edited by Northern Region Fertility Service (NRFS).