We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Talar Badelian about her role as Fertility Advisor for Genea. The clinic has been leading the way in fertility advances for more than 31 years. We chatted with Talar about what she loves about her work. With a background as an IVF scientist in Andrology, she brings a unique perspective for couples experiencing infertility.
One of the biggest hurdles for men and women struggling to conceive is taking the leap to get assistance. When you call Genea’s Fertility Advisor line, you’ll speak to Talar, whose job it is to help couples understand their options when it comes to what steps to take next.
Infertility can be one of the toughest challenges couples can face, but Talar says the best part of her job is connecting with people and helping them achieve their desire to start or grow their family.
“It’s my job to answer the initial questions that men and women may have about their fertility treatment options,” says Talar. “So I talk to individuals about the Genea difference, and what we offer in an environment that can sometimes be quite difficult to navigate. Day-to-day, I’m talking about our leading science and our quality care. I help people with their fertility questions and educate them on the possible next steps to take in their journey.”
“It’s the conversations and building rapport that I love. That and allowing people to talk to me about their journey, and helping them find a solution. It’s definitely the best part of my job.”
What are some of those first steps couples can take if they’re not falling pregnant naturally?
You could start with an assessment with Genea’s Fertility GP, which may result in blood tests, ultrasounds for the female, semen analysis for the male, just to uncover reasons why there may be issues trying to conceive. Depending on the results and medical assessment by the doctor, they may put forward suggestions such as lifestyle changes or ovulation tracking, which might help couples conceive naturally. Of course, some patients do require assisted conception and if that’s the case a referral will be provided to a Fertility Specialist. The age of the woman can also play a part in the decision to refer as fertility isn’t finite and timing can mean everything when it comes to achieving a healthy pregnancy.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions around fertility?
Infertility is quite common. I think that’s a misconception itself. Believe it or not, one in six couples will face some sort of fertility issue.
Another misconception is that it’s always a female issue. This is far from the truth and people are often shocked to hear that around 40% of the time, it will actually be the male contributing to a lack of achieving a pregnancy.
Probably the other misconception that I think delays people seeking help sooner is the fact that meeting with a Fertility Specialist will be a fast-track to IVF. This isn’t the case, in fact at Genea, only 50% of people who come to us require IVF. There are many other options that may be more suitable, including ways that encourage natural conception, so it’s important to make sure you doctor is doing thorough investigations and prescribing the right treatment plan for you.
Did you always want to become a scientist?
Growing up, I was always fascinated by science and music. I remember learning about the solar system and thinking it was the coolest thing ever, and wondering why we weren’t all talking about the planets all the time. So I was really intrigued by it. I loved learning about science. And I always knew I wanted to do something in that space. I wasn’t sure for a very long time what that was. It ranged from wanting to go into astrophysics to biophysics to medical science, and I eventually landed in medical science because, in addition to the scientific, I also love the clinical aspect of being in healthcare. So I guess that’s why I went down that path. My parents are also both musicians, and so I caught the love of music early on and today it plays a huge part in my life when I’m not at Genea – I still perform regularly and write music when I can.
I wanted to be a scientist in the IVF industry because I found that field to be really exciting and at the forefront of medical advances. And so I sought out Genea for that reason, they were and still are at the cutting edge. I looked into the different companies who were doing IVF, and I really loved what Genea stood for, their history, and their scientific advances. After six years at Genea, I still love that about my job.
What is the hardest part of your job?
It’s listening to people’s heartbreak if they haven’t had successful pregnancies. I always say that, ‘every person’s story, truly is their own’. It’s their own personal struggle, or it’s their own personal triumph. And every single experience is individual, so I take that approach when I’m listening to our enquiries, and try to do the absolute best by them.
Do you have any success stories or particular moments that stand out for you?
Luckily at Genea, that’s the regular occurrence. We have beautiful success stories all the time, and they’re lovely. From my perspective; it’s quite early on in a patient’s journey. And so it’s lovely to receive an email back, or a phone call just to say, “Thank you, this was the most helpful conversation I’ve had. I know what to do next, I feel like I’ve got a little bit of that control back, and I know what step to take,” The reality is everyone at Genea has a sense of purpose because we’re all playing a part in helping more dreams come true for parents.
I actually joined Genea as an Andrology Scientist before moving into the role of Fertility Advisor. During this time I had an abstract published and shared at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Fertility Society of Australia in Auckland in 2012. This was something I had always hoped to achieve and so it was definitely a career highlight!
Who is the woman who’s played the most important role in your life to date? Why?
This is going to be such a clichéd answer, but I would have to say, my mother. My mum, I guess like any good mum, balanced her career, her family, and her passions. She’s a talented singer, and she always had a really strong sense of self. She showcased exactly how it could all be done. So she’s most definitely played the most important role as a woman in my life. And in recent years, I’ve become a mother myself, and that’s also led to a whole new level of appreciation, naturally.
What do you do in your downtime?
When I’m not at Genea, I run my own business, Ruby Keys, which is a wedding and corporate band – I’m the singer. What time I have left, I spend with my son and my husband. One day I will find some time in the calendar for an actual holiday!
Genea is Australia’s premier provider for fertility, IVF and other assisted conception treatments. Genea have been leading the way in fertility advances for more than 31 years. To book to see a Genea Fertility Advisor or to learn more about Genea, head to www.genea.com.au