Monash IVF Research and Education Foundation


The early work of our pioneers that resulted in the World’s First IVF Pregnancy in 1973 has been an ongoing driver for our commitment to continued scientific and clinical innovation. As testament to this commitment stands our long history of investing in clinical research and evidenced-based care.


Below are some examples of the exceptional and leading research completed by the MREF which highlights the importance that Monash IVF places on research and the ability of effectively and efficiently translating research into treatments that can benefit our patients.


Our research projects are divided into the following categories:


Proteomic Analysis of Receptive Endometrium: Identification of Discriminative Markers

Implantation can only occur during a four day period during the mid-secretory phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle because of hormonally-induced changes in the lining of the womb (endometrium) during this window. These changes are not fully understood but we do know that they are altered in some infertile women. Furthermore, the drugs given to

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Risk of Placenta Previa in Art Births Linked to Endometrial Thickness in Singleton Births

Placenta praevia (PP), a term used to describe abnormally low placentation, is associated with maternal and fetal complications. Known risk factors for include maternal age, multiple pregnancy, multiparity, smoking and drug use, and termination of pregnancy. A less well-recognised risk factor is ART however, the underlying pathophysiology remains unclear. Varying theories have been developed ranging

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Is Fresh Best?

Freezing of all viable embryos during an IVF cycle, rather than transferring a fresh embryo, is being adopted in the clinic for multiple reasons, including to reduce the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and to improve birth outcomes for both mother and baby. However, there is concern pregnancy outcomes may be compromised utilising this

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Incidence and Zygosity of Twin Births Following Transfers Using a Single Fresh or Frozen Embryo

Transferring a single blastocyst has been shown to significantly reduce multiple pregnancy rates and to increase the likelihood of delivering at term a single healthy baby. There is an acceptance that the incidence of monozygotic twin births is higher in the ART population compared with naturally conceived births. However, there are conflicting reports regarding treatment

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Decisions About Confirmatory Prenatal Testing Following Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is the process of genetically screening an embryo for either the correct chromosome complement or a specific inherited disorder to selectively transfer the genetically desired embryos to establish a healthy pregnancy. All couples who have PGD at Monash IVF are recommended to have prenatal diagnosis in a pregnancy following PGD. Testing

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Oocyte Vitrification: Ivf and Pregnancy Outcomes at Monash Ivf

The initial success rates for oocyte cryopreservation were low due to the fragility of oocytes and their vulnerability to cellular disruption, but new freezing methods have lead to better outcomes. Vitrification protocols use fast cooling rates combined with a higher concentration of cryoprotectant substances to prevent the formation of ice crystals within the oocytes. Ideally,

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Utilisation of Art in Single Women and Lesbian Couples Since the 2010 Change in Victorian Legislation

Enactment of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act (Vic) 2008 in January 2010 allowed single persons and same sex couples in Victoria to access reproductive treatments. The utilisation and acceptance of ART by single women and lesbian couples is increasing and in this context, it is important to identify the impact on ART resources. The objective

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A Multi-clinic Prospective Study of Participants Engaging in a Victorian Altruistic Surrogacy Program

The implementation of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) Act (2008) has resulted in significant changes to practices within ART clinics. One of these is the introduction of a legal framework for surrogacy arrangements. Recent research has focused on the experiences, characteristics and motivations of surrogates; parent-child relationships and disclosure to surrogate offspring; and changes in

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The Proliferative Phase Underpins Endometrial Receptivity Failure in Female Infertility

The endometrium is the lining of the uterus, into which an embryo implants to establish pregnancy. The human endometrium is uniquely renewed each month during a menstrual cycle, which comprises three main phases, beginning with the shedding of the functional layer of the endometrium and its re-epithelialisation (the menstrual phase), followed by the regrowth and

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Effect of Corifollitropin-alpha on Viable Pregnancy Rate in Poor Ovarian Responders Undergoing Ivf Treatment

There is Level 1a evidence that corifollitropin-alpha (Elonva), a sustained-release gonadotropin, is a safe and equally effective alternative treatment to daily FSH injections in good prognosis patients. However, two pilot studies with Elonva in poor responders have shown no clinical benefit. In this observational study we investigated the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of corifollitropin-alpha in the

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Can You Ever Collect Too Many Oocytes?

The number of eggs retrieved following ovarian stimulation is often used as a surrogate outcome for clinical success. There have been several previous studies suggesting that beyond a certain number of oocytes collected the pregnancy rate in stimulated cycles with fresh embryo transfer starts to decline. This retrospective study investigated the association between the number

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Are Antagonist Protocols Less Optimal for Use in Satellite Ivf Clinics?

Predictability of the egg pick up (EPU) date is of great importance for patients attending satellite clinics. Predictable EPU day allows patients and clinicians to coordinate IVF treatment cycles through the satellite clinics while minimising the time and financial burden of travelling into metropolitan cities for ongoing treatment. This was a retrospective cohort analysis of

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Ivf Success Rate over the Last Decade

Over the past decade, there has been a movement towards single embryo transfers (sET) to reduce the risk of multiple births and its associated complications. Some patients mistakenly believe that the chance of pregnancy is reduced with sETs, despite reports showing that replacing an elective single embryo increases the chance of a healthy term live

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Development of a Diagnostic Test to Explore Chlamydia Trachomatis Tubal Factor Infertility in Women

Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterium that is spread by sexual contact and it is often asymptomactic. Once it is diagnosed the infection can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, in some women the infection will result in serious damage to the upper reproductive tract. The damaged fallopian tubes are routinely diagnosed by invasive medical procedures.

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Defining the Impact of Different Assisted Reproduction Technology (art) Protocols on the Placental Epigenome

Despite the successful application of ART over the past three decades, some studies have suggested an association with an increased risk of rare imprinting disorder. The effect of ART on the placental epigenome has been the topic of lively debate in recent years, with evidence that ART may be associated with altered epigenetic status in

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Human Growth Hormone in Management of Poor Responders (the Light Study)

The ability of oocytes to form structurally normal embryos that are able to implant has been related to the concentration of hormones in ovarian follicular fluid. Growth hormone (GH) levels in blood have shown the most consistent relationship with parameters of embryo quality, with higher concentrations associated with rapid cleavage, better cleaving embryo morphology and

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Barusiban Subcutaneously for Reducing Implantation Failure Due to Uterine Contractions (the Basic Trial)

During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the muscular tissue in her womb contracts with different frequency. Contractions may also be induced when the fertilised egg(s) is transferred to the womb in women undergoing infertility treatment. Excessive contractions at the time of transferring the fertilised egg(s) have been associated with a reduced chance of pregnancy. It is

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Health Implications for Young Adults Conceived Following Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Many common adult non-communicable diseases (NCD), particularly cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory conditions, have their origins in early life, possibly before birth. The risk trajectories track through childhood until clinical disease manifests in adulthood. Conception by assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has been suggested as adding to the risk profile for a range of adult onset NCD,

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Developing a Non-invasive Screening Tool for Aneuploidy

Human oocytes display a high degree of aneuploidy and the rate of aneuploidy increases with age. Increasingly, women of advanced age are seeking IVF. However, their likelihood of success is low due to the low number of euploid oocytes available. Coupled with this are sperm meiotic errors and embryo mitotic errors resulting in an even

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Human Trophectoderm-endometrial Interactions: Validating Targets to Facilitate Implantation During Ivf

During embryo implantation blastocysts appose and firmly adhere to a receptive endometrium initiating implantation: adhesion leads to implantation failure/infertility. Whilst IVF is an important intervention for infertility, implantation failure is still a critical limiting factor for IVF success: alarmingly ~ 70% of IVF embryos fail to implant. There is very little known of human blastocyst-endometrial

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Endometrial Receptivity: Validating Potential Biomarkers in the Uterine Fluid and Investigating Fundamental Biology on the Uterine Surface

Embryo culture/selection/transfer techniques have advanced greatly, yet implantation failure still poses a crucial limiting factor. It is believed that the hurdle may lay in the “soil for the seeds”, the endometrium. Currently no biochemical tests are available for endometrial receptivity, and in ART cycles embryos are transferred without knowing the status of the endometrium. Development

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Diagnostics for Endometrial Receptivity: Harnessing a Promising Biomarker and Exploiting a Non-invasive Method of Sampling

IVF has evolved into a suite of mainstream medical interventions to overcome infertility, yet implantation failure poses a critical limiting factor even when the embryos are carefully selected. This is of particular concern given that the use of IVF is increasing every year as women choose to have children at a later age. Implantation requires

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Combined Adjuvant Therapy in Ivf-icsi

Over the past two decades, IVF has seen significant improvements, leading to much improved outcomes for many infertile couples. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of couples still experience the distress of repeated failure to conceive. A history of repeated IVF failure presents a formidable challenge to the fertility specialist offering clinical guidance. By the time patients

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Melatonin and Infertility: Can We Improve Outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology – a Randomised Placebo Controlled Trial

During ART, eggs and embryos may interact negatively with oxygen molecules in a process called ‘oxidative stress’. In recent years, interest has gathered regarding the role of oxidative stress on the quality of stored eggs and embryos, potentially reducing success rates and live birth rates following ART. It is proposed that melatonin, a potent antioxidant,

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