IVF - In Vitro Fertilisation

The IVF process takes eggs and sperm and combines them in a lab.

We’re proud of our history as pioneers of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). We helped achieve Australia’s first IVF baby, the third in the world, in 1980. And the technology has evolved rapidly since then - meaning your chances of having a baby through IVF are better than ever! Take a look in any classroom today: chances are, at least one child was conceived via IVF.

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An introduction to IVF

Simply put, the IVF process takes eggs and sperm and combines them in a culture dish in a lab. If the natural process occurs and they fertilise, an embryo will form. We take the tiny embryo (0.2 mm) and insert it into the uterus. If it grows and develops, you’ll take your baby home nine months later.

So, how do we get there?

  • We stimulate your ovaries to help your body produce eggs it has created naturally. This involves a series of injections or medications. They’re easy to manage; our friendly nurses will walk you through the process and we have additional resources to guide you at home.
  • We remove those eggs in a simple day procedure called the egg collection or egg retrieval with our experienced Monash IVF Clinicians.
  • On that same day, your partner provides our laboratory with a sample of his sperm, or we prepare the donor sample in the laboratory. The laboratory will prepare the samples to collect the most viable sperm from the sample for combining with your eggs.
  • Our expert scientists combine and culture the eggs and sperm in our lab. Our goal is to create as many embryos as possible—the more embryos you have, the greater the chance of some being viable for use
  • If the eggs fertilise, they become embryos and we’ll grow them for five days to the blastocyst stage. At this point, you’ll come back in to have the embryo/s transferred into your uterus.
  • If you have additional embryos considered to be viable, we will freeze them for you to use in another cycle if needed.
  • You’ll have a two-week wait while we see if the embryo ‘takes’. It’s best to keep busy during this time if you can. Our counsellors are here for you if you need to talk.
  • At this time we will get you to do a blood test to see if you’re pregnant.

Please remember, our approachable team are here for you throughout your treatment. They make sure you understand each step of the process, and that you have the information and support you need.

Did you know the eggs we stimulate with medication during IVF treatment would have grown or died during your natural cycle that month? The stimulation mimics your body’s natural processes. It’s completely safe - it doesn’t affect future egg supply or lead to premature menopause.

Will I need IVF?

That depends. Your fertility specialist will get to know your medical history and individual circumstances.

Some common reasons why they may recommend IVF include if you have:

Our approachable team are here for you throughout your treatment. They make sure you understand each step of the process, and that you have the information and support you need.

Click here to discover more about the IVF process.

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The IVF process

Day 1 of your period

The first official day of your IVF treatment cycle is Day 1 of your period. Everyone’s body is different - your fertility nurse will help you understand how to identify Day 1.

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The IVF process

Stimulating your ovaries

We stimulate your ovaries to help your body produce eggs it has created naturally. This might involve a series of injections or medications. They’re easy to manage; our friendly nurses will walk you through the process.

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The IVF process

Egg retrieval

The egg retrieval is a simple hospital day procedure where your fertility specialist collects the eggs from your ovaries. An anaesthetist will give you a general anaesthetic so that you’re asleep for the procedure, which takes about 20-30 minutes.

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The IVF process

The sperm

On that same day, your partner provides us with a sample of his sperm, or we prepare the donor sample in the lab.

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The IVF process

Fertilisation

Our expert scientists mix the eggs and sperm in the lab to see if they fertilise. Our goal is to create as many embryos as possible. The more embryos you have, the greater the chance of some being robust enough to result in a successful pregnancy.

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The IVF process

Embryo development

We’re aiming to grow each embryo to the blastocyst stage - an embryo of roughly 100 cells by day five or six.

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The IVF process

Embryo transfer

If your embryo/s reach the blastocyst stage, you’ll come back in to have the embryo transferred into your uterus.

The embryo transfer itself is a simple five-minute procedure - similar to a pap smear.

We freeze any extra little embryos. These can be used for another cycle.

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The IVF process

The pregnancy blood test

You’ll have a two-week wait while we see if the embryo ‘takes’. At the end of this time, we do a blood test to see if you’re pregnant.

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The IVF process

Monash IVF tip:

Please remember, it can take more than one cycle to get that positive pregnancy result. It’s no one’s fault. Try to stay positive - it really helps. And if you need someone to talk to, our experienced counsellors are here for you. Reach out if you need some extra support.

Want to know more about IVF?

Our expert fertility nurses can walk you through the process in more detail, and answer any questions you may have.

Book a free nurse chat

Common questions

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Start your fertility journey

Wherever you are on your journey, one of our supportive nurses can help you understand your options and take the next step. These conversations are free and informative.

Book a nurse chat Book an appointment