IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment

IVF treatment

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to treat infertility that has failed to respond to other medical or surgical interventions. IVF has been around for 40 years and is now commonly used all over the world to help bring healthy babies into the world. Since the birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, in 1978, more than 5 million bundles of joy have been welcomed into the world as a result of the assisted reproductive procedure.


What is IVF?

IVF literally means “fertilisation in glass”. The process involves fertilising the egg with the sperm in an incubator outside the body, then transferring the best embryo back into the woman’s uterus in the hope of achieving a pregnancy.


IVF – step-by-step guide

Please click on the image below to view in full and download our infographic.

IVF infographic City Fertility


IVF: what is involved?

Here is a quick overview of the stages involved in the IVF process:

  • Pre-treatment tests and preparation
  • IVF treatment information and discussion
  • Preparation of ovaries and uterus by intranasal spray (in some instances)
  • Follicle growth treatment (stimulation by injection)
  • Ovulation timing (based on blood tests and ultrasound scans)
  • Egg collection
  • Insemination of eggs with sperm
  • Assessment of fertilisation
  • Culturing of the embryos for two to five days
  • Embryo transfer to the uterus
  • Pregnancy test (blood test)
  • Ultrasound if pregnant
  • Referral to your chosen antenatal care provider

Treatment procedure

We have broken up the IVF cycle into simple steps to help you understand the process more thoroughly.


What are the potential risks associated with IVF?

Potential risks and side effects associated with IVF procedures include:

  • An exaggeration of usual menstrual cycle symptoms (e.g. bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings) because the ovaries have been stimulated to produce more than one follicle.
  • In about 1% of cases, Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) develops. The ovaries become extremely enlarged and extra fluid accumulates in the abdomen. This complication requires rest, close monitoring, intravenous fluids or even drainage of the abdominal fluid. In rare cases, if we feel you are at a high risk for developing OHSS, the embryos may be frozen rather than replaced.
  • If more than one embryo is transferred into the uterus, a multiple pregnancy may occur. Multiple pregnancies carry a higher risk of preterm delivery and other associated problems. Twins can occur in 10-20% of cases. Identical twinning is a potential outcome too so we suggest a careful discussion with your partner and your clinician if you plan to transfer more than one embryo.
  • Fertility drugs have not been proven to increase the risk of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer. However, women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Past or future use of the birth control pill will lower your risk of ovarian cancer. A yearly physical exam is important for the prevention and early detection of all diseases.

Cost of IVF treatment

We understand that every fertility journey is different, this is reflected in our fee schedule which is structured around your individual needs. This means costs can vary according to the different levels of treatment required.

The exact structure of these costs can be discussed with you once a treatment plan has been established by your specialist. In the meantime, you can visit our cost section for detailed information about our fees and Medicare rebates.


Whether you are just beginning to research fertility treatments or are about to start IVF, we are here to help you understand the process and hopefully answer any questions you may have along the way. Our goal is to help people solve the challenges they may face on their fertility journey so they can experience the joys of having a baby.

For more information about IVF, please read our facts sheet: In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).




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