Fertility Treatments

Thinking about IVF? Here are some more things to think about.

IVF – what is it?

In Vitro Fertilisation or “IVF” is the process involving the fertilisation of an embryo outside the womb, which is then transferred to the uterus. This process is generally used for women who are unable to conceive naturally.

You must be over 18 years of age and qualify for treatment under the guidelines set by the fertility clinic of your choice to receive IVF treatment. Some states have regulations regarding whether you can access IVF depending whether you are married, single or in a de facto relationship (including same sex relationships).

The chance for successful conception decreases with age and some clinics have age limits beyond which they may decline to treat you.

Sperm and egg donors

An embryo can be created using your own eggs and partner’s sperm, donor sperm or also using donor eggs and donor sperm.

If you donate your egg to someone else and you are not the intended parent, then you will not be recognised as a parent of the child by law.

If you are using a sperm donor they are not considered a parent of the child unless they are an intended parent.

Can I use a sperm or egg donor that I know?

You can, they will need to go through a counselling process and testing. They will also have to sign consent forms to donate and if they have a partner they may also need to sign consent forms.

You should carefully consider whether you use a known donor or an unknown donor as there can be issues that arise from either option. With an unknown donor your child may want to know who their biological parent is and they will have the right to that information when they turn 18.

If you use a known donor you need to be certain that person will not blur the line between donor and parent. You can do agreements however the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court would ultimately decide parenting roles if the relationship between the parties breaks down.

Cost of IVF

Some treatments may be claimable through Medicare or using private health insurance however there will be out of pocket expenses. The process can be very expensive particularly if you are unsuccessful in conceiving initially. You should discuss costs with the clinic prior to enable you to budget accordingly.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

You can find out more information about IVF and fertility through links on the Family Planning NT website.


For more information on IVF, contact Canberra Fertility Centre or Genea.

It is important to get legal advice before you enter into an informal agreement about sperm donation, contact the Women’s Legal Centre ACT for more information.

Western Australia

For more information on IVF and fertility treatments, you can contact Sexual Health Quarters on 08 9227 6177, or Women’s Health & Family Services on 08 6330 5400 or 1800 998 399.


For legal information contact Women’s Legal Service NSW or contact Family Planning NSW for information about IVF.


For more information on IVF, contact Melbourne IVF. There are a number of other organisations in Victoria that assist with IVF and family planning. You may want to speak to your GP as well.

South Australia

For more information on IVF, contact Fertility SA on 08 8100 2900.


For more information on IVF, contact Women’s Legal Service Tasmania or contact TasIVF.


You can find more information about IVF and assisted fertility on the Queensland Government website.