What is IVF?

IVF stands for “In Vitro Fertilisation”, and is a treatment option for couples with infertility.  The woman’s eggs (oocytes) are fertilised by the man’s sperm in a laboratory dish, forming embryos.  An embryo is then transferred into the woman’s womb (uterus).  Pregnancy results if the embryo implants successfully.

IVF Baby

Who should consider IVF?

IVF can overcome many of the factors that cause infertility, including female factors, male factors, or a combination of the above.

It may be appropriate in the following situations:

  • Bilateral Fallopian tube blockage or absence (e.g. following surgical removal of the tubes for ectopic pregnancies)
  • Severe male factor infertility (e.g. very low sperm counts or mobility)
  • When other fertility treatments fail for couples with Unexplained Infertility
  • Ovarian failure (with the use of donor eggs)

Test tube baby

What are the disadvantages of IVF?

  • Cost
  • Multiple Pregnancy (twins, triplets)
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy complications (e.g. preterm births)

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The IVF Cycle

After a thorough history and examination, and once the results of all investigations are available, will discuss with the couple regarding the option for IVF.


This includes:

  1. Education regarding the steps and processes involved with an IVF cycle.  The risks and benefits of the procedure will be discussed, and the anticipated success rate outlined.
  2. A trial embryo transfer is performed, in order to make sure there will be no difficulties in performing the actual transfer.
  3. The ovaries will be stimulated using injections in order to produce multiple eggs.
  4. The eggs are collected under a general anaesthetic, with the help of a transvaginal ultrasound scan.
  5. Semen is collected from the male partner, and it is prepared in the laboratory.
  6. The semen preparation is incubated with the eggs collected, resulting in fertilisation.
  7. Embryos are formed, and grown to Day 5 Blastocyst stage if possible.
  8. An embryo is transferred into the womb.

Click here for a brief tutorial on the IVF process.

To discuss your specific concerns and fertility issues with Brisbane fertility specialist, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange an appointment at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

A referral from your GP or gynaecologist is required in order to obtain the Medicare rebates for consultations.

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