Public Fertility Care

Drawing on expertise from clinicians leading Victoria’s Public Fertility Care, this webinar provides GPs and Practice Nurses with practical knowledge about:

  • the causes of infertility
  • how to investigate subfertility in primary care
  • the latest range of assisted fertility and fertility preservation treatments; and
  • how to support patients to access treatment through Victoria’s Public Fertility Care.

You can watch this webinar on YouTube.

Victoria's Public Fertility Care is led by the Women's and assists people of all genders who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive or who have issues which may prevent or impair fertility or safe conception.

Public Fertility Care inclusions and exclusions:

Services included:

Services not included:

  • fertility investigation (male and female) 
  • assisted reproductive technologies (IUI, IVF and ICSI) 
  • donor sperm, egg and embryo programs 
  • counselling for patients undergoing treatment.  
  • reversal of sterilisation procedures 
  • elective egg freezing services. 

Options for these procedures are available from private providers. 

Eligibility criteria 

Public Fertility Care is available to people of all genders whose situation or health may prevent or impair fertility or safe conception and/or who have been trying to conceive naturally but have been unsuccessful. 

To be eligible for the service, patients  will need to: 

  • be a Victorian resident who holds a Medicare card 
  • have a referral from a GP or specialist which includes all necessary test and investigation results  
  • meet age criteria as follows:
    • aged 42 years or younger using their own eggs 

    • aged less than 51 years and seeking to use donor eggs (the egg being used must be 42 years or younger at time of collection).

If the patient is part of a heterosexual couple who has been trying to conceive, the following applies:

If aged under 35 years:

If aged between 35-42 years (inclusive):

The patient needs to have been trying to conceive for more than a year.

The patient needs to have been trying to conceive for at least six months.

The patient needs to be using an egg (their own or from a donor) that is 42 years or younger at time of treatment.

Where to refer your patient 

All referrals should be sent to the Women’s where they will be triaged.

The Women’s catchment areas include: City of Maribyrnong , City of Melbourne, City of  Mooney Valley, City of Yarra. 

Patients outside the Women’s catchment areas will attend their appointments at their local health service and then come to the Women's only for their procedure/s. For a list of those Local Government Areas, see: Local health services partnering with the Women’s.

Please use this Reproductive Services Referral Form and include copies of all test results. This can be faxed to the Women's at (03) 8345 3036.  

Tests and investigations needed with the referral: 

Please ensure all tests and investigations listed below are undertaken and results are faxed with the referral to the Women's at (03) 8345 3036.  

All referrals will be valid for 12 months.  

Required tests to order and send with the referral 

Primary patient investigations

  • Hepatitis B & C
  • HIV
  • Cervical screening test (CST)
  • Rubella
  • Varicella
  • Syphilis
  • FBE 
  • Blood group & antibodies
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Prolactin
  • Ferritin
  • Progesterone (day 21 for regular cycles and adjusted for irregular cycles)
  • TSH
  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Free testosterone
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
  • Chlamydia/Gonorrhoea urine or endocervical PCR (if appropriate)
  • Anti Mullerian Hormone (optional)
  • Pelvic ultrasound (trans-vaginal if possible)
  • Karyotype (Please note: if the patient declines this test, please still send through the referral, noting this test has been declined)
  • Weight, Height and BMI.

Partner tests (if accessing service with a partner):

  • Hepatitis B & C
  • HIV
  • Karyotype (Please note: if the patient declines this test, please still send through the referral, noting this test has been declined)
  • Male hormones (if appropriate)
  • Semen analysis (if sperm provider)
  • Semen antibodies (if appropriate)
  • Syphilis.

Urgent referrals contact

In some cases, you may have a patient who requires urgent referral, for example, before cancer treatment or surgery that will render them infertile.  

In these cases, please call Reproductive Services on 8345 3200 to speak to the receiving registrar. If a consultant has advised you previously that they wish to be contacted directly, please contact them directly.    

To ensure Public Fertility Care continues to meet the needs of all Victorian residents, we are unable to prioritise an individual based on their age.  

For an urgent response relating to hyperstimulation, referring GPs and specialists should call the Women’s Reproductive Services on 8345 3200 during business hours or the Women’s Switchboard on (03) 8345 2000 out of hours and ask for the Reproductive Services Fellow.  

If a consultant has advised you previously that they wish to be contacted directly, please contact them on the number provided.

Local health services partnering with the Women’s

The Women’s is partnering with health services across Victoria so care can be provided closer to the patient’s home.

A GP or specialist referral must still be made to the Women’s where the referral will be triaged. We will contact you to let you know your patient's referral has been accepted and advise you if your patient will be seen at one of our partner services. That partner service will then contact your patient to arrange their first appointment. 

The partnering services currently available are: 

Health service

Local Government Area

Northern Health, Epping 
  • City of Hume
  • City of Whittlesea
  • Mitchell Shire
Mildura Base Public Hospital
  • Mildura Rural City
  • Swan Hill Rural City
Bendigo Health
  • Buloke Shire
  • Central Goldfields Shire
  • Greater Bendigo City
  • Macedon Ranges Shire
  • Campaspe Shire
  • Gannawarra Shire
  • Loddon Shire
  • Mount Alexander Shire
Southwest Healthcare, Warrnambool
  • City of Warrnambool
  • Corangamite Shire
  • Moyne Shire
  • Glenelg Shire (Victoria only)
Mercy Health, Heidelberg
  • City of Banyule
  • City of Darebin
  • Nillumbik Shire
  • Merri-bek City Council (formerly Moreland)
Monash Health
  • Bayside
  • Boroondara
  • Cardinia
  • Casey
  • Frankston
  • Glen Eira
  • Greater Dandenong
  • Kingston
  • Knox
  • Manningham
  • Maroondah
  • Monash
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Murrindindi
  • Port Phillip
  • Stonnington
  • Whitehorse
  • Yarra Ranges


  • Bass Coast
  • Baw Baw
  • Wellington
  • East Gippsland
  • Latrobe
  • South Gippsland

Goulburn Valley Health, Shepparton

  • Alpine Shire
  • Albury City
  • Greater Shepparton City Council
  • City of Wodonga
  • Indigo Shire
  • Mansfield Shire
  • Moira Shire
  • Rural City of Benalla
  • Strathbogie Shire
  • Towong Shire
  • Wangaratta Shire
Barwon Health, Geelong
  • Colac Otway
  • Golden Plains
  • Greater Geelong
  • Queenscliffe
  • Surf Coast
Western Health, Sunshine Hospital
  • Brimbank City
  • Hobsons Bay
  • City of Melton
  • Moorabool Shire
  • Wyndham City
Grampians Health, Ballarat
  • City of Ballarat
  • Horsham Rural City
  • Pyrenees Shire
  • Ararat Rural City
  • West Wimmera Shire
  • Hindmarsh Shire
  • Hepburn Shire
  • Northern Grampians Shire
  • Yarrambiack Shire
  • Southern Grampians Shire
Are there any costs associated with Public Fertility Care for patients?

While Public Fertility Care is free, there may be some costs incurred outside of the service for medications, tests, and investigations conducted by a pathology and/or diagnostic service.

Are there age restrictions for Public Fertility Care? 

Yes. Public Fertility Care accepts: 

  • people aged 42 years or younger using their own eggs (has not yet turned 43) 
  • people aged less than 51 years with donor eggs – the egg being used must be 42 years or younger at time of collection (eggs can be collected within the patients 42nd year, before turning 43). 
Can my patient be fast-tracked to the service if they are 40 years old or over?

To ensure Public Fertility Care service continues to meet the needs of all Victorian residents, we are unable to fast-track an individual. 

Is there a limit to the number of IVF cycles?

Depending on your patient’s specific fertility needs and that of the partner or donor, IVF may or may not be needed. Under the Public Fertility Care model, there is a maximum of two treatment cycles (IVF or ICSI) per person (per lifetime) including subsequent transfer of all embryos collected during those cycles. The care team can provide further information.

Is there a waiting list?

Once the referral has been received and accepted, you will be notified. Your patients first appointment will be scheduled as soon as possible.  

Each person’s treatment journey is different. The timing and type of treatment will depend on your patient's specific fertility needs. There are lots of different options for treating infertility and the different pathways will affect the timelines for each person.  

Can a patient switch from another service to the public service? 

Yes, if your patient is receiving fertility care at another service and your patient meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply to enrol in Public Fertility Care.

To do so, you will need a new GP or specialist referral to Public Fertility Care at the Women’s (or Monash Health).

Additional tests and investigations may need to be undertaken which can be obtained with a GP or specialist referral to a private testing service. This may incur some out-of-pocket expenses to the patient. 

Your patient is receiving private fertility treatment at another service. Are there more tests and investigations needed for the public fertility care service? 

Yes, while some tests and investigations have been undertaken in the private sector, there may be additional tests required for your patient and their partner (if relevant) in the public sector. 

A list of tests and investigations are listed in the table above.

Can a donor be accessed through the new Egg and Sperm Bank? 

Yes, this will be possible in the future for patients of Public Fertility Care. As the donation process takes some time, it will take several months to recruit donors. We expect to be able to supply eggs and sperm for current patients of Public Fertility Care in early 2024. 

To find out more about the bank, visit  the egg and sperm bank webpage

Can a patient access the service if they have their own egg/sperm donor?

Yes. The service is available to any couple or single person, including people with a known egg/sperm donor. However, the donor will need to obtain a referral from their GP or specialist to the Women’s (even if they are already enrolled with another fertility service) and include all the relevant investigations and tests.

During the treatment journey, the donor will be required to attend an appointment at the hospital, either with the patient or on their own.

My patient has frozen embryos/eggs/sperm; can they use them as a patient of Public Fertility Care? 

Yes. The service is available to people who have frozen embryos, eggs or sperm. However, a referral from a GP or specialist to the Women’s is required even if the patient is enrolled with another fertility service.

The Women’s will liaise with the service where the embryos, eggs or sperm are being stored to organise a transfer. The cost of transporting the patient’s frozen embryos, eggs or sperm must be covered by the patient. 

My patient has a surrogate, can they access Public Fertility Care?

Not yet. We hope to be able to facilitate the treatment cycles of surrogates and intended parents in 2024.  

Please find below some background information about surrogacy arrangements in Victoria.  

Intended parent/s can be eligible to undertake a surrogacy arrangement in Victoria if:  

  • they are infertile or unable to carry a baby or give birth  
  • there is a likely medical risk to the mother or baby if the intended mother attempted to become pregnant herself.  

There are several reasons why people may consider surrogacy including:   

  • A women is unable to become pregnant or carry a baby for medical reasons.   
  • A same-sex couple (male or female) or individual may want to have a child conceived using their own sperm or eggs and donor sperm or eggs.  
  • A couple who are involved in an IVF treatment program may have embryos in storage and, in the event that the woman dies, the male partner may wish to commission a surrogate to carry and give birth to a child.  

To find out more about surrogacy in Victoria, visit the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority

Egg and Sperm bank  

Australia’s first public egg and sperm donor program has opened at the Women’s. The program is an extension of Victoria’s public fertility care and is currently accepting egg, and sperm donations from the Victorian community.  

The bank aims to increase access to eggs and sperm for Victorians who are receiving Public Fertility Care and require donor services. 

Please visit this page for more information about the public egg and sperm bank.

Date reviewed: 02 July 2024

Date reviewed: 02 July 2024