Welcoming the first public fertility care babies

Close up of baby Hussain who is sleeping peacefully.
Baby Hussain is one of the first babies born with the support of Public Fertility Care.
21 June 2024 | Babies | Fertility

Baby Hussain has ten tiny fingers and ten little toes. He is of course perfect, especially to his parents who had to overcome many obstacles to welcome the little boy to their family. The little boy is one of the first babies born with the support of Public Fertility Care.

Public Fertility Care is a service funded by the Victorian Government and led by the Women’s. Together with 10 partner health services across Victoria, Public Fertility Care makes it easier and fairer for Victorians to try for a family.

The Director of Reproductive Services at the Women’s, Associate Professor Kate Stern AO says that around 15 per cent of people wanting to conceive have issues with fertility.

“Many of them simply cannot access fertility treatment, in some instances due to the cost, but also due to cultural and language barriers, the lack of services in rural areas, and other reasons,” says A/Professor Stern.

“With public fertility care now available, thousands of Victorian people and families will have the chance to fulfill their dream of becoming parents.”

Public Fertility Care launched in Victoria just in time for baby Hussain's parents.

Mrs Hussain and her husband wanted to start their family ten years ago when they first married. Sadly, Mrs Hussain then went on to experience six miscarriages.

Only one pregnancy went full term, resulting in the birth of their daughter in 2018.

Unfortunately, Mrs Hussein experienced several years more of infertility. With time running out for her reproductive window, the couple decided to make an appointment at a private fertility clinic.

“We weren’t able to afford treatment straight away and time was so important,” says Mrs Hussain.  

“We were thinking about how to raise the funds, maybe borrow some money from family. Then our GP told us that public fertility care was available at the Women’s and referred us straight away.”

The timing couldn’t have been better for the Hussain family – but they still had to face a number of challenges.

Mrs Hussain was already in her early 40s and close to being ineligible due to her age. Then, at the egg collection, only six eggs could be retrieved, which lowered the couple’s chances.

Those eggs were fertilised via IVF, but most didn’t develop. And then another embryo stopped growing, leaving the couple with only one potentially viable embryo.

There are no guarantees in this process, and chances were high that Mrs Hussain wouldn’t become pregnant. She knew the odds were stacked against her.

“I was really scared and anxious,” she says.

“The first three weeks, after the embryo transfer, were an emotional rollercoaster especially as my pregnancy hormones were quite low. This time was mentally very hard on me.

“It was only after the fourth HCG test that the pregnancy was confirmed. I cannot put in words how happy and relieved we were receiving the news.”

Baby Hussain was born in late May 2024.

“His big sister is very excited, she was longing for a sibling,” Mrs Hussain shares.

Through Public Fertility Care, individuals and families can access a full range of integrated public fertility services at no, or very minimal cost, including:

  • Fertility assessment and management, including consultations, fertility investigations, ovulation monitoring/tracking and ovulation induction
  • Assisted reproductive treatments, as well as counselling, information and support
  • A publicly run fertility preservation program so people with cancer or other health issues can have their tissue stored and retrieved for future use.

Learn more about Public Fertility Care.