Public fertility service
Victoria’s Public Fertility Service provides access to comprehensive, world-class fertility treatment including genetic counselling, fertility preservation and fertility assessment and treatment.
The service is available to people of all genders:
- who have been trying to conceive naturally but have been unsuccessful, and/or
- whose situation or health may prevent or impair fertility or safe conception.
2 July 2023 update: Our public egg and sperm bank is now open for donations. To find out how to donate, visit the egg and sperm bank webpage.
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 the Public Fertility Service in early 2024.
More about the Public Fertility Service
The Public Fertility Service is led by the Women’s and Monash Health:
- the Women’s or its partner fertility services cares for people living in our catchment areas as well as the western, northern and north eastern parts of Victoria.
- Monash Health Fertility cares for people living in eastern Melbourne and in Gippsland areas.
The Women's and its partner fertility services
Currently, public fertility care is provided at the Women’s in Parkville, as well as through our official fertility partners at Mildura Base Public Hospital and Northern Health.
In 2023, additional sites will be available through our partner fertility services in metropolitan and regional Victoria. We will update this webpage as more sites come online.
It depends on where you live.
If you live in regional or rural Victoria or any part of Melbourne except the south-east metropolitan or Gippsland areas, your GP or specialist must refer you to the Women’s.
If you live in the south-east metro or Gippsland areas, your GP or specialist should refer you to Monash Health Fertility.
Local health services partnering with the Women's
The Women’s is partnering with health services across Victoria so your care can be provided closer to your home.
Your GP or specialist must still make your referral to the Women’s. Your referral will be triaged by the Women's and we will contact you to let you know whether it is accepted.
If your care is to be provided by one of our partner fertility services, you will be advised of that service's name in your letter from the Women's. That partner service will then contact you to arrange your first appointment. You will attend all your appointments at that service and then come to the Women's only for your procedure/s.
The first services we are partnering with are:
If you live in these local government areas, your care will be provided by this health service
|Northern Health (Epping)||
|Mildura Base Public Hospital||
More local health services will be added in 2023, providing access to people in both metropolitan and regional areas. We will update this page as more local health services come online.
The Public Fertility Service is available to all Victorian residents – including same-sex and other couples and single people with a donor.
To be eligible to access the service, you 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 (see The first steps you need to take section below)
- be using an egg (your own or from a donor) that is 42 years or younger at time of treatment.
Services we do not provide
The following services are not available through the public hospital system:
- reversal of sterilisation procedures
- elective egg freezing services.
Options for these procedures are available from private providers.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to see your GP or specialist for a referral to the Women’s.
Your referral must include the results of all tests and investigations, as outlined in the table below. These tests will be conducted at your own cost through a pathology and/or diagnostic service.
Your GP or specialist should use this Reproductive Services Referral Form. The completed referral - including copies of your test results - can be faxed to the Women's at (03) 8345 3036.
Your referral will be valid for 12 months.
If you are single, speak to your GP or specialist about a referral.
If you are part of a couple who has been trying to conceive naturally, your GP or specialist can refer you if:
Required tests your GP or specialist needs to order and send with your referral
Primary patient investigations
Partner tests (if you are accessing our service with a partner):
Your referral will be triaged by clinical staff at the Women’s. You will receive a letter from the Women's, outlining if your referral has been accepted.
You will then be contacted with a date and time for your first appointment.
If your care is to be provided by one of our partner fertility services, you will be advised of that service's name in your acceptance letter and that service will contact you to arrange your first appointment. You will attend all your appointments at that service and then come to the Women's only for your procedure/s.
Your first appointment will be scheduled as soon as possible. Once you are enrolled with the service, you will be starting your fertility treatment journey.
Your first appointment
At your first appointment, you will be asked questions about your fertility history. Further tests may be ordered to assess your fertility.
A health assessment will also be performed, to ensure you are in the best possible condition to safely have a baby.
If you are coming to our service with a partner, they may also be asked about their fertility history. Further tests may be ordered to assess their fertility.
After this first appointment, staff will liaise with you to book further appointments.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
- A letter from the health service confirming your appointment
- Your Medicare card, Health Care Card and/or Pension Card*
- Details of any current medications*
- Photo identification (Australian Driver Licence or Passport)*
- Supporting documentation if you are an asylum seeker*.
*If you are using our service with a partner, your partner should also bring these documents to your first appointment.
After your first appointment
Your public fertility service will work with you to decide which treatment is appropriate.
Treatments may include:
- assisting your ovulation, with a focus on timings, known as ovulation induction
- a lifestyle assessment and weight management strategy to reduce the impact of excess weight on fertility
- artificial insemination or IVF. If artificial insemination or IVF is recommended, a counselling session will be organised for you before this treatment begins.
Are there any costs associated with the service?
While the public fertility service is free, there may be costs incurred outside of the service for medications, tests and investigations conducted by a pathology and/or diagnostic service.
Are there age restrictions for the public fertility service?
Yes. The public fertility service accepts:
- people aged 42 years or younger using their own eggs
- people aged less than 51 years with donor eggs – the egg being used must be 42 years or younger at time of collection.
Can I be fast-tracked to the service if I am 40 years old or over?
To ensure the public fertility 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 specific fertility needs and that of your partner or donor, you may or may not need IVF. Under this public fertility service 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. Your care team can provide further information.
Is there a waiting list?
Once your referral has been received and accepted, you will be notified. Your first appointment will be scheduled as soon as possible. Once you are enrolled with the service, you will be commencing your fertility treatment journey.
Each person’s treatment journey is different. The timing and type of treatment will depend on your specific fertility needs and that of your partner or donor. There are lots of different options for treating infertility and the different pathways will affect the timelines for each person.
I’m receiving fertility treatment at another service. Can I switch to the public service?
Yes, if you are receiving fertility care at another service and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to enrol in the Public Fertility Service.
To do so, you will need a new GP or specialist referral to the public fertility service at the Women’s (or Monash Health).
You may also need to undertake some additional tests and investigations which can be obtained with a GP or specialist referral to a private testing service, at your own cost.
I’m receiving private fertility treatment at another service. Are there more tests and investigations needed for the public fertility service?
Yes, while you will have undertaken some tests and investigations in the private sector, there may be additional tests required for you and your partner (if relevant) in the public sector.
Your referring GP or specialist will have this information and be able to advise you. If you and your partner/donor need additional tests and investigations, these can be obtained with a GP or specialist referral to a private testing service.
Can I access a donor through the new Egg and Sperm Bank?
Yes, this will be possible in the future for patients of the Public Fertility Service. 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 the Public Fertility Service in early 2024.
To find out more about the bank, visit egg and sperm bank website.
Can I access the service if I have my own egg/sperm donor?
Yes. The service is available to any couple or single person, including people with a known egg/sperm donor. However, you and your donor will need to obtain a referral from your GP or specialist to the Women’s (even if you are already enrolled with another fertility service) and include all the relevant investigations and tests.
During your treatment journey, your donor will be required to attend an appointment at the hospital, either with you or on their own.
I have frozen embryos/eggs/sperm; can I use them if I am a patient of the public fertility service?
Yes. The service is available to people who have frozen embryos, eggs or sperm. However, you will need to obtain a referral from your GP or specialist to the Women’s even if you are already enrolled with another fertility service.
The Women’s will liaise with the service where your embryos, eggs or sperm are being stored to organise a transfer. The cost of transporting your frozen embryos, eggs or sperm must covered by you.
If I have a surrogate, can we access the public fertility system?
Not yet. Later in 2023, we hope to be able to facilitate the treatment cycles of surrogates and intended parents.
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.
Does the public fertility service provide testing of embryos to see if they carry a genetic condition?
Not yet. Later in 2023, we hope to be able to provide Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT).
Please find below some background information on PGT testing:
PGT testing is a technique used in IVF to help reduce the risk of passing on known genetic conditions.
This process occurs after the embryos have grown in the laboratory for about 5-6 days. A few cells are extracted from each embryo and tested. If the testing shows an embryo does not contain the genetic condition, the embryo can then be transferred into a patient’s uterus to attempt a successful pregnancy.
However, PGT cannot guarantee the birth of a healthy baby. Therefore, people who become pregnant are advised to have prenatal testing (e.g. DNA testing or chorionic villus sampling) to confirm PGT results.
To find out more about PGT, visit the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.
If I can’t access the service at the Women’s, can I access the service at Monash Health?
Monash Health and the Women’s have the same eligibility criteria. Monash Health might be more suitable for people living in the south-east of Melbourne.
If you need to change the time of your appointment, let the health service know as soon as possible. This will give us the opportunity to offer your appointment time to another person in need.
If your appointment is at the Women's (Parkville), email or call us: firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 8345 3200.