Using this guide What's covered

Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about IVF (in-vitro fertilisation).

Learn about IVF, including the process of stimulating your body to produce eggs, retrieving your eggs and transferring fertilised embryos into your uterus.

For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, treatment and outcomes.

Cost indicator

Most of the steps in the IVF process aren’t covered by private health insurance hospital cover, except when they’re performed as a day patient in hospital.

Some IVF costs are claimable on Medicare but there’ll be significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Procedures that may be partly covered by Medicare include:

  • collecting your eggs
  • transferring your embryos
  • preparing frozen embryos.

The basics

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a treatment for infertility. It literally means the fertilisation of an egg outside of a woman’s body.

Infertility is a medical condition and IVF is only part of its management. IVF can be physically and emotionally draining (and expensive) so it's generally used after couples have tried making lifestyle improvements, medication and ruled out other health conditions.

IVF can also be a way to reduce the transmission of genetic and chromosomal disorders in couples who are otherwise well.

Each cycle of IVF involves a number of steps. These may include:

  • Stimulating your ovaries with injections so they produce extra eggs.
  • Stopping premature ovulation using medication.
  • Starting the maturation of eggs for fertilisation.
  • Collecting eggs and sperm to begin fertilisation.
  • Culturing the eggs in a laboratory. Mature eggs are mixed with sperm. If extra embryos are created, they may be frozen for transfer later, if required.
  • Transferring embryos through your cervix into your uterus.

The success of IVF varies widely and depends on several factors including a woman’s age, the cause of the infertility (including medical conditions and some lifestyle factors e.g. smoking), the quality of sperm and the quality of the clinic’s process.

The details

Considering ivf

Alternatives to IVF

Things you can try before IVF.
Learn more

Common reasons for IVF

Why you may opt for IVF.
Learn more

Results vs risks of IVF

The benefits and potential problems of IVF.
Learn more

Choosing a specialist

How to find a fertility specialist.
Learn more


Questions for your doctor

What you should be asking before going ahead with IVF.
Learn more

Preparing for IVF

Tests you need to have before IVF.
Learn more


Understanding IVF

5 steps in the IVF process.
Learn more



Watching out for potential problems.
Learn more

Patient experiences

People who’ve had IVF talk about their preparation, clinic experience and recovery.

View videos

Give us feedback

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know what you liked or what we can do to improve it. We'd love to hear from you.

To provide feedback, email us at wellbeing@hcf.com.au.

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Important information

Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.