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.
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.
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.
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