From uncharted medical frontier in the 1970’s to thousands of births per year across the country, IVF has revolutionised treatment of infertility here in Australia, in a relatively short time frame.

How did this life changing treatment come to be here in Australia? Let’s discuss.

World’s First IVF birth - Louise Joy Brown in 1978

Born in Manchester, England on 25th July, 1978, Louise Joy Brown is considered the first IVF birth.

The successful birth was led by scientist Robert Edwards and gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe, who are considered the founding pioneers of IVF.

From this initial research and success, teams around the world pioneered more successful IVF births over the next 4 years, including Australia, specifically in Victoria and Western Australia, with South Australia shortly after.

Birth of Australia's First IVF Baby in 1980

Candice Reed was born in 1980, Australia's first successful IVF pregnancy.

The achievement was a collaboration between Dr. Trounson, Dr. Wood, and their team at Monash University, Victoria.

Western Australia’s First IVF Baby in 1982

WA’s first IVF facility was established by Dr J Yovich in 1980 at King Edward Memorial Hospital.

This first facility was funded by a $11,000 grant from Bank of New South Wales, plus a donation of $25,000 from a local grandmothers group, raised from selling lamingtons. Another $50,000 was donated by aspiring patients.

3 pregnancies were generated in October 1981. One of these pregnancies became the first IVF birth in WA; Jarrod Carter born 13 July, 1982.

South Australia’s IVF success in 1983

The South Australian team of Kerin & Warnes began achieving pregnancies in 1982, with the first live birth in 1983.


“Founding Pioneers of IVF: Independent innovative researchers generating livebirths within 4 years of the first birth”

IVF in Australia today

With around 100 approved clinics across Australia and New Zealand, a recent annual report from the University of New South Wales documents a record 18,594 babies were born in 2021 as a result of IVF treatment.

An incredible achievement of modern medicine in a relatively short time frame.

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