Scientific firsts

Members of the Virtus Group network have played important roles in many of Australia’s fertility treatment breakthroughs. Here are just a few examples:

  • A/Prof John McBain, fertility specialist at Melbourne IVF, was part of the Melbourne Egg Project team responsible for the conception and birth of Australia’s first IVF conceived child,
  • Emeritus Professor Doug Saunders and Dr Ric Porter, fertility specialists with IVF Australia, were part of the team responsible for the first IVF birth in NSW,
  • Founders of Queensland Fertility Group helped to achieve the state’s first IVF conception, and Dr Doug Keeping (fertility specialist with QFG) delivered this baby,
  • A/Prof Kate Stern (Melbourne IVF) leads the team that achieved the world’s first pregnancy from ovarian tissue grafted in the anterior abdominal wall of a woman

This timeline demonstrates just how far-reaching our pioneering work has been.  The bold purple events represent achievements from within the Virtus Health Group, light grey events represent achievements in the field of IVF generally:

IVF Scientific Firsts


Establishment of Melbourne Egg Project


World's first IVF baby born

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Candice Reed conceived in Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital IVF laboratory

Candice Reed newspaper headline

The world's third and Australia's first IVF conceived baby born


World's first birth from a stimulated cycle


First IVF baby born in NSW

  • Melbourne woman without ovaries gives birth to the world's first donor egg baby

Queensland's first IVF baby born

  • World's first frozen embryo pregnancy and birth
  • World's first pregnancy after egg freezing
  • QLD's first pregnancy from frozen embryo transfer

First permanent regional IVF centre established in Albury

  • Australia's first IVF surrogacy birth
  • First embryo screening for genetic disorders
  • First two births from fertilisation with sperm that was surgically removed

Melbourne IVF first IVF clinic in Australia to limit number of embryos transferred to 2 - reducing the chance of triplets


First pregnancy after use of intracytoplasmic injection of a single sperm into an egg

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First full karyotype from single cell embryo biopsy by Melbourne IVF


Restoration of fertility after successful transfer of frozen and thawed ovarian tissue


Federal court case removed 'marriage requirement' in Infertility Treatment Act


IVFAustralia has first pregnancy using the Polscope


QLD's first pregnancy after egg freezing


Lesbian and single women granted access to donor sperm and additional IVF services in VIC

  • QLD's first IVF conceived child has a child of her own
  • Australia'a first IVF conceived child, Candice Reed, celebrates her 30th birthday

Melbourne IVF first team in the world to help a woman achieve pregnancy from ovarian tissue grafted onto the anterior of her abdominal wall


Commercialisation of Ivy, Artificial Intelligence

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