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,
  • Dr Leeanda Wilton (Melbourne IVF) is an international leader in the field of genetic testing, and developed Advanced Embryo Selection technology.
  • A/Prof Kate Stern (Melbourne IVF) lead 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

1972

Establishment of Melbourne Egg Project

1978

World's first IVF baby born

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1979

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

Candice Reed newspaper headline
1980

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

1981

World's first birth from a stimulated cycle

1983

First IVF baby born in NSW

  • Melbourne woman without ovaries gives birth to the world's first donor egg baby
1984

Queensland's first IVF baby born

  • World's first frozen embryo pregnancy and birth
1986
  • World's first pregnancy after egg freezing
  • QLD's first pregnancy from frozen embryo transfer
1988

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
1989

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

1992

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

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1998

First full karyotype from single cell embryo biopsy by Melbourne IVF

2000

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

2000

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

2004

IVFAustralia has first pregnancy using the Polscope

2005

QLD's first pregnancy after egg freezing

2008

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

2010
  • QLD's first IVF conceived child has a child of her own
  • Australia'a first IVF conceived child, Candice Reed, celebrates her 30th birthday
2013

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

2019

Commercialisation of Ivy, Artificial Intelligence

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