Events & support groups

Twilight webinar 2021

IVF add-ons: How to make choices that are right for you

VARTA's 2021 twilight webinar explored IVF add-ons. Two experts, Dr Sarah Lensen and Professor Cindy Farquhar, discussed the latest research about add-ons (also known as adjuvants) and explained factors to consider when weighing them up.

IVF add-ons are optional extras sometimes offered on top of standard IVF treatments and they usually come with an additional cost. These optional extras include tests, procedures, drugs, the use of new equipment, and alternative therapies. Sarah and Cindy discuss how to find scientific evidence and make sense of it, so you can make informed decisions. Fertility subspecialist Associate Professor Peter Lutjen, also joined the conversation to answer questions from the audience.

If you are thinking about starting IVF or currently going through it, this webinar will provide you with practical information about add-ons and how to make choices that are right for you.

View the presentation slides here.

Thank you to Sarah, Cindy and Peter for sharing their insights and expertise.


About the speakers:

Dr Sarah Lensen


Dr Sarah Lensen is an infertility and IVF researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is particularly interested in improving evidence-based healthcare for people seeking fertility treatment. She has been involved in a number of large clinical trials and systematic reviews evaluating infertility treatment options, including intrauterine insemination and endometrial scratching for IVF. She has a particular interest in IVF add-ons, and her current research is focusing on the use of IVF add-ons in Australia.


Professor Cindy Farquhar

Professor Cindy Farquhar

Cindy is the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She trained in medicine at the University of Auckland. Her specialist training was in Auckland and London where she completed her MD (research). She is Clinical Director of Fertility Plus and Gynaecology at National Women’s, Auckland District Health Board. She has over 300 peer reviewed publications. She is the coordinating editor of the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group and was the Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board from 2014 - 2018. In 2014 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2019 Cindy was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In 2020 Cindy was appointed the Dean of Research and Policy at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.




The Twilight seminar series is a flagship of the VARTA event calendar. The interactive seminar is an opportunity to hear from key researchers and reproductive specialists as they shine a spotlight on issues of current interest in the field of fertility and ART. It is also an opportunity to hear lived experiences from people directly affected by these issues.

Previous Twilight seminars covered:

Year Topic Speakers
2019 The Genie is out of the bottle: DNA testing and end of donor anonymity Kate Bourne, Prof David Amor, Rose Overberg, Hayley Smith and Prof Daniel Roos.

Experiences of donor linking: Research and personal perspectives

Dr Joanna Scheib, Louise Johnson, Dr Deborah Dempsey, and a panel of donor-conceived people, recipient parents and donors with experience of donor-linking

2016 Donor conception: from anonymity to openness

An insight into donor linking and the law in Victoria

Louise Johnson, Kate Bourne, Dr Fiona Kelly, panel of donor-conceived people, recipient parents and donors many of whom have experienced donor-linking 

2015 Hype, hope or reality - can we make eggs or sperm from stem cells?

A/Prof. Megan Munsie, A/Prof John McBain, Dr Robin Hobbs, and Dr Deepak Adhikari

2013 “How are you going?” -  Experiences of donor conception Dr Vasanti Jadva, personal experiences of donor conceived adults (ChanteleRossLouiseRiley).

The known and the unknown: egg and sperm donors talking

Danielle Graber, Ben Sayer, panel of egg and sperm donors
2011 Eyes Wide Open: Cross-Border Reproductive Care Catherine Nave, Dr R.S. Sharma, Sandra Dill AM
2010 Surrogacy in Victoria – Issues to Consider Personal experiences of surrogacy, Rita Alessi, Mr Ben Sayer
2010 Q&A – ART in 2010 Michael Gorton AM, Louise Johnson, Erin Keleher and representatives from registered ART providers 

For more information about VARTA events, please contact or call (03) 8622 0500

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