What were the early days of donor conception like in Victoria? Here is a snapshot of the experience of a counsellor and parent from the Royal Women's Hospital. You may also be interested in the 2018 Louis Waller Lecture about the early days of donor conception in Victoria.
Rose's story of how she found her donor through DNA testing
I have always known that I was donor conceived. Likewise I have always known that I would never know the identity of my donor. The clinic (Queen Victoria Hospital) doesn’t exist anymore, the donors were offered complete anonymity and the doctor swears that the records were ‘lost’ in transition to a private fertility clinic.
Fertility treatment is physically and emotionally demanding, and depending on your needs it can be expensive, so it’s important to find a clinic and doctor that’s right for you. You can ask your GP for advice about choosing a fertility specialist but you can also do your own research before committing to a doctor and clinic. Here’s some information to consider.
Clinics vary a lot
After three years of trying to conceive without success Jessica Busuttil and her husband Phillip were told that Phillip had a condition called azoospermia, which, in layman terms, means that Phillip had no sperm.
“This diagnosis was totally unexpected,” Jessica explained. “It was an extremely difficult and emotional time in our lives – we just felt lost.”
Listen to Angie and Greg talk about how important it is to talk to children about how they became a family using donor sperm.
Class application to import donated gametes by a Victorian registered ART provider.
The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (the ART Act) requires that a person must not bring donor gametes, or embryos produced from donor gametes, into Victoria, or take them from Victoria, except with the written approval of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA).
Donors are entitled to apply to the Central Register to seek identifying information about their donor offspring, however this information can only be released with the consent of the donor-conceived person or parents of those under 18 years of age.
For more information download the information sheet below.
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used for the same reasons as IVF, but especially to overcome sperm problems. Essentially, ICSI follows the same process as IVF, except ICSI involves the direct injection of a single sperm into each egg to achieve fertilisation.
Research shows that IVF is just as effective as the ICSI procedure, where sperm is injected directly into an egg, when there is no male infertility factor. Cumulative live birth rates in Victoria were similar for IVF and ICSI in these circumstances.