About this Blog
This blog has contributors from IVFAustralia, Melbourne IVF, Queensland Fertility Group, TasIVF and Virtus Fertility Centre in Singapore. These clinics are all part of the Virtus Health Group. We are a network of IVF & fertility clinics with experience and expertise that is second-to-none in Australia and worldwide. We leverage the medical knowledge of our fertility specialists, our advanced scientific practices and our expert processes of patient care, all to deliver the best possible outcomes for our patients.
Our Doctors and Scientists are leaders in their field, and provide expert insight into the treatments and science of reproductive medicine. The opinion pieces on this blog represent the personal views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the wider organisation. Contributions to this blog that provide a variety of opinions and views is encouraged.
Together we are the leading minds in fertility dedicated to your success:
About Individual Contributors
Dr Nikki Goldstein, Guest Blogger
Dr Nikki Goldstein holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality, and is a highly credible authority on the topics of love, sex, dating, romance and relationships. Voted Australia’s Best Sex Educator in 2013 & 2014, Nikki has a unique ability to normalise the subjects of sex and relationships. She appears regularly on the Seven Network, writes monthly for news.com.au, GQ Online and The Cusp and is a regular contributor to a string of popular publications and radio shows. How to keep sexual intimacy alive when trying for a baby »
Dr Weng Chan, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF
After graduating in medicine at Monash University, Dr Chan completed his specialist O&G training at Monash Medical Centre. He continues to be involved with the Centre as a Consultant specialist in the Menstrual Disorders Clinic and the Pelvic Floor (Urogynaecology) Clinic. Dr Chan also has advanced training in gynaecological laparoscopic surgery and pelvic reconstructive surgery. He is a trainer for the Monash Medical Centre Advanced Laparoscopic Preceptorship training courses. Read his latest post: The 10 most common questions about miscarraige »
Dr Manuela Toledo, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF & TasIVF
Manuela Toledo is a highly regarded CREI qualified fertility specialist with a particular interest in complex IVF, fertility preservation and the role of complementary therapies in fertility treatment. After graduating in medicine from The University of Melbourne and completing her residency at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Manuela started specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology in 1997. In 2004, she was awarded the Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and completed a Masters of Reproduction and Genetics at the University of Sydney. Dr Toledo has been working with the Melbourne IVF team in 2006 and joined the TasIVF team in 2016. Dr Toledo also oversees the training of future fertility specialists through her long standing VMO position at The Women's Hospital in Melbourne. Read her latest post: Australian women are increasingly turning to egg freezing to protect their fertility »
Melanie McGrice, Dietitian, AdvAPD, Guest Blogger
Melanie McGrice is a nutrition and wellbeing specialist, and our guest blogger this month. Melanie is passionate about working with people to improve their nutrition, one bite at a time, whether through her books (such as ‘The Pregnancy Weight Plan’), presentations, clinic or social media. In her spare time you’ll find her fundraising for her favourite charities, playing with the myriad of foster kids coming through her doors, checking out new restaurants and getting outdoors. Join her free nutrition and wellbeing network »
Dr Sharyn Stock-Myer, Head, Monogenic Disorder PGD, Melbourne IVF
Dr Sharyn Stock-Myer has a doctorate in Human Genetics and is fascinated by genes and genetic conditions. She has worked at Melbourne IVF for more than 12 years and was the lead scientist in developing PGD for monogenic disorders there, and continues to run the monogenic PGD program. Sharyn enjoys being part of the PGD team at Melbourne IVF and is honoured to be able to assist couples in their dream to have a healthy child.
Dr Hossam Elzeiny, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF
Hossam is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, practising in all aspects of infertility and gynaecology, including IVF. He is particularly experienced in treating women with serious fertility concerns relating to diminished ovarian reserve, and in dealing with recurrent IVF failures and miscarriages, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Hossam’s expertise also includes caring for and managing male infertility. He is one of the few reproductive endocrinologists in Australia who can help men with azoospermia (zero sperm count), using the most sophisticated microscopic sperm extraction procedure (Schlegel Technique). Read more...
Leita Fien, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Queensland Fertility Group, Toowoomba
Leita is a fertility nurse with over 15 years nursing experience including midwifery, women's health and infertility care. Leita completed her general nurse training at Toowoomba Base Hospital and her midwifery at Toowoomba Mother’s Hospital. She has worked in Accident and Emergency, Endoscopy, Pathology Collection and as a country nurse. While being a registered nurse and midwife, her family and friends know her true passion has been found in Assisted Reproductive Nursing. She values her role as part of the Toowoomba team delivering treatment to the wide area that covers South East Queensland. Her aim is to ensure couples receive current information and support as they work towards achieving their dream of a family. Read her blog about the changes she has seen in IVF patients over the last 15 years...
Dr Alex Polyakov, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF
After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 2000, Alex completed his internship at the Royal Adelaide Hospital before moving to Melbourne to start his specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology. He trained at various hospitals, including Monash Medical Centre, Dandenong Hospital and Box Hill Hospital, and completed formal fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Reproductive Biology Unit of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne IVF and Monash IVF.
Alex also holds a Graduate Certificate in Evidence-based Medicine from Monash University, Masters of Clinical Epidemiology/Biostatistics from the University of Newcastle, and Masters of Reproductive Medicine from the University of NSW. Read more...
Associate Professor John McBain, Director, Melbourne IVF
Associate Professor John McBain AO and Melbourne IVF founder the late Ian Johnston AM and were part of the Melbourne Egg Project, the collaborative team responsible for the pioneering work that conceived and delivered Australia’s first and the world’s third IVF baby, Candice Reed, born in 1980.
Since then, over 150,000 babies have been born using In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and other Assisted Reproductive Treatments (ARTs). With this number increasing a new emphasis has been placed on the developmental follow up of the long term health and wellbeing outcomes of young adults conceived using these methods. Read more...
Dr Fleur Cattrall, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF
After obtaining her medical degree from the University of Melbourne in 1996, Fleur completed her residency at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and her specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology at Monash Medical Centre. She then undertook further training at Monash IVF, Melbourne IVF and The Women’s Hospital, and is now a recognised subspecialist in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI).
Keen to support progress in her field, Fleur has published medical papers and presented at international conferences, including the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. In 2004, she received the British Fertility Society Exchange Award. Read more...
Dr Louise Fay, Fertility Specialist, Queensland Fertility Group
Louise Fay is a specialist in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine. Following completion of training and working as a consultant in the National Maternity Hospital and Merrion Fertility Clinic, Dublin, she returned to Sydney with her family in 2011. Louise also practices at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Her on-going research interests include recurrent miscarriage and repeated IVF failure and she is involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Read more...
Dr Ben Kroon, Fertility Specialist, Queensland Fertility Group
Ben Kroon is a New Zealand born Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist with extensive clinical experience in both Australia and New Zealand. In addition to specialising as a gynaecologist, Ben has undertaken 3 years of advanced training in fertility and reproductive endocrinology. He is heavily involved with the activities of the Queensland Fertility Group research foundation and is a senior lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Queensland. Read more...
Prof William Ledger, Fertility Specialist, IVF Australia
Bill Ledger is a senior fertility specialist and gynaecologist with IVFAustralia. He is Head and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The Royal Hospital for Women and Head of the Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of New South Wales a Fellow of RANZCOG and CREI. Originally from the UK, Bill has been described by 'The Observer' as “The friendly face of IVF” and he is known for his approachability as well as his clinical prowess. Read more...
Jacqui Irving, Embryology Laboratory Manager, Queensland Fertility Group
Jacqui Irving is Embryology Laboratory Manager at Queensland Fertility Group, where she has worked since 1997. Jacqui’s interests span the fields of Embryology, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Andrology and Endocrinology, and she has gained international experience working in Pakistan and Malaysia. Jacqui has published a number of peer-reviewed papers, and been an invited speaker at conferences across Australia. Jacqui is currently a board member of The Fertility Society of Australia, where she represents the membership of Scientists in Reproductive Technologies (SIRT), a special interest group representing IVF scientists.
Dr David Edgar, Scientific Director, Melbourne IVF
Dr David Edgar is our Scientific Director. He has been involved in IVF since 1985, when he moved from the field of cancer research to establish one of the first IVF laboratories in Scotland.
After relocating to Melbourne in 1994 he focused his work on a better understanding of the factors that lead to increased success rates in IVF, such as improved methods for growing embryos in the laboratory, selecting the best embryo for transfer and optimising the ability of embryos to survive cryopreservation.
David speaks regularly at national and international conferences and contributes to scientific papers and leading books and journals in the field.
Associate Professor Gavin Sacks, Fertility Specialist, IVFAustralia
Gavin is a highly respected fertility specialist and obstetrician, investigating and managing all aspects of male and female infertility. He is internationally renowned for leading research on the role of the immune system (Natural Killer Cells) in recurrent implantation failure and miscarriage in IVF. He has developed innovative treatments for immune disorders related to infertility and recurrent miscarriage and is frequently sought out for second opinion.
Gavin studied medicine at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK. He was awarded a PhD in reproductive immunology from the University of Oxford and completed his training in reproductive medicine in Sydney and London (obtaining the UK equivalent of CREI) before settling permanently in Sydney in 2005. He is Co-Director of the IVF Australia Miscarriage Program, Staff Specialist at St George Hospital and a Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW.
He teaches and examines for the Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Reproductive Medicine degrees, lectures regularly at national and international meetings and has established the Miscarriage Clinic at the Royal Hospital for Women. Currently continuing his research into the role of Natural Killer Cells and immune therapy, Gavin has initiated a large study into the use of acupuncture in IVF and miscarriage. Gavin has published over 30 research papers and book chapters. Read more...
Associate Professor Kate Stern, Fertility Specialist, Melbourne IVF
Kate completed university in Melbourne and trained in obstetrics and gynaecology at The Women’s Hospital and The Mercy Hospital, with further work and experience in this field during two years in the UK.
Kate then spent three years specialising in infertility and reproductive endocrinology and is CREI qualified. Currently, Kate heads the Fertility Preservation Service at Melbourne IVF and The Women’s Hospital. She combines a busy clinical practice with managing the Melbourne IVF clinical research program. Importantly, Kate is leading a national trial to protect the fertility of young women undergoing chemotherapy. She also lectures widely on the importance of discussing fertility preservation options for cancer patients. Read more...
Professor Michael Chapman, Director, IVFAustralia
Professor Michael Chapman is one of Australia’s most highly profiled and respected fertility specialists. He is a busy clinician who achieves high success rates, with the majority of his patients returning to his care in the hope of further completing their family. His academic position enables him to be at the forefront of new advances in treatment which he applies in his practice at the earliest opportunity.
After 15 years abroad, Michael returned to Australia in 1994 as Head of School, Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales, and St George Public Hospital, Kogarah – a role he continues today. He also remains heavily involved as a Director of the Fertility Society of Australia and is an examiner for the Certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, of which he is a Fellow.
When Chair of the IVF Directors Group he was instrumental, working closely with the Federal Government, to ensure access to ART treatment remained clinically protected as a doctor-patient medical decision. Today he is one of the country’s leading media commentators on reproductive health. Read more...
Associate Professor Peter Illingworth, Medical Director, IVFAustralia
A/Prof Peter Illingworth is an experienced infertility specialist with over 20 years’ experience in assisted reproduction, and is Medical Director of IVFAustralia. He is highly regarded internationally due to his academic achievements and practical patient focussed approach. Having just concluded a four year term as President of the Fertility Society of Australia, Peter's ability to facilitate collaboration, develop and implement ways to improve clinical practice and results for patients is renowned.
Peter has published over 70 research papers and book chapters, and provides regular media comment in Australia. His special interests are in reproductive endocrinology and female fertility disorders and he has served on a number of senior committees of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. Peter is also a Royal College examiner in the Certificate of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Read more..
Dr Andrew Cary, Fertility Specialist, QFG Gold Coast
Dr Andrew Cary followed his father into an obstetrics and gynaecology specialty, and has been in private practice on the Gold Coast since 1993. In 2000, Andrew formed Fertility Gold Coast with his colleagues, and in August 2011, they became part of Queensland Fertility Group Gold Coast. Andrew specialises in obstetric care, infertility, all aspects of IVF treatment and hysteroscopic laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.
Andrew is also Chairman and Co-Founder of the Pindara Day Procedure Centre and the Deputy Chairman of the Pindara Medical Board. Andrew has responsibility for many of the clinical aspects of medical and surgical care at the hospital and the day surgery. Read more...
Dr Leeanda Wilton, Scientific Director Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, Virtus Health
Dr Leeanda Wilton leads the Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) program at Virtus Health. Leeanda was part of the team responsible for developing the first single cell FISH (Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridisation) technology in London in the late 1980s, and in establishing the first PGD program in Australia in the 1990s.
Over many years, she has been actively involved in PGD research, and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, presented many invited lectures at major international conferences, and been awarded a number of scientific prizes. She was an inaugural member of the Victorian Infertility Treatment Authority, and is currently an associate editor of Human Reproduction, the premier journal in reproductive biology.