27 August 2019

Hundreds of people with cancer and rare genetic diseases may still be able to have children thanks to a new statewide fertility centre, the first of its kind in Australia.

Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard said the Fertility and Research Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women will provide hope to both male and female patients undergoing cancer treatment that may affect their fertility.

“This centre will provide first-class fertility preservation services, giving people with a cancer diagnosis or rare genetic conditions the chance to make their future plans for children a reality,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This centre is an Australian first, combining the latest research with fertility preservation and assisted reproduction services in a public hospital and is part of the NSW Government’s $42 million investment in improving access to IVF services.”

The Centre will assist people hoping to have children through IVF, and research will be carried out on site to help find solutions for those facing obstacles to falling pregnant.

The NSW Government is investing $170 million towards additional health services for families as part of the 2019–20 State Budget.

The Centre, a collaboration between the Royal Hospital for Women and the University of New South Wales, has an assisted reproduction laboratory and procedure room where patients can receive a full range of services.

Professor William Ledger, Head of Reproductive Medicine at the Royal Hospital for Women, said the service will be linked with the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

“Cancer patients diagnosed at Sydney Children’s or Prince of Wales Hospital can now speak with doctors about fertility preservation the very same day they are told they need chemotherapy,” Professor Ledger said.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Sydney’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said the public centre will conduct significant clinical research.

“Research projects include new approaches to preserving eggs, ovarian tissue, gametes and embryos for younger people with cancer, improving IVF success rates and reducing the risk of implantation failure and miscarriage in women in their 30s and 40s,” Professor Fisk said.