Fertility First Hurstville specialist among presenters at fertility expo

Expert tips: Fertility specialist Anne Clark from Fertility First Hurstville will be among the presenters at a fertility expo in Sydney on August 17.
Expert tips: Fertility specialist Anne Clark from Fertility First Hurstville will be among the presenters at a fertility expo in Sydney on August 17.

Sydney will host an Australian first-of-its-kind fertility expo this month for parents-to-be wanting to start a family.

On August 17, the 'All About Fertility' event will be held at Cammeray.

All under one roof will be some of the nation's leading IVF clinics, fertility coaches, alternative medicine providers, legal support, outreach services, and people who have been through the journey themselves including surrogates and grown donor children.

There will also be an educational seminar focused on associated medical conditions and treatment options.

Fertility First Hurstville medical director, Anne Clark, will be among the presenters.

"The fertility journey can be quite a long an emotional one. To make it as easy as possible it's essential to start with appropriate information," she said.

"We're seeing more individuals and couples seeking fertility treatment each year, but everyone's story is unique.

"Receiving guidance and asking questions directly of medical experts in the one, relaxed setting, is a wonderful opportunity that can help allay the apprehension often seen in those early stages."

The expo will also feature a 'couch time' zone where visitors can meet others willing to share their stories.

Of the one-in-six heterosexual couples in Australia presenting with fertility issues, Dr Clark says half will end up having IVF treatment, with about 15 per cent requiring sperm donation and about 10 per cent requiring egg donation.

More than 13,500 babies born in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 were as a result of IVF.

More than 13,500 babies born in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 were as a result of IVF.

She will talk about male fertility, among other topics.

"Health and fertility is as equally important among women as it is in men and there are many misconceptions out there that an event such as this can help lay to rest," she said.

"At the expo, visitors can learn about aspects of fertility among both sexes, find out more about routine assessments and Australian regulatory guidelines and gain insights into sperm and egg donation options available to them right here in Australia."

This year's state budget includes a $500 rebate for fertility testing as part of $42 million to improve access to IVF. That covers the first statewide fertility preservation services for cancer patients at the Royal Hospital for Women, and more public clinics offering lower-cost fertility treatments for roughly 6000 women.

"Pre-screening tests are often an expensive and emotionally challenging experience for women," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

"We will also make IVF an option for more women who previously may not have been able to afford it by expanding the number of NSW government-supported IVF clinics."

The cost of IVF treatment is much lower at government-supported facilities compared to private ones, which can charge up to $10,000 per cycle.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the stress of not falling pregnant was stressful enough without the worry of the cost.

"Needing to take time off work for treatment creates an even bigger financial burden for women trying to conceive, so our IVF package will offset some of those costs," he said.

The expo is at Norths Cammeray, 12 Abbot Street, Cammeray, from 9.30am - 6pm.

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