Sex, Science and Society after 40 years of IVF

Friday, 10 November 2017


Today marks 40 years since the conception of the world’s first In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) child. Since 1977, more than five million IVF babies have been born around the world, but there is still a way to go for reproductive research.

Despite a significant rise in people seeking assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) such as IVF, success rates remain stagnant with less than one in five IVF treatment cycles resulting in a live birth.

Other factors such as an increase in childbearing age are driving the necessity for public education regarding age-related fertility decline and the availability, costs, and limitations of ARTs.

To help bridge this gap, the University of Newcastle (UON) has introduced a unique and free online course open to the public.

Led by renowned reproductive biologist Laureate Professor John Aitken and an interdisciplinary team, Sex, Science and Society takes a unique look at the biological, technological, and social factors that influence human reproduction.

“Reproductive science enables human beings to understand and take control of our own fertility. It can give us the ability to choose when we have children and may even help us to have children when we can’t on our own,” said Laureate Professor Aitken, Director of UON’s Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science.

“But there are also a range of social factors like education, wealth and sexuality that influence the choices we make about reproduction,” added UON reproductive biologist Dr Jessie Sutherland.

Join Laureate Professor Aitken and colleagues as they enhance fertility awareness through the delivery of accurate and digestible information on reproductive development.

Find out more here