William Longfield is a much-longed-for baby, but having him cost his parents all their savings, including their house deposit and even his mother's redundancy payout.
All up, Kira and Jared Longfield spent at least $40,000 on seven gruelling cycles of IVF.
"You are so vulnerable, you are desperate, you would do anything for a child," Ms Longfield said.
On top of the standard IVF procedure, fertility doctors offer couples like the Longfields a range of different treatments to boost a woman's chances of getting pregnant.
But according to some experts, like Dr Alex Polyakov from Melbourne IVF, there is little to no evidence that many of these "add-on" procedures actually work.
In some cases, having an add-on procedure can mean women are less likely to conceive.
In couples with male infertility, a procedure called intra-cyctoplasmic sperm injection ( ICSI ) is often used, where a single sperm is used to fertilise an egg.
Dr Polyakov ran a study comparing pregnancy rates in couples having ICSI with those having standard IVF, where male infertility was not a factor.
"We didn't get as many embryos, we didn't get as many people pregnant and we didn't get as many people having babies compared to the group that just had normal IVF," he said.
But on average, almost two out of three couples are up-sold to have the ICSI procedure as part of their IVF treatment.
In fact, in some clinics in the Northern Territory and Victoria, where the Longfields live, the rate of ICSI is almost 90 per cent.
Deputy president of the Fertility Society of Australia Dr Luk Rombauts conceded that was too high and said doctors were trying to bring the use of ICSI down.
But ICSI is only one of a number of different add-on treatments Australian couples are using.
Procedures still used in Australia despite crackdown in UK
The United Kingdom clamped down on add-on treatments in 2017, after the BBC's Panorama program spent a year investigating 27 common add-on procedures — finding plenty of positive claims by IVF clinics but very little evidence to support them.
The British regulator now provides potential IVF patients with a system of "Traffic light" ratings for add on treatments.
Some received an amber rating, indicating there was conflicting evidence, and a need for more research.
Some were rated red, meaning there was "no evidence the treatment is either effective or safe".
None achieved a green rating, but several treatments on the UK red and amber list are still widely used by Australian IVF clinics.
- Almost two out of three couples are up-sold expensive add-on procedures as part of their IVF treatment
- Experts warn many add-ons are ineffective, and in some cases, are harmful and can reduce chances of pregnancy
- The UK recently had major crackdown on these treatments, Australia still has no national regulator or procedure rating system
Article: www.abc.net.au 6th May 2019