Donor register services
Since the launch of VARTA's donor register services on 29 June - in line with the implementation of changes to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act - there has been significant activity for VARTA in this area. In the past three months, VARTA has already received more than 60 referrals from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) regarding applications to the central and voluntary registers.
Fertility and assisted reproduction:
In July, VARTA and Family Planning Victoria launched a ground-breaking new sexuality teaching resource, The fertility and assisted reproduction: teaching module
. Developed by experts in the fields of sexual and reproductive health as well as ART, the module aims to raise awareness and knowledge about reproduction and factors that influence fertility and reproductive outcomes, including age, weight, alcohol, smoking, drugs and STIs. It also looks at reproductive life planning. Teachers will be able to refer to the module throughout primary and secondary school years, adding and improving on students’ understanding of the issues and tailoring information according to the capacity of students to understand. More information is available here
Louis Waller lecture 2015:
Parenting begins before conception
Professor Sarah Robertson from the Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, delivered the Louis Waller lecture 2015, to an audience of around 100 people on 3 September. The lecture, entitled 'Parenting begins before conception', discussed her research findings that lifestyle and environmental factors for both parents in the months leading up to conception can directly impact on the health of a child at birth and into adulthood, and the so-called ‘epigenetic’ mechanisms involved. Epigenetics affect the life course potential of offspring, particularly their susceptibility to non-communicable diseases including heart disease, diabetes, allergy and asthma, and neurological conditions. This year's Louis Waller lecture was timed to coincide with Fertility Week 2015. VARTA has recorded a video interview with Professor Robertson on her research which will soon be available on the VARTA and Your Fertility websites.
Fertility Week 2015
Fertility Week 2015 took place in the first week of September, focusing on the impact that being overweight or obese can have on a person's fertility. With a heavy emphasis on public education via social media, the week saw a social media audience reach of more than 2.5 million people. The project also had considerable coverage in print and online media as well as on commercial and public radio. For more information visit Your Fertility
Save the date: Hope, hype and reality - can we make eggs and sperm?
This year's Twilight seminar, run in conjunction with Stem Cells Australia
, will discuss current views and scientific realities for the creation of artificial gametes.
: 19 November at 6pm
: Russell Kennedy, Level 12, 469 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
More information to come shortly.