The temporary cancellation of IVF services due to the COVID-19 restriction on elective surgery in Australia has been lifted today by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The reinstating of IVF treatments will bring relief to those whose dreams had essentially been put on hold.
Mr Morrison said the decision was made as a result of Australia’s success in flattening the curve, low rates of COVID related hospitalisation and new data on stocks of personal protective equipment.
This means that clinics can recommence fertility and IVF treatments from 27 April, provided they adhere to the necessary COVID-19 social-distancing and safety measures.
Dr Devora Lieberman, Clinical Director City Fertility, said the interruption to IVF services, while important for the safety of the nation, was unsettling for many, in what is already an emotional rollercoaster for them.
“Fertility feels like a ticking time bomb for many of my patients and the uncertainty of how long the ban on elective surgery was going to last was terribly hard for many to comprehend,” Dr Lieberman said.
“While I have assured my patients that a month or two’s delay wouldn’t have a significant impact, many felt that a cycle delayed is a cycle lost and every cycle feels quite precious to them.”
Ashleigh Markou was going through fertility treatment at the time COVID-19 hit and said the halt on her treatment was particularly hard for her because she had been trying naturally for years.
“IVF is a plan that gives you hope when you already feel like you’ve lost control and the ban meant that my hopes and dreams were delayed even further, which was shattering,” MrsMarkou said.
“To know that I can recommence IVF is a huge relief and so exciting in a world where there is so much turmoil. It provides some hope again that I can regain some control over my life and my fertility,” she said.
According to Dr Lieberman, during the temporary ban on IVF services, City Fertility had continued to provide telehealth consults, education sessions and counselling for patients where appropriate.
“I am sure this announcement is a great relief for many IVF patients who will now have certainty about resuming fertility and IVF treatments to help them try and achieve a much wanted pregnancy,” Dr Lieberman said.