ORANGE'S IVF clinic has had to pause during coronavirus restrictions, but those who have already started cycles will still be able to complete them.
After the federal government directed all non-essential surgeries to cease from this month, Genea followed suit.
But Genea medical director Associate Professor Mark Bowman said patients midway through an IVF cycle could complete their treatment following consultation with their fertility specialist.
"If a patient has already commenced stimulation before the restrictions on surgeries, it is deemed medically essential that eggs are collected," he said.
"Beyond that, we have been given clear directives from government as to elective surgery, until the current COVID-19 situation settles."
Egg and sperm preservation treatment as a result of cancer is deemed essential by the Fertility Society of Australia and can be conducted.
"We are devastated for patients wanting to commence treatment and understand how distressing this news is for many," Dr Bowman said.
"However, it is imperative that the clinic follows the advice and requirements enforced by our state and federal governments."
He advised patients to lean on their support networks, talk to their family and friends and listen to the advice of their specialist and fertility care team.
"Consider the issues not only of being pregnant in an uncertain time, but also issues such as general patient and staff safety, travel and social distancing requirements and the country's need for medical resources in caring for seriously ill people," he said.
The clinic has had processes in place to allow fertility treatments to be completed safely for patients and staff.
The Central Western Daily was unable to confirm how many couples would have to delay their treatment because they had not started a cycle.
Dr Bowman said Genea was actively monitoring COVID-19 updates from the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health and would continue to respond based on best advice from the governments, public health authorities and medical professionals.
DID YOU BEAT THE CUT-OFF?
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below: