Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley recently announced that, due to the highly infectious Omicron variant and staff shortages, all surgery in the fertility treatment sector will be suspended.
This includes IVF treatments.
Under the IVF suspension, IVF clinics in Victoria are now being contacted by authorities and asked to cancel appointments with clients to free up more health resources.
IVF on hold for 90 days
For couples in Victoria hoping to undergo IVF or currently undergoing IVF, this announcement has left them questioning whether they will ever get to experience the joy of becoming a parent or of adding a baby to their family.
The IVF suspension is put in place from January 12 until April 12, three heartbreakingly long months for families trying for a baby.
One woman who was counting on IVF is Melanie. She’s the clearly heartbroken woman in the picture above. who makes a very emotional plea via a video on Instagram directly to Dan Andrews and Martin Foley.
‘Our bodies cannot be paused for 90 days’
Through her tears, she says,
I cannot actually fathom how you came to the decision that you did but maybe it’s because you’ve never met someone who is going through IVF.”
She goes on to introduce herself and explain that IVF was never a choice.
This is something we are doing as our only opportunity to have a child. You can’t have any idea what this will do to some women. Our bodies cannot be paused for 90 days.”
The very emotional six-minute video touches on so many excellent points that these politicians need to consider.
I want you to go to your children’s rooms and delete any trace of them… that is exactly what you are making us do – some of us have one or two more months to have children and you have just taken them away.”
In the two days since Melanie shared her video, there have been thousands of comments, likes, and shares from women, men, celebrities, some who went through IVF, many who have not.
All who agree that this ban is, simply put, plain wrong.
‘We trusted you’
One in eight women will face infertility issues and IVF is not something you can simply ‘put on hold’. That’s not how women’s bodies work.
Melanie touches on this as well, begging Foley and Andrews to do some research on the subject and listen to the experts – the medical practitioners in this field.
To the politicians responsible for the Victoria IVF suspension, Melanie says,
We listened to you in 2020 and 2021, we got double vaxxed. And you know what, I’m assuming we were probably the most hesitant people to get vaxxed. Every day we are pumping so much medication into our body, you can have no idea.
There was no data showing how this would interact with our medication, how it would affect our ovaries and eggs, or what affect it would have on getting pregnant.
But you know what? We trusted you, because you told us to listen to the experts. So I am begging you, please now listen to the experts.”
View this post on Instagram
“Infertility is not a choice’
One such expert is Melbourne fertility specialist and medical director at Number One Fertility, Lynn Burmeister. She spoke out over the 90-day IVF suspension, telling news.com.au:
Infertility is not a choice. I have many patients who cannot have a baby any other way than through IVF. While 90 days may not sound like a particularly long time, for women who have a low egg reserve or are over the age of 35, “every month is critical”.
It’s not a matter of simply stopping and starting treatment — there’s a lot of preparation that goes into IVF, like taking medication and vitamins, counselling and appointments.
We need to live with the virus, yet we are here in the third year of Covid with IVF on hold again.”
Petition to reinstate fertility and IVF treatment in Victoria
There is now an online petition calling for Premier Daniel Andrews to reinstate fertility and IVF treatments in Victoria with nearly 40,000 signatures already. The petition outlines the IVF suspension as well as what this means for Victorians impacted by it:
For those of us who have experienced infertility and pregnancy loss, every day we live without a baby in our arms is hard. And now the added stress of not knowing when treatments will be reinstated.
IVF is NOT a choice. Politicians should NOT be allowed to decide on the timing of anyone’s reproduction.”
You can sign the petition here.