Fertility clinics across NZ looking forward to starting up again as country looks to loosen lockdown restrictions – TVNZ

Fertility clinics across New Zealand are looking forward to starting up again, as the country weighs up loosening lockdown restrictions.

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For many women seeking IVF, time is of the essence, meaning some have had to put their family plans on hold. Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Mary Birdsall, the group medical director for Fertility Associates, says the plans of around 1,100 women have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

"We come to work to make babies, so we want to get back to making babies," she said.

Dr Birdsall says while the extra wait is unlikely to have had a long-term impact on people's fertility journey, it will have been a stressful time for those looking to have a baby via IVF.

Those who'd started the egg harvesting and fertilisation process were able see that out, but implantation's been delayed by at least a month.

"Those embryos are tucked up very safely in our freezer, just waiting for a uterus to put them back into," says Dr Birdsall.

The New Zealand Government funds two rounds of IVF treatments for women under the age of 40, but only if they fit strict health criteria.

From there it gets expensive, with each private treatment attempt costing up to $15,000.

With New Zealand heading into a recession, fertility clinics are expecting business to drop.

Juanita Copeland, the president of Fertility New Zealand, a charity that helps women through their IVF journey, is hoping that the government will still commit to funding IVF treatments despite money being tight.

"To think that someone couldn't fulfil their dreams of becoming a parent, or completing their family, simply because of financial reasons is just absolutely heartbreaking," she says.

Jen Kendrick is one of the women who've had to reassess their IVF plans.

She's been trying for a baby for a year, but severe endometriosis means her best shot at conceiving is through IVF.

She told 1 NEWS the lockdown has been extremely difficult.

The excitement and getting ready to go through this journey, I guess, just happened at the worst time," says Ms Kendrick.

"You have to understand, other women and things, they've been announcing pregnancies through lockdown.

"It's something that's created a lot of anxiety and stress."

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Fertility clinics across NZ looking forward to starting up again as country looks to loosen lockdown restrictions - TVNZ

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