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Coronavirus: Postponement of IVF treatment 'heartbreaking'

image copyrightFamily Handout
image captionKaty said she feels lost, sad and angry after her IVF was stopped part way through a course of treatment

A woman whose fertility treatment was stopped because of the coronavirus outbreak said she felt lost not knowing when she would be able to have a baby.

Katy and her husband Tom, from Exeter, Devon, started IVF after going through two miscarriages, including one just before their wedding five years ago.

She should have had her fourth IVF transfer two weeks ago.

"It is heartbreaking," she said. "I just feel lost and sad, frustrated, angry."

NHS and private fertility clinics were instructed to stop all treatments by 15 April but some clinics stopped earlier than that.

Katy said: "I was three weeks into my treatment... they basically put me into menopause with injections, when they stopped treatment."

image copyrightFamily Handout
image captionKaty and Tom found out they were having their first miscarriage at their 12-week scan, which was two weeks before their wedding

Katy, 28, a healthcare assistant at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, said her age meant time was on her side but, after years of trying to conceive, she felt like she was in limbo.

"We started our married life with heartbreak and wanting to try for a baby," she said.

"All our lives have been about is infertility and trying."

The couple, who have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, started their latest round of IVF in October and Katy felt hopeful the treatment would have been successful this time.

"Every time we are getting closer so they are tweaking the medication and the timings so I really had a lot of faith in this cycle working," she said.

"You build yourself up mentally and physically to prepare for another cycle and it is heartbreaking."

image copyrightFamily Handout
image captionKaty said she had pictured her life with children and she and husband Tom were ready to have them

Anya Sizer, from the Fertility Network UK, which provides free support and advice for anyone affected by fertility issues, said every aspect of people's lives was affected when they went through infertility.

"Going through infertility cuts to the very heart of how you see yourself as a person, how you see your place in society, it rocks your relationship, finances, friendships," she said.

"We are not surprised at all by the level of anxiety that we are seeing."

Katy said she understood why the treatment had stopped but not knowing when it might restart was "really difficult".

"We just want children of our own because we are ready now and we have been for a while," she said.

"It just seems so far away and every week or month that goes by it is just getting further and further away."

The body that regulates IVF clinics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said it was working on an exit strategy with patients and clinics "to enable fertility treatment to resume when government restrictions on social contact and travel are lifted".

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Related Topics

  • Exeter
  • Coronavirus lockdown measures
  • Mers virus
  • IVF

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