A government backflip on Thursday to resume fertility treatment is unlikely to make a significant difference to patients of a south-west clinic which was already operating at a reduced capacity.
Winslow's Carly and Ryan McArdle have been unwillingly caught up in the decision, which will delay their treatment start date in a bid to grow their family.
IVF procedures were restricted or stopped across the state earlier this month to free up hospital resources as COVID-19- related hospitalisations continued to rise.
The state government lifted restrictions on Thursday, but Dr Kristin Cornell, from Warrnambool's Southwest Fertility (by Ballarat IVF) said the move wouldn't impact or benefit its south-west patients as it was already operating at a reduced capacity.
Instead, the decision would bring metro and other hospitals, which had completely ceased services, in line with Southwest Fertility, which had been able to continue operating at a reduced capacity.
It's been a tough time for the couple who this month were dealt a crushing blow, informed that Mrs McArdle's embryo transfer was unsuccessful and they weren't pregnant.
A few days later, Mrs McArdle was informed that her next IVF treatment would be suspended as part of the statewide bid to free up hospitals.
The couple has a 15-month-old daughter Elsie, conceived through IVF, and they want a sibling for her.
Mrs McArdle said initial news that IVF treatment would be suspended broke her heart.
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"Being told we weren't pregnant was really hard but then being told we had to wait, that was probably the hardest part and what broke me," Mrs McArdle said.
"I think I'm probably one of the luckier ones, but my heart goes out to those people that have been trying for a really long time.
"When you're doing IVF, every day counts. Every month means so much. You've got that one chance and then you have to wait until the following month (to try again) and that month takes so long, especially when you're trying for a baby."
The couple, who tried for four years to conceive Elsie, had hoped to begin their second IVF cycle soon, with Mrs McArdle preparing her body for treatment for the last four months. She's now not sure when IFV will resume.
"The next step is egg collection again," she said. "I've got to go back to stage one, egg collection again and hopefully a fresh transfer," she said.
Mrs McArdle thanked Dr Cornell and her team who have been with them throughout their journey and said the couple was grateful for their work and support.
"It's been a crazy couple of years for all couples in our situation, but we certainly consider ourselves lucky to have the team go above and beyond for us at all times," she said.
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