The highest priority of the IVIRMA network of fertility clinics is the health and safety of its patients and employees.
We have been continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation. The situation is fluid and evolving on an ongoing basis. We believe that the most important tools in our efforts to respond to this situation and provide appropriate care to our patients are facts and calm. The information provided below is based on what we know today, and will be updated as circumstances require.
Update (3/15): In an attempt to promote social distancing we are asking our patients to come alone to monitoring visits, as well as egg retrieval and transfer. By limiting the number of people in our offices at any one time we are trying to ensure maximum safety and limit social interaction.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT COVID-19?
- COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus with an incubation period of up to 14 days.
- The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- The populations at highest risk of developing severe disease are older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
- Based on recent publications by the Lancet medical journal and statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of March 12, 2020;
- Undergoing fertility treatment does not increase your risk of contracting COVID-19 (beyond the risk that any individual takes by venturing into a public space).
- Young, healthy women are at lower risk of developing severe disease if affected by the COVID-19 virus.
- There is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection or its complications compared to similar age non-pregnant women.
- These statements are based on currently available data and are subject to change. There is not enough data (published or unpublished) to make any definitive statements.
WHAT SHOULD WOMEN DESIRING TO UNDERGO FERTILITY TREATMENT DO?
COVID-19 spreads mostly through person-to-person contact within about a 6-foot (1.8 meter) radius, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with COVID-19 spread viral particles through coughing and sneezing. The particles can land in the mouths or noses of those nearby. It might also be possible to catch COVID-19 by touching a surface where the virus has recently landed and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes. Ethanol, hydrogen-peroxide or bleach-based cleaners are effective at killing coronaviruses that do survive on surfaces.
We recommend our patients follow CDC guidelines at work, during their daily activities, and their visits to our clinics:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid hand-shaking.
- Put distance (6 feet or more) between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow.
- Face masks are not recommended for healthy people to avoid exposure to this virus, but are recommended for those who are sick.
- Follow CDC guidelines for travel.
- If you have symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, please stay home, call your primary care physician and inform us.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM UNDERGOING FERTILITY TREATMENT?
- If you are currently in any phase of treatment and are asymptomatic (i.e. not showing any signs of COVID-19 illness), and have not had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, your treatment can continue as planned.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM UNDERGOING FERTILITY TREATMENT AND I DEVELOP SYMPTOMS?
- If you are currently in any phase of treatment and become symptomatic (i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath), we will change your plan. This will be done on a case by case basis. Please stay home, call your primary care provider, and alert us immediately if you notice these symptoms. This is for your benefit as well as to protect the health and safety of other patients and your care providers.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM UNDERGOING FERTILITY TREATMENT AND I LEARN THAT SOMEONE I HAD CONTACT WITHIN THE PAST 14 DAYS WAS DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 INFECTION?
- If you are currently in any phase of treatment and learn that you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, stay home, call your primary care provider, and alert us immediately. This is for your benefit as well as to protect the health and safety of other patients and your care providers. We will monitor your progress and adjust your care plan accordingly.
SHOULD I TRAVEL IF I AM PLANNING TO OR CURRENTLY UNDERGOING FERTILITY TREATMENT?
- We recommend avoiding all non-essential travel during infertility treatment.
- If you must travel, we ask you to follow CDC guidelines
For more information about the Coronavirus please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus