COVID-19 Impact on Fertility Treatment

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had world-wide impact. Our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected. Our aim with this content is to give you an overview on the impact of COVID-19 on fertility treatment and how you can make plans for your treatment in the future.

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Can I get a consultation during COVID-19?

Yes, you can still book a consultation. Most clinics are offering telehealth virtual consultations. Some clinics are offering in-person consultations with screening prior to entrance. You can find out which clinics are still open and offering consultations by searching fertility clinics.

Can I get testing done during COVID 19 restrictions?

Yes, you can still have most fertility tests done during COVID-19. Most tests will be conducted at a local pathology lab. You may be screened before entrance. Your fertility specialist will instruct you on where you can go for testing and what to expect.

Can I start a treatment cycle during COVID-19?

Most clinics are currently not offering treatment cycles until the restrictions on fertility and non-essential surgeries have been lifted. However, some fertility clinics in Florida remain open. It is up to your discretion and your doctor’s discretion how you will proceed.

Our anticipation is that non-essential surgery bans will be lifted within the next few weeks, to allow for fertility treatment cycles to resume. We suggest booking a telehealth consultation and getting your tests done during this time, so that you can begin treatment when the restrictions are lifted.

What if I have started a treatment cycle?

For any patients currently undergoing treatment we recommend you contact your fertility specialist. Most patients who are in-cycle are allowed to finish their cycles. If they are infected with COVID-19 most clinics allow them to cancel their cycles.

I am nervous about getting pregnant during COVID-19. Should I wait to start treatment?

There has been no evidence of teratogenicity (fetal damage) from the novel coronavirus. In fact, no coronavirus has ever been associated with this outcome.

Most importantly, no authority has recommended avoiding, postponing, or terminating a pregnancy due to COVID-19. The guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) has been reassuring regarding pregnancy risks.

With that said, If you have COVID-19 or have a high likelihood of developing COVID-19 (fever and/or cough, shortness of breath, and either exposure within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 patient and within 14 days of onset of symptoms, or a positive COVID-19 test result), including those planning to use oocyte donors, sperm donors, or gestational carriers, you should strive to avoid a pregnancy.

If you are undergoing active infertility treatment, we suggest that you discuss with your physician the option to freeze all oocytes or embryos and avoid an embryo transfer.

Please note this recommendation does not necessarily apply when there solely is a suspicion of COVID-19, because symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other more common forms of respiratory illnesses.

 How will COVID-19 affect fertility treatment outcomes?

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), currently very little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on reproduction and pregnancy. We have no reason to believe COVID-19 will adversely affect the outcome of your fertility treatment.

 Can I get a fertility loan to start a cycle when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?

Yes. IVF Options offers loans through LendingClub PatientSolutions. You can get pre-approved online in 1 minute. From the time you get pre-approved, you have 60 days to complete the application and get the funds.

If treatment restrictions last longer than 60 days from the time of your pre-approval, you can simply re fill in the pre-approval online. This will not impact your credit score.

Approval decisions are instantaneous. If you are not approved for the full amount, LendingClub PatientSolutions will work with you to try and get you approved.

Why have industry and government instructed clinics to stop performing treatment?

The ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) has published their recommendations for clinics during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

At this time, the ASRM Coronavirus/COVID-19 Task Force affirms all of the stated recommendations of March 17, 2020 as timely and appropriate, including:

Suspend initiation of new treatment cycles, including ovulation induction, intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in vitro fertilization (IVF) including retrievals and frozen embryo transfers, as well as non-urgent gamete cryopreservation.

  • Strongly consider cancellation of all embryo transfers whether fresh or frozen.
  • Continue to care for patients who are currently “in-cycle” or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation.
  • Suspend elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures.
  • Minimize in-person interactions and increase utilization of telehealth.

On March 16, 2020 President Trump and The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19. This was extended to April 30, 2020. Additionally, The CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) have recommended that non-essential or elective surgeries be postponed. Additionally Florida Governor DeSantis prohibits non-essential elective medical procedures in an executive order.

When can I expect to start a treatment cycle?

Non-essential elective surgeries are currently recommended against until April 30, 2020 however this date may be extended. We are hopeful that fertility treatment will be allowed to resume in May 2020.

Why are some clinics open and others are closed?

Some clinics have chosen not to follow executive orders or recommendations put forth by the Trump Administration and CDC. Many clinics and fertility specialists believe that fertility treatment is essential, especially in the cases where patients have diminished ovarian reserves, and are working to begin treatment as for patients as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we recommend using IVF Options to find a fertility clinic, book a virtual consultation and get pre-approved for a fertility loan so that you are ready to begin treatment as soon as the restrictions are lifted.