Taking IVF Treatment forward during COVID 19

A global Pandemic was in the cards for a long time. Experts have been predicting of a globally crippling Pandemic and now we are in the midst of it trying our best to cope with both the economical and emotional implications. These are turbulent times. A few months back couples were planning to have IVF treatment and start their families. Suddenly this has been brought to a forceful pause by this Pandemic. Unfortunately COVID 19 is here to stay and we must try to move on with our lives with extra measures.

All the couples who were planning to start their families’ early this year may now be faced with doubt and uncertainty. We are here to assure all such couples with help and guidance on how to prepare for IVF treatment during COVID pandemic. We will be addressing a lot of FAQS on how to take Fertility Treatment forward during COVID in this article which we hope will bring a measure of clarity to those who are planning to start their Fertility treatments again.

As we open our doors again, we have set the safety of our patients and clinic staff as the highest priority.

How will Care IVF manage risks to patients?

The following measures have been taken to address this situation:

  • We will continue to screen all patients for exposure and risk factors for COVID-19. Patients who fail screening will not be seen in our facilities. If a patient becomes quarantined or sick from COVID-19, their treatment will be cancelled
  • Patients will need to come to our offices with only their spouses/ partners adhering to 1 + 1 policy, for all types of visits.
  • We will continue to follow ICMR and ISAR guidelines for in managing any possible exposure.
  • We will continue to monitor the implementation of social distancing norms in waiting rooms and consult areas to provide appropriate physical and time distance according to ICMR guidance
  • Our procedures are performed in dedicated rooms with sterile or disinfected equipment. One case at a time, one room at a time. Procedure and operating rooms are disinfected between cases.
  • Wearing a mask is compulsory when they come to Our office for appointments, all appointments will be require advance booking to help us with crowd control in the clinic

FAQ’s related to fertility Treatment during COVID

  1. How will COVID-19 affect fertility treatment outcomes
    Unfortunately, data regarding this topic are limited. Currently, there is no evidence suggesting that COVID-19 causes birth defects, although it is early in this pandemic. Public health bodies have NOT recommended abstaining from getting pregnant at this time.
  2. Should I come in for my appointment even if I have cold or flu symptoms?
    In case of history of fever/cough/breathlessness, kindly inform us in advance, prior to coming in physically for an appointment, and we will schedule a tele-consult for you till you become better
  3. Do I need to be tested? Does Care IVF offer testing?
    Testing is offered to couples during IVF and both partners need to be tested before going ahead with egg retrieval.
  4. I want to pursue IVF or other fertility medical treatments. Should I delay care during the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it safe to do IVF treatment now
    Although fertility treatments aren’t medical emergency, they are medically necessary nonetheless. The choice to delay or commence treatment would depend upon your personal circumstances. For instance, someone with depleting AMH values, would not want to wait till the completion of pandemic to start their IVF cycle.
  5. Will postponing my treatment now affect my ability to have a child?
    It is extremely difficult to consider postponing your treatment. Most people have gone through tremendous loss and grief by the time they get to the place where they are doing an IVF cycle. In addition, navigating the cost and insurance coverage aspects is daunting. Now that you are at this point in your family building, you are dealt a huge unknown with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how you should proceed, or start, this medical treatment. It should be somewhat helpful to hear that there is no evidence that delaying treatment for a month or two will ultimately affect your ability to have a child, even if you have concerns about advanced age and / or diminished ovarian reserve (low egg supply.
  6. Can my clinic prevent me from getting infected by screening patients and staff?
    As anyone who has been through fertility treatment or has prepared to begin fertility treatment knows, multiple clinic visits and procedures are required. Unfortunately, even if a clinic tries to screen patients and staff to lower the risk of novel coronavirus exposure in the fertility clinic, there is no way to guarantee prevention of exposure. COVID-19 is now spreading through communities and is not limited to those who have travelled to certain countries. People who have the novel coronavirus are contagious days before they develop any symptoms. The virus can be in the air that they breathe out and the air you breathe in. This risk is reduced by wearing masks and by increasing physical distance between people. However, even these precautions aren’t foolproof and do not guarantee your safety. We wish we could screen in a way that could definitively eliminate risk, but there are no viable options to do that.
  7. Is there a risk that my cycle could be cancelled if I proceed with treatment now?
    Unfortunately yes. If you test positive, in order for your safety and clinics safety, we would have to cancel IVF cycle or FET.
  8. Is COVID testing mandatory, and how many times does a couple undergoing IVF need to go for this test?
    It’s mandatory during IVF and FET. Couple undergoing ivf, ideally would need to be tested twice – once before starting the cycle and again before going ahead with the egg retrieval.
  9. What happens if I am found positive while undergoing stimulation?
    A clinic that begins a treatment cycle could be forced to cancel it by the clinic's city or state regulations. Furthermore, healthcare workers who are exposed to the coronavirus may not be able to come to work. It is possible that even if you begin to invest time and money into fertility treatment now, it could be cancelled due to governmental restrictions or lack of available staff.
  10. What is the risk that a COVID-19 infection will affect my unborn child?
    Some pregnancy complications have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19, such as preterm delivery and low birth weight. More reports are becoming available every day. It is not clear whether these outcomes were related to maternal infection. It is possible that other unforeseen complications may be discovered in the future.
  11. Is there a risk of miscarriage if you contact COVID while pregnant?
    There is limited information about the risks of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy. Pregnant women are more susceptible to many viral illnesses. If you acquire a viral respiratory infection during pregnancy, such as influenza, the risk of serious illness is increased. Based on very limited data, there is currently no evidence of increased risk of miscarriage due to COVID-19 infection.
  12. If the donor contacts COVID during stimulation what happens? Do we have to bear the expenses of the medicines used?
    In such circumstances, clinic would bear majority of the expenses and the recipient would have to bear only a minor proportion of expense.
  13. Is it safe to use Donor Semen/Oocytes Sample, Are they going to be tested for COVID?
    We use semen sample which have been stored prior to the pandemic and screened for viral infections twice. So these are very safe.