Hope for IVF patients following new virus guidelines
The coronavirus lockdown has brought many businesses to a standstill - including fertility clinics. There have been hundreds of patients across the UK speaking of heartbreak after treatment was postponed in line with the guidance issued by the British Fertility Society (BFS). Their guidance was based on the ESHRE recommendation from15th March about concerns over the impact of Covid-19 on early pregnancy. However, the body (ESHRE) has issued new guidance confirming how treatments can resume.
"As the Covid-19 pandemic is stabilising, the return to normal daily life will also see the need to restart the provision of ART (assisted reproductive technology) treatments", it said in a statement. "Infertility is a disease and once the risk of infection is decreasing, all ART treatments can be restarted for any clinical indication, in line with local regulations." The guidance also says "vigilance and measured steps must be taken" to minimise the risks of Covid-19 for patients and staff during treatment.
ESHRE recommends that patients and staff complete a "triage" questionnaire two weeks before resuming treatment to establish if they have symptoms of coronavirus of if they are at risk of exposure. Patients who are deemed low risk and who do not have symptoms can proceed to treatment. ESHRE also recommends that, depending on the size of the clinic, staff should be subdivided into "mini-teams" with minimum interactions among them.
However, these recommendations have been issued by the European body and UK clinics are at the moment waiting for official guidelines to be issued by the British Fertility Society (BFS) and a recommendation from the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) to follow these to be received.
We will keep all our patients updated and the whole team at City Fertility hopes that we can resume fertility treatments in due course. In the meantime, we are still here for you so should you have any questions please feel free to get in touch on 020 8209 3226 (our lines are open Monday - Friday, 8am to 4pm) or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to read about the HFEA's decision to suspend fertility treatments, what clinics need to do before they can reopen and how will the clinics keep patients safe when they reopen you can find the FAQ issued by HFEA by following this link.