- Telehealth is advised for outpatient consultations.
- Suspension of fertility treatments is recommended by many societies in order to practice social distancing and endorse the redistribution of healthcare resources.
- Deferment of new treatment cycles, IVF retrievals and embryo transfers, IUI, noncritical gamete cryopreservation, elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures is advised.
- Continuation is justified for “in-cycle” patients and urgent cases (ex: cryopreservation for oncofertility). Consider freeze-all only.
- Minimal embryology/andrology staff should be active in the laboratories. All are instructed to practice appropriate safety measures.
- “Patients with COVID-19 should not undergo fertility treatment, unless they require urgent fertility preservation.” – The American Society for Reproductive Medicine
- Patients may require additional support during this time due to the psychological impacts of suspending treatments.
This information comes from The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, The Fertility Society of Australia and The British Fertility Society. Rodriguez-Wallberg et al. wrote an editorial commenting on the limitations of fertility treatments.
“Urgent” refers to a time-sensitive matter. At this time, advancing age is not considered urgent enough to continue treatments.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (March 31, 2020). Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Update #1 (March 30, 2020 through April 13, 2020). Retrieved from: https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/covid-19/covidtaskforceupdate1.pdf
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (March 17, 2020). Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Retrieved from: https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/covidtaskforce.pdf
The British Fertility Society (Mar 18, 2020). Guidance for the care of fertility patients during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from: https://www.britishfertilitysociety.org.uk/2020/03/18/guidance-for-the-care-of-fertility-patients-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (March 31, 2020). CFAS Communication on COVID-19. Retrieved from: https://cfas.ca/CFAS_Communication_on_COVID-19.html
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (April 2, 2020). Assisted reproduction and COVID-19 : An updated statement from ESHRE. Retrieved from: https://www.eshre.eu/Press-Room/ESHRE-News#COVID19WG
The Fertility Society of Australia (April 4, 2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) : Guidance for assisted reproductive treatments, including in-vitro fertilisation. Retrieved from: https://www.fertilitysociety.com.au/home/fsa-statement-covid-19/
Rodriguez-Wallberg K.A., Wikander I (April 8, 2020). A global recommendation for restrictive provision of fertility treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. https://doi.org/10.1111/aogs.13851