17 March 2020
Coronavirus - COVID-19
23rd March 2020- An open letter to fertility patients - Sally Cheshire CBE, Chair HFEA
Please see the updated posted from the HFEA
18th March 2020 – Coronavirus Patient Update
It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to temporarily postpone any new fertility treatments after March 19th.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the British Fertility Society have stated that, in view of the unknown effects of Covid-19 on embryos and pregnancy, and in the midst of a public health emergency, no new fertility treatment cycles should be started at the moment.
Complete Fertility Centre takes the welfare of our patients and their pregnancies extremely seriously.
With these statements from the world’s two main fertility societies, we must act responsibly and not start any new cycles until further notice. This includes ovulation induction, IUI, fresh IVF and ICSI, FET and egg donation cycles.
Other services affected include: No sperm donations, Surgical Sperm Retrievals (SSRs), Semen analyses, blood tests or hycosys.
We will continue to offer egg, embryo and sperm preservation for oncology patients.
During this unprecedented time, our staff will be supporting our NHS colleagues in their efforts to manage COVID-19.
We will continue to review the situation and hope to get back to normal as soon as the pandemic will allow us.
Patients currently in treatment
- All consultations will now be delivered over the phone or via zoom. If you have a consultation booked please make sure that you have been provided with telephone or zoom information.
- IVF/ICSI patients currently in cycle (as of 18th March) will be given the option to freeze all of their embryos. It is the choice of our patients in treatment whether they complete their fresh IVF or ICSI cycle by freezing all of their embryos (recommended) or transfer their fresh embryos. If they choose to 'freeze all' then a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle will be undertaken once the situation has settled.
- FET and IUI patients currently in treatment can choose whether to complete or stop treatment for all FET and IUI cycles.
If you or an immediate family member have any of these symptoms, please do not come into the clinic, instead please call us on 02380 010 570 and we will guide you on how we will manage your fertility care:
- FEVER, COUGH, SORE THROAT, SHORTNESS OF BREATH; OR
- HAVE TRAVELLED OVERSEAS IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS; OR
- Have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks or suspected of having COVID-19.
What are we doing to protect our patients and staff?
We are ensuring our teams maintain high hygiene standards, following all infection control protocols including hand sanitisation before and after contact with our patients; following social distancing etiquette by maintaining the one-metre rule of distance, except when carrying out an essential medical procedure (such as taking blood); and washing down all surfaces between patients with disinfectants.
Our staff will be avoiding direct physical contact with patients such as handshakes. We do appreciate how hard this is, not to be able to have the warmth of physical support when you are going through the emotional journey of IVF but it is important for your safety.
Children are currently prohibited from attending the clinic at this time.
What do I do if I or my family acquire COVID-19 or are exposed to it during fertility treatment?
Clearly, if a woman or her family acquire COVID-19 or are exposed to it, the situation changes. It is important to discuss this with your fertility specialist.
You must not attend the clinic if you or your family have been exposed to COVID-19 and your cycle will need to be cancelled. We, therefore, recommend that you follow all possible precautionary measures during your treatment to reduce your exposure risk.
How Complete Fertility can help you during this time
We understand that this is a very difficult and distressing time for everyone, especially those of you who are trying to conceive. We will continue to support you in every way possible and in any instances of deferred treatment, we will make sure that you are kept updated on when we will be able to treat you.
In the meantime, we would encourage you to talk to our counsellor who is available for phone consultations and appointments. These can be made by calling 02380 010 570. We are working hard to deliver your care at the earliest, safe opportunity.
- About Coronavirus
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
How to protect yourself from COVID-19
Wash your hands properly and regularly:
- after coughing or sneezing
- after toilet use
- before eating
- before and after preparing food
- if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
- if your hands are dirty.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
- Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Importantly, stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
Follow the travel advice from the Public Health England www.nhs.uk
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing upon greeting colleagues, friends or family.
Read a step-by-step guide on respiratory etiquette and how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection
Follow the advice on how to protect yourself from coronavirus
Anyone who knows they have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days and has symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) should:
- isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room, with a phone,
- call their GP or emergency department.
Close contact means either:
- face-to-face contact; or
- spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infected person; or
- living in the same house as an infected person.
Symptoms of coronavirus
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a fever (temperature above normal);
- cough; shortness of breath; breathing difficulties. If you have these symptoms and have been in an affected area or in contact with a confirmed case, contact your local GP.
When you may need to be tested for coronavirus
If your doctor thinks that you need a test for coronavirus, they will tell you where the test will be done. They will also tell you when to expect your results.
How coronavirus is spread
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. You could get the virus if you:
- come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing; or
- touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on.