Big Fertility During COVID-19

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on March 26, 2020

I hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and sane during these challenging and unfamiliar times we find ourselves facing!

As a nurse in the Bay Area, I am constantly reading and educating myself on the newest developments surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and the repercussions this wicked virus is having on ourselves and society. There is so much information swarming our news outlets, email inboxes, and on our social media pages. It’s so hard to stay informed, especially when information is changing hour by hour.

In the hospital where I work, elective procedures are being cancelled and strict visitor restrictions have been implemented. That had me wondering, “What about fertility clinics, IVF procedures, and babies waiting in tubes or on ice?”

According to a recent article published by Fertility and Sterility, IVF procedures are no exception and should be cancelled as well. Author Louise P. King, MD., J.D. writes, “Any procedure that uses our scarce resources during these crucial moments is a burden we simply can’t afford as a nation. Moreover, any non urgent contact with patients in the context of a 30% asymptomatic rate and lack of adequate rapid screening is not mindful of our need to socially distance and flatten the curve.”

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine released an official statement recommending the suspension of new and non-urgent fertility treatments. This would include the suspension of new treatment cycles (ovulation induction, intrauterine inseminations, in vitro fertilization, and gamete cryopreservation). They also recommend providers to strongly consider cancelling all embryo transfers and provide care via telehealth.

This is absolutely the safest way to try and flatten the curve. I hope that #BigFertility heeds this advice. We will continue to provide insight and education surrounding #BigFertility and Covid-19.

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