Why is it important for the clinic to temporarily halt treatment cycles?
- The health and safety of our patients and staff, as well as the community at large, must take precedence at this time. The social distancing recommendation is crucial to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and temporarily altering our clinical practices will allow us to follow those guidelines. As a community, we must make these sacrifices to “flatten the curve” and reduce the chances of exposure, transmission, and the associated impact on the medical community. We must also be sensitive to the needs of the local hospitals, and ensure supply orders are directed their way, and not utilize those essential resources.
I’m worried about my advancing age and/or lower AMH values and having to delay treatment. Is this cause for concern?
- No matter your age or AMH, a short delay, such as this, will not mean a difference in treatment outcome. We expect the delay to be no longer than a few weeks.
What are my options if I am mid-treatment cycle?
- If you are mid-treatment cycle, we encourage you to review the option of proceeding vs canceling; If you choose to proceed, we will be here to assist you to the completion of your cycle to the best of our ability.
- If you are in the middle of an IVF cycle, we recommend that you consider freezing your embryos, and waiting until a later date to do an embryo transfer after the risk of acquiring this infection have declined or until more is known about potential risks in pregnancy.
- Please be aware that if you do choose to move forward, there remains the risk of cancellation if:
- we receive a government mandate to close
- you have signs/symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are quarantined
Will the clinic be open for any appointments?
- We will remain open for select appointments to serve patients who:
- Are mid-treatment and have elected to go forward
- Have urgent medical problems
- Need confirmation or evaluation of early pregnancy or pregnancy complications
- If you have an urgent matter, please call our main line directly at 206-301-5000 to speak with an on-call physician or nurse who can help assess the situation, and assist in scheduling the appropriate evaluation.
Will I be able to connect with my primary coordinator if I have questions during this time?
- While we will have members of the nursing staff available for questions, you may hear from someone other than your primary coordinator. Our electronic charting system allows the nursing staff to be familiar with your case and up to date with your past treatments and most recent appointments. Any member of the team should be able to assist you with questions or concerns while you wait to resume treatment.
- Please be aware that there are some questions we will not be able to answer, like the exact date we can resume treatment cycles.
In light of the new guidelines, I’m concerned that I may become pregnant this cycle, or am already pregnant. Is there any guidance?
- At the present time, there is no guidance to recommend that women should not get pregnant; however, 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 birth defects
- It is understandable to be unsettled during this time of COVID-19 epidemic, particularly if you are pregnant. Your SRM care team is available to answer any questions you may have.
- We strongly advise following the precautions of social distancing, washing your hands frequently (and for a minimum of 20 seconds), avoid touching your face, and calling your primary care physician if you develop any symptoms of concern, such as coughing, shortness of breath, and/or fever.
- For further information, you may wish to visit the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html
How will I know when I can resume fertility treatment?
- SRM will send email updates, and we will also update our website. When you receive notification that SRM has resumed treatment cycles, we ask that you reach out to your care team to give them an update on when you would like to start.
- We will be keeping a waitlist for IVF, egg freezing, and frozen embryo transfers, with those that are already cycle-ready given priority to start.
- Non-IVF treatment may resume (if your treatment plan is in place and all required testing has been completed) at any point after we are back to normal operations, possibly as soon as April.
- We will also be working hard on increasing our capacity so that we can minimize additional waiting times.
What should I do while waiting to resume treatment?
- Now is an excellent time to truly focus on wellness. With this extra time at home, we encourage a regular exercise program. While keeping appropriate distances from others, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the spring air and get outside for regular walks. Your dog, if you have one, will thank you! Taking time to make healthy meals, and focusing on putting nutritional foods in your body is another excellent goal during this time.
- Please continue to also take your prenatal vitamins and any other supplement recommended by your SRM physician, and get good sleep at night.
- Whether it is through extra time with your family in the home, or through phone calls or Facetime- we encourage connection with family and friends. This will build that ever-important support system, and it’s crucial to check in on those you love at a time when it is easy to feel isolated. All of these things are ways to take care of yourself and go a long way in helping with stress management.
- If you find that you are struggling with the emotional aspects of delayed treatment, or if you are having anxieties related to COVID-19, we do encourage you to speak to our counseling staff, who will continue to take phone appointments.
- Carefully follow guidance to avoid COVID-19 infection, including social distancing, meticulous hand hygiene, and avoid touching your face.
Are there alternative clinics where my treatment may be available?
- We have been in close communication with medical directors of other clinics in our area, and they have confirmed they are operating with the same restrictions and recommendations at this time.
I am hoping to start my IVF or FET cycle as soon as possible. If I need diagnostic testing, will I be able to complete this in order to begin my cycle?
- We are not scheduling any non-urgent diagnostic testing. However, if you are planning to start an IVF or FET cycle as soon as possible, please consult with your coordinator to inquire as to how soon you may be able to complete time-sensitive checklist items.
If I cancel my cycle, how will this affect my insurance coverage or financial responsibility?
- Please contact one of our financial counselors with any questions you have regarding financial implications if you choose to cancel your current cycle.