MFC Policy re services
Monday 16th March 2020
It is with great regret that we are curtailing all our fertility treatments from today, 16th March 2020.
On 14th March, ESHRE, the European body which advises on fertility in Europe, issued advice that fertility patients should avoid conceiving at present due to possible risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy. (See full statement below).
This may be an overreaction but we have taken the difficult decision that it is best to be cautious at this point in time. We will be monitoring the situation carefully and will adjust our policy as required.
As of today we are cancelling:
- All embryo transfers (fresh and frozen cycles unless exceptional circumstances)
- All ovulation induction and IUI treatments
Our clinic is still staffed and we will be doing as much as possible to keep things going. Please contact us by phone or email if you have any particular concerns. Again, we apologise for any inconvenience and distress that this will undoubtedly cause.
European Society for Human reproduction and Embryology
Coronavirus Covid-19: ESHRE statement on pregnancy and conception, 14 March 2020.
There is no strong evidence of any negative effects of Covid-19 infection on pregnancies, especially those at early stages, as indicated by the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA and others in Europe.(1,2)
There are a few reported cases of women positive for Covid-19 who delivered healthy infants free of the disease.(3) There have been reports of adverse neonatal outcomes (premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery) in infants born to mothers positive for Covid-19 during their pregnancy, but the reports were based on limited data.(4) Similarly, one case report has been published of an infected infant, but again there was no strong evidence that this was the result of vertical transmission.(5)
These data, although encouraging, only report small numbers and must be interpreted with caution. They refer to pregnancies in their final stages, but we have no information on the possible effect of Covid-19 infection on pregnancies in their initial stages.(6)
However, in view of the above considerations and the maternal and neonatal outcomes reported in cases of other coronavirus infections (such as SARS), ESHRE continues to recommend a precautionary approach.(7) It is also important to note that some of medical treatment given to severely infected patients may indicate the use of drugs which are contraindicated in pregnant women.
As a precautionary measure – and in line with the position of other scientific societies in reproductive medicine – we advise that all fertility patients considering or planning treatment, even if they do not meet the diagnostic criteria for Covid-19 infection, should avoid becoming pregnant at this time. For those patients already having treatment, we suggest considering deferred pregnancy with oocyte or embryo freezing for later embryo transfer.
ESHRE further advises that patients who are pregnant or those (men and women) planning or undergoing fertility treatment should avoid travel to known areas of infection and contact with potentially infected individuals.
ESHRE will continue to monitor the scientific literature, especially in relation to ART and pregnancy. And reaffirms the view that all medical professionals have a duty to avoid additional stress to a healthcare system that in many locations is already overloaded.