CCRM FERTILITY COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES
In order to continue to provide industry-leading fertility care while limiting social exposure and virus transmission, CCRM Fertility has implemented the following measures:
- Utilizing telehealth appointments as much as possible. This includes new patient appointments, regroups and financial consults.
- All patients will be screened for exposure and risk factors for COVID-19, which includes taking your temperature upon entry to a CCRM Fertility clinic. Patients who do not pass the screening will need to reschedule their appointment.
- Patients may be required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to treatment.
- All CCRM Fertility staff are vaccinated and will undergo COVID-19 testing on a rolling basis.
- CCRM Fertility staff will wear masks .
- Patients are required to wear a mask/face covering in CCRM Fertility clinics.
- Limiting the number of patients in the office. If your partner is not undergoing any testing or treatment that day, we ask that you come to your appointment unaccompanied. Patients can bring their partners to egg retrieval and embryo transfer appointments. Some locations may be able to maintain six feet social distancing during the intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure, which would allow for your partner to be present for the procedure. In locations where social distancing is not possible, your partner will be asked to wait in the lobby or outside of the facility during the procedure.
- Disinfecting all areas of the clinic.
- Added additional safety measures in the laboratories to ensure staff, patient and sample safety.
- Minimizing face-to-face interactions with administrative and financial staff. Patients may be asked to:
- Check into appointments using electronic self-check-in on computer or mobile device.
- Check out of appointments handled remotely. Note: We will require a credit card on file, so that we can forgo an in-person check-out.
- Use portals to communicate about administrative and financial matters.
- Sign paperwork electronically or electronic secure file transfer of completed documents.
COVID-19 Vaccine for Patients
In agreement with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), CCRM Fertility recommends that people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future should receive the COVID-19 vaccine and when eligible, the COVID-19 booster.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy
A new CDC study of more than 46,000 pregnant women found that those who received a COVID vaccine had no added risk of premature delivery or having a baby smaller than expected. The researchers found that among all the pregnancies, 6.6% percent of newborn babies in the study were born prematurely. Among unvaccinated women, the rate was 7%. For those who received at least one vaccine dose during the course of their pregnancy, it was 4.9%. As many as two-thirds of pregnant women remain unvaccinated.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy
Individuals who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to people who are not pregnant. People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and stillbirth and might be at increased risk for other pregnancy complications. Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase the risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness during or recently after pregnancy (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy).
Patient Protocols After Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
Regardless of vaccination status, individuals should follow current CDC guidelines to protect themselves and others. This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, screening for symptoms and following CDC travel guidance, following quarantine guidance after an exposure to someone with COVID-19, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.
COVID-19 Q&A FOR PATIENTS
Q: Is CCRM Fertility administering the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: CCRM Fertility is not administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Find COVID-19 vaccine and boosters near you.
Q: Is CCRM testing for COVID-19?
A: CCRM’s standard of care includes COVID-19 PCR testing of all patients within 7 days of the attempt of pregnancy to include IUI, frozen embryo transfer, and IVF. CCRM does not endorse the waiver of COVID testing for IUI and FET treatment given the current data suggesting pregnant and recently pregnant individuals are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. As we have seen an increased rate of false negatives in the rapid tests, PCR testing is the gold standard.
Q: What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine 10 days from the positive test or symptom onset. After the quarantine period, you will be allowed to enter the clinic and move forward with a treatment cycle and surgical procedure if you are free of symptoms. Some of our clinics do require that you have a negative test prior to undergoing further procedures. Please contact your local clinic and confirm if you need to have a negative test before your procedure.
Q: How will you ensure that my eggs/embryos/sperm will remain safe in the lab?
A: CCRM has some of the most state-of-the-art technologies available and implements some of the strictest lab standards and protocols in the industry, to provide our patients with the gold standard in patient care. Learn more here.
Q: What should I do if I become sick?
A: If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
- Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Update your CCRM Fertility care team with your condition as soon as possible.
Q: Should I get vaccinated if I’m in the middle of fertility treatment or trying to conceive?
It should be noted, that while there is no reproductive or developmental toxicology data yet available, there does not currently exist reasonable, scientific doubt to compel a recommendation to delay, stop or alter fertility treatment or attempts at conception for those individuals eligible for vaccination or receiving a booster
Q: What is the risk of fever in pregnancy?
A: Fever in pregnancy (particularly the first trimester) is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, however a recent study demonstrated the association no longer remained significant if the patient is taking more than 400 mcg of folic acid. Another large Danish cohort study did not demonstrate any increased risk of congenital anomalies of those who reported fever in the first trimester. As mentioned above, it would not be unreasonable to defer an embryo transfer until after the window for these side-effects from the vaccine has passed.
Q: What should I do if I have a fever after vaccination?
A: Pregnant women who experience fever following vaccination should take fever reducing medication like acetaminophen due to associated risks of fever with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Q: Do I need to get a pregnancy test before getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Routine testing for pregnancy prior vaccination is not recommended.
CCRM FERTILITY’S CYCLE DISRUPTION POLICY
If an individual demonstrates symptoms of illness during a treatment cycle, or if the individual is mid-cycle and tests positive for COVID-19, the cycle will be cancelled or suspended. CCRM Fertility may require COVID-19 testing before initiation of or during any portion of your treatment cycle.
CCRM Fertility’s need to comply with certain orders, mandates, travel restrictions or other guidance issued by federal, state, or local authorities and professional medical organizations may also result in a cancelled cycle.
If the patient’s cycle is cancelled for any reason stated above, all cycle and medication fees for therapy completed up to the point of cancellation will not be waived or refunded by CCRM.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO AVOID GETTING SICK
To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, we recommend that our patients take the following steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty or if you’ve been around those that are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wear a mask in public settings. (CDC)
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on a face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe (Lysol or Clorox products).
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid traveling to areas with active outbreaks of COVID-19 and remain away from others that may have traveled for a minimum of 10 days.
- If you are actively sick with a fever, please stay home until the fever has been clear of your system for 10 days post fever to prevent the spread of disease to our patients and staff.
- Please contact your primary care physician if you are sick or have any health concerns.
- For current travel advisories and up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website.
ADDITIONAL PATIENT RESOURCES
How You Can Prepare For Fertility Treatment During COVID-19
Mental Health Management Tips During COVID-19