Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
CCRM Fertility locations will remain open and will continue to see patients for new patient appointments, workups and lab work. If you are healthy and pass screening criteria, you are welcome to come to the office for an in-person consult. CCRM is taking this very seriously and asking you and or your partner to stay at home if you are ill to protect our patient and staff.
In an effort to best serve our patients in these unique times, we are also offering telehealth appointments for new patient consultations, treatment planning for established and new patients, and preconception counseling.
Scheduling an appointment will allow you and your doctor to talk about pretreatment testing and ways to get your body prepared for a pregnancy. Your doctor may suggest some pretreatments that may benefit your fertility. Sometimes these pretreatments are most beneficial for you to be taking for three months prior to conceiving.
We have also launched, CCRM TV. Featuring CCRM Fertility’s world-class physicians from across its 11 fertility centers throughout North America, CCRM TV aims to offer pregnancy preparedness education during these unique times.
We know this is a really difficult time, as many of you have had long, difficult and stressful fertility journeys. CCRM’s goal is to be a resource for you and we will do everything we can to help you have a baby once it is safe.
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.
- Cover hands and nose with a tissue or a sleeve – not hands – when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe (Lysol or Clorox products).
- Avoid traveling to areas with active outbreaks of COVID-19 and remain away from others that may have traveled for a minimum of 14 days.
- To avoid delaying treatment, avoid traveling to areas with current reports of COVID-19. If you have travelled to a country where COVID-19 has been reported, we recommend that you postpone treatments and office appointments until two weeks after returning home.
- If you are actively sick with a fever, please stay home until the fever has been clear of your system for 14 days post fever to prevent the spread of disease to our patients and staff.
- Please contact your primary care physician if you are ill 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.
COVID-19 Q&A FOR PATIENTS
Q: Does COVID-19 impact fertility or pregnancy?
A: Currently, our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on reproduction and pregnancy is limited. There are reports of women who have tested positive for COVID-19, who have delivered babies who do not have disease. Additionally, there is limited information from published scientific reports about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19 and the severity of infection. Available data are reassuring, but are limited to small case series.
In general, pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including potentially COVID-19. It is reasonable to predict that pregnant women might be at greater risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared with the general population, as is observed with other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV),- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)], and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have severe chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of preterm delivery and other pregnancy complication, which would require closer fetal monitoring (per the recommendations of the Society for Maternal- Fetal Medicine).
It’s important to note that coronaviruses are unrelated to the ZIKA virus, which has very clear implications for pregnancy and fetal development. Miscarriage and still birth are more common with influenza infection in pregnancy, and therefore could be a risk of COVID delaying pregnancy until risk of infection is low would be prudent to minimize the above risks.
It is unknown if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or neonate by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during, or after delivery). However, in recently published case series of infants born to mothers with COVID-19, none of the infants tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
At this time, there are limited data available regarding the risks associated with COVID-19 infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. There are conflicting data regarding the risks of congenital malformations in the setting of maternal fever in general. Currently, there are inconclusive data on the risk of miscarriage or congenital anomalies following COVID-19 infection given the limited number of cases reported and the quality of the published data available. Data from the recent SARS epidemic are reassuring, and suggest that there is no increased risk of fetal loss or congenital anomalies associated with infection early in pregnancy. (CDC)
Q: If I recently traveled abroad, will that impact when I start treatment at CCRM?
A: Patients are recommended to wait two weeks after traveling to areas with reported cases of COVID-19 before you visit a CCRM office or clinic.
Q: Do I need to wear a mask?
A: There is no need to wear a face mask. Masks should be used by people who are ill to minimize spread of the disease to others. The best form of staying clear of any virus is by good and frequent hand washing and staying away from sick people. It is always recommended when a women is pregnant to limit risks to her pregnancy.
Q: Is CCRM testing for COVID-19?
A: CCRM is not testing for COVID-19. If you are exhibiting symptoms and have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, please call your primary healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will work with the state health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested and can provide information on where to go for testing.
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: Does CCRM plan on shutting down for a period of time?
A: No, CCRM is not planning to shut down, as there are flu and cold viruses all year long. As a healthcare facility, CCRM is accustomed and proficient at infection control like many hospitals are. CCRM has policies and procedures for cleaning our instruments and patient care areas to reduce the risk of spreading infections.
Important Update on Fertility House Calls: In response to the recent recommendations issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) related to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, CCRM’s Fertility House Calls program will be temporarily suspended. We appreciate your interest and it is our intention to reactivate the program as soon as possible. For any questions or further information, please contact CCRM us at 303-225-3423.