COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES IN CCRM FERTILITY CENTERS
In order to continue to provide industry-leading care while limiting social exposure and virus transmission, we have 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 clinic. Patients who do not pass the screening will need to reschedule their appointment.
- Patients may be required to complete self-administered COVID-19 testing prior to treatment.
- CCRM staff will undergo COVID-19 testing on a rolling basis.
- CCRM staff will wear masks and gloves.
- Patients are encouraged to wear a mask during their visit. If you do not bring a mask to your appointment, we will have one for you to use.
- Adjusted the floor plan in the lobby and other waiting areas to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
- 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.
In an effort to best serve our patients in these unique times, CCRM is offering telehealth appointments for new patient consultations, treatment planning for established and new patients, financial consults, preconception counseling.
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 may require COVID-19 testing before initiation of or during any portion of your treatment cycle.
CCRM’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.
Featuring CCRM Fertility’s world-class physicians from across its 11 fertility centers throughout North America, CCRM TV aims to offer pregnancy preparedness education. 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 ensure your safety while expediting your path to pregnancy.
ADDITIONAL PATIENT RESOURCES
How You Can Prepare For Fertility Treatment During COVID-19
Mental Health Management Tips During COVID-19
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 cloth mask in public settings. (CDC)
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth 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 14 days.
- 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 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.
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: Is CCRM testing for COVID-19?
A: CCRM is not currently 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.
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 are 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 Fertility at 303-225-3423.