Many people have gone through tremendous loss and grief by the time they get to the place where they are doing IVF treatment. Infertility is a disease, and the treatment of infertility is medically necessary. Now you are dealt a considerable unknown with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 24, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (an organization overseeing IVF clinics in the U.S.) has lifted its restriction on providing reproductive treatments for selected areas of the country. Santa Clara County is among them, provided such IVF clinics adhere to strict COVID-19 guidelines.
Public Health Order issued by the County of Santa Clara on 4-15-20 states:
"...if you are a medical provider, your office is encouraged to remain open. Under the Order, all medical services, including routine and preventive care, are considered essential."
We, at Bay IVF, are implementing these protocols and precautions to make your visits to our clinic as safe as possible. These include patient pre-entry screening, a very sophisticated air purification system employed throughout the clinic, and thoroughly sanitizing our exam rooms between each patient. Your health and the health of our staff is our highest priority.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need additional information.
Francis Polansky, M.D.
April 27, 2020
Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions
We are available to answer any specific questions you might have. Please reach us by calling, emailing, or texting our clinic.
Does Bay IVF plan on shutting down for a period of time?
No, Bay IVF is not planning to shut down. As a healthcare facility, Bay IVF is accustomed and proficient at infection control like many hospitals are. Bay IVF has policies and procedures in place that reduce the risk of spreading infections.
Can I start my IVF treatment cycle?
Yes, you may start your IVF or FET treatment cycles provided you follow the guidelines set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes, we require that you wear a mask when coming to Bay IVF for your appointments.
Will postponing my care affect my ability to have a child?
There is no evidence that delaying treatment for a month or two will ultimately affect your ability to have a child, unless you have concerns about advanced age or diminished ovarian reserve.
Can Bay IVF prevent me from getting infected by screening patients and staff?
As you know, several clinic visits and procedures are required for IVF treatment. Unfortunately, even though we screen our patients and staff to lower the risk of Coronavirus exposure, there is no way to guarantee the prevention of exposure. People who have the Coronavirus are contagious days before they develop any symptoms. The virus can be in the air that they breathe out and the air we breathe in.
Is there a risk that my cycle could be canceled if I proceed with treatment now?
We could be forced to cancel your treatment by the city, county, or state regulations. Furthermore, our staff, if exposed to the Coronavirus, may not be able to come to work. It is possible that even if you begin to invest time and effort into fertility treatment now, it could be canceled due to governmental restrictions or lack of available staff.
Are my frozen embryos, eggs, or sperm safe?
Yes. There is no immediate threat to the safety of cryopreserved eggs, sperm, or embryos. Bay IVF has policies and procedures to maintain the liquid nitrogen tanks containing frozen embryos, eggs, and sperm.
Should I take steps to avoid pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine is NOT saying that women should not get pregnant during this pandemic. They also are not saying that there is no risk. The risks of acquiring the Coronavirus in the first trimester are not known and will not be known for some time. We do know that severe illness can lead to pregnancy complications. If you are already pregnant, it is important to take all precautions possible to reduce your risk of exposure to the Coronavirus by following current CDC recommendations, such as handwashing with soap, not touching your face, and practicing social distancing.
This is really hard for me to handle. What resources are available to me?
We know that infertility treatment can be stressful. The conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic certainly add to that stress. There are things you can do to help reduce that stress. We can provide you with a referral to a trained mental health provider who can consult with you on how to manage the stress and emotions surrounding this extremely difficult set of circumstances. Many of these providers are prepared to offer video conference options that may be covered by your insurance carrier.
There are things you can do to help reduce that stress.
- Limit your use of social media and other sources of news. Set a certain time of day for gathering news. Choose a time when you aren’t likely to be triggered. Stop using tech devices an hour or more before bedtime.
- Utilize relaxation or mindfulness apps to reduce anxiety and tension and improve sleep. Focus on the present moment. Some examples of these apps are Ferticalm (for women), FertiStrong (for men) Headspace, MindshiftCBT, and Personal Zen.
- Distract yourself with non-COVID-19 related topics. Taking even a half-hour per day to focus on other things will help.
- Pay attention to the messages you give yourself. Positive self-talk can be powerful. Saying things like, “This isn’t the situation I expected, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work out eventually,” can be helpful.
- Stay in touch with others in your support network. Use a virtual connection via telephone or video chat to do this. Staying connected with others reduces the sense of isolation.
- The National Infertility Association (www.resolve.org) has resources and various ways to get support. RESOLVE has an online support community, local support groups (now meeting virtually), webinars, and other content to help you connect, get support, and stay informed.
Additional information can be obtained at: