coronavirus
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500

 

Coronavirus Update

 

We know that it can be devastating for people who have been trying to build their families to now be told that they may have to delay their treatment due to COVID-19.

We recognize that it is incredibly challenging to consider postponing your treatment. Many people have gone through tremendous loss and grief by the time they get to the place where they are doing an IVF cycle. Now you are dealt a considerable unknown with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The encouraging news is that there is no evidence that delaying treatment by a month or two will ultimately affect your ability to have a child, even if you have concerns about advanced age or diminished ovarian reserve.

Please know that no one providing your care believes that your fertility treatment is elective. Infertility is a disease, and the treatment of infertility is medically necessary. There is a distinction between a treatment that cannot be postponed even for a few days (such as surgery for a ruptured appendix), and treatment that is time-sensitive and extremely important (such as IVF) but not a medical emergency.

We, at Bay IVF, have implemented extra precautions to make your visits to our clinic as safe as possible. These include 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.

Our clinic will remain open with regular hours, and we will be providing the following services:

  • Initial Consultations

    Since medical appointments are exempt from the “Shelter-in-Place” requirement, you can have your initial consultation and a pelvic ultrasound at Bay IVF and be ready to begin your treatment as soon as the current restrictions are lifted. Your initial consultation can also be done over the phone or as a video conference.

    Until further notice, there will be no charge for your New Patient Appointment, including antral follicle count ultrasound.

  • Testing

    • Semen analysis
    • Ovarian reserve assay (blood test)

     

  • Fertility Treatments

    Those patients wishing to start their IVF or FET treatment cycles can proceed; however, their ovarian and endometrial stimulation may need to be delayed, pending updated recommendations from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Please call Bay IVF to get started.

  • Urgent Treatments

    Due to their decreased fertility potential, patients 38 years and ten months or older can start and complete their IVF treatment, including ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, but will not be scheduled for an embryo transfer. All their viable embryos will be cryopreserved and transferred at a later date.

 

The above policies will be revisited periodically as the pandemic evolves, with the aim of resuming usual patient care as soon and as safely as possible.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need additional information.

 

Francis Polansky, M.D.
April 1, 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, but your ovarian and endometrial stimulation may need to be delayed pending biweekly Recommendations from The American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Do I need to wear a mask?

At this point, there is no requirement to wear a face mask. Masks should be used by people who are ill to minimize the spread of the disease to others.

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, even if you have concerns about advanced age or diminished ovarian reserve. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine Recommendations will be continuously reviewed and updated no more than biweekly. We are aware that many people do have concerns about waiting longer than two months. The current recommendations are through April 13, 2020, and will be reviewed and updated thereafter.

I hear that elective medical procedures in the San Francisco Bay Area are supposed to stop; are IVF and other fertility treatments considered “elective”?

No one providing your care believes that any fertility treatment is elective. Infertility is a disease, and the treatment of infertility is medically necessary. There is a distinction between a treatment that cannot be postponed even for a few days (such as surgery for a ruptured appendix), and treatment that is time-sensitive and extremely important (such as IVF) but not a medical emergency.

We know that other important non-emergency treatments are also being postponed during this pandemic. Fertility treatment is not being singled out. Orthopedic surgery, eye surgery, kidney stone procedures, dental procedures, and many other treatments are also being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can Bay IVF prevent me from getting infected by screening patients and staff?

As anyone who has undergone fertility treatment or has prepared to begin fertility treatment knows, multiple clinic visits and procedures are required. 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 you breathe in.

Is there a risk that my cycle could be canceled if I proceed with treatment now?

Since the current “Shelter-in-Place” requirements exempt medical office visits, if you have already started your fertility treatment cycle at Bay IVF, we intend to complete it. However, we could be forced to cancel your treatment by their city 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 CDC current recommendations, such as handwashing with soap, not touching your face, and practicing social (physical) distancing.

What can I do now?

Bay IVF offers New Patient consultation in person, over the phone, or as a video conference. Consider scheduling a consultation and begin to prepare for your treatment cycle. Seek insurance authorization for your treatment, if possible. If you prepare now, you’ll be ready to begin treatment as soon as it is safe to do so.

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:

https://connect.asrm.org/mhpg/home?ssopc=1

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html
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