IVF during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)

All CARE clinics are providing treatment safely and with your needs at the heart of everything we do.

Starting fertility treatment with CARE

You can read below about all the measures we have put in place to ensure we provide you with the best treatment and care in the safest way we can. We hope this information reassures you and gives you confidence to start your fertility journey with CARE.

We will keep everyone updated through our website, our Patient Portal and our social platforms if any new government or industry body guidance is released.

The RCOG response to misinformation around Covid-19 vaccine and fertility

Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.

There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women's fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems."

The British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists have also created a FAQ document all about the COVID-19 vaccines and fertility to answer common patient questions. If you have any additional questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and trying to conceive, please ask your local CARE team.

IVF treatment with CARE

Providing Treatment Safely 

The health and safety of all our patients and staff is our absolute priority. We have made changes to the clinic environment, the way we provide treatment and also how we interact with you and each other to make sure it's as safe as possible for you having your IVF treatment with CARE.

 

Social distancing and PPE

We are continuing with virtual consultations where appropriate and all clinical interactions between staff and patients are covered by the use of facial masks. We recognise that remote appointments aren’t for everyone and we will continue to offer in person appointments if we can. 

We will maintain social distancing wherever we can.  There will be times during your treatment though when you will have to be in close or direct physical contact with members of our team. To protect you and our staff during these interactions we will be wearing surgical face masks at all of our interactions with patients.

COVID-19: Questions and Answers

Current evidence from the UK suggests that pregnant women are no more likely to get COVID-19 than other healthy adults, but they are at increased risk of becoming severely unwell if they do catch COVID-19, and are more likely to have pregnancy complications like premature birth or stillbirth.  You can find the answers to frequently asked questions about the risks of COVID in pregnancy on The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) website. We recommend that you read the information on the RCOG website before staring treatment so that you can plan for a safe pregnancy.

We hope this reassures you, but we of course realise that you may have your own personal reasons for wanting to delay becoming pregnant. If you are worried, please speak to the team at your CARE clinic, and we will help you explore your options, including the possibility of creating and freezing embryos for when you feel ready for a frozen embryo replacement cycle.

You can find up to date information on vaccination before treatment and in pregnancy on

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) website. The RCOG strongly recommend you have a COVID-19 vaccine if you plan to become pregnant as this will help prevent COVID-19 infection and its serious consequences. You don’t need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility.

Patients will not need to have a COVID-19 test before resuming treatment*. We will ask everyone visiting COVID-19 screening questions to minimise any potential risk to our patients. You can access COVID-19 testing through the NHS, or we can offer you a test to check whether you have the COVID-19 infection. It’s up you whether to take this test, but it may help you feel confident in starting treatment, as you can then be sure you won’t be wasting your medications.

 

* As CARE Fertility Chester is based within an NHS Trust site, all patients attending for a procedure will need to have a negative COVID-19 swap before admission. Please contact the CARE Chester team for more information and advice.

 

Current evidence from the UK suggests that pregnant women aren't any more likely to catch COVID-19 than other healthy adults.

However, if they have not been vaccinated or only partially vaccinated, they are at increased risk of becoming severely unwell if they catch COVID-19. This can lead to admission to intensive care and premature birth of the baby. 

Current evidence suggests that if you have the virus it is unlikely to cause problems with your baby’s development, and there have been no reports of this so far.

There is also no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 infection in early pregnancy increases the chance of a miscarriage.

However, studies have shown that there is a two- to three-times increased risk of giving birth prematurely for pregnant women who become very unwell with COVID-19. In most cases this was because it was recommended that their babies were born early for the benefit of the women’s health and to enable them to recover.

For answers to more of your questions, visit our Fertility treatment and coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs blog.

If you have concerns about COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit the RCOG website for more information.

How you can 'Be treatment ready’ 

 

If you would like information about treatment with CARE, please call our patient enquiry team on 0800 564 2270 

The following services are immediately available

  • Virtual consultations via Skype: Our specialist fertility doctors are available for online appointments to discuss starting or the next stage of your fertility journey. 

Schedule your Skype consultation

  • Our new patient enquiry team:  They are available to chat with you informally about your individual needs, give you information on treatments available at CARE and answer any questions you have. Call them on 0800 564 2270
  • Semen Analysis: We can now offer diagnostic semen analysis through a minimal contact drop off service at a time agreed with your clinic,  please contact our new patient enquiry team or your clinic to book.
  • AMH Testing: we can now send you an AMH test through the post, all you have to do it take pinprick of your blood and send it back for testing.
  • Online consent forms: On our secure, online Patient Portal, you can read the information related to your treatment and sign the necessary consent forms, whenever is convenient for you in the comfort of your own home.
  • Online protocols: If you have already had all your necessary tests, we will send you your protocol through the Patient Portal, so you can familiarise yourself and have time to think of questions before your treatment begins.
  • Online injection teach: Our injection teach videos (on our website, YouTube, and the Patient Portal) can teach you how to administer your medication in advance, and help you feel confident when you start your treatment.
  • Treatment – Pre-return checklist: We have designed a checklist which details all the steps you can take to help your treatment resume quickly. This resource helps you check the areas that need to be prepared for your treatment, such as the consultation, your protocol, AMH tests and consent forms. If you see that something on your checklist is missing, then you can contact your clinic to make plans to have this done as soon as you are able. Click here to download your pre-return checklist, or click the image below.

Our New Patient Enquiry Team

We know that when starting your fertility journey, especially at this time, you’ll have lots of questions.

Our New Patient Team is available to chat with you informally about your individual needs and concerns, and to outline the treatment options available at CARE. If you have any questions about a typical IVF patient journey, costs and how it all works, they will be able to answer your questions. They can also book your initial consultation, if you wish.

0800 564 2270 

Starting Fertility Treatment in 2021 – Live Q&As

Part 1 with Dr Victoria Sephton and Dr Amy Barrie, and Part 2 with Dr Mark Wilcox and Dr Alison Campbell

 

Thinking of starting fertility treatment? We understand you will have lots of questions about how we are keeping patients safe while continuing fertility treatment, and what patients should expect when starting IVF during 2021. In this Live Q&A series, our experts talk in detail about the impact of COVID-19 on fertility treatments, including answering your questions about COVID-19 vaccines and everything we have done in our clinics to keep everyone safe.

Our patient portal

If you decide to have fertility treatment with CARE, you’ll have access to our online Patient Portal, which we’ll use to keep in touch with you at every stage of your journey.

Through this secure channel, we will first ask you to complete a detailed medical questionnaire and upload the results of any previous tests you’ve had. Your fertility specialist will then review all your responses before your first consultation to make sure all your appointment time focuses on next steps and how we can best help you move forward.

Throughout treatment, you will be able to use our Patient Portal to access all your documents and information videos, and to sign consent forms. If you’d like to know more about our Patient Portal or what to expect, call our New Patient Enquiry Team on 0800 564 2270, or Book a Consultation.

Your virtual consultation 

Your initial consultation will last about an hour, during which your consultant will share what they have learned from your medical history and test results if they are available, and talk you through your individualised treatment options. Your consultant will explain which further tests, if any, need to be done, and will also guide you through the steps of your expected treatment pathway.

There will probably be lots of information to take in during this appointment, but you’ll be given the details of who to contact at your clinic if you have any further questions.

Supporting you during COVID-19

We remain absolutely dedicated to making sure all our patients are fully supported, wherever you are in your fertility journey. Our Specialist Fertility Counsellors are offering free telephone and Skype appointments, and we are running online support events.

How can counselling help during COVID-19?

If the uncertainty of COVID-19 is making you anxious about your treatment, talking with a specialist fertility counsellor can help you feel more in control during this confusing time.

Peer-to-peer support

If you’d like to talk to someone who’s also going through fertility treatment, you can join us for a patient support event or get involved with our CARE Buddy scheme.

Finding out more

If you’d like to learn more about fertility treatments, our results, or the team at your local clinic, our website is a good place to start - we have lots of information and resources for you to explore.

How can I improve my fertility at home?

There is lots of evidence that taking control of your diet and lifestyle directly impacts your fertility health and your baby’s development – learn more about the steps you can take to improve your fertility.

How to support your immune system

Zita West, leading fertility and pregnancy expert, gives her recommendations for how to support your immune system with small tweaks to your daily routine that can be done at home.

Our CARE family

All of us at CARE are here to help you at every stage of your fertility journey. We care passionately about you and your future, and your need for family is at the heart of everything we do. We are here to support you and help you through this.

With love from CARE x