The global pandemic of the coronavirus has led to a controversy in the United States for fertility treatment. The debate took place over the designation of fertility treatment as “essential or non-essential” in the American Healthcare system. Most recently, fertility doctors and experts from three major reproductive societies released a Human Reproduction Joint Statement. These organizations included the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society of Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS).
Their declaration stated as followed:
“Reproduction is an essential human right that exists regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or country of origin.” The technology driving reproduction fertility treatment and outcomes will play a major role. It will help in providing outcome data and evaluation of the prevalence and impact of Coronavirus/COVID 19.
The Situation for COVID 19 and Fertility Treatment is Progressing
The original positions during the early pandemic reflected a hold on reproductive services. However, there has been a major shift in those opinions. This is primarily due to several factors, including:
- Effective implementations of mitigation such as social distancing, temperature monitoring, and screening questionnaires for all patients.
- Telemedicine consultations.
- Improved COVID 19 screening tests (PCR) and antibody testing (IGG and IGM).
Other very promising research is also in progress. To name some
- Trials on evaluating the effect of stem cell therapies such as the use of exosomes, both IV and in pulmonary nebulizers in serious COVID 19 induced pneumonia.
- Plasma electrophoresis collections from post-COVID 19 recovered patients given to ill Coronavirus patients.
- And, accelerated vaccine trials are being performed.
The Current State of Fertility Treatment
As a direct result, IVF treatment in the United States has returned to its full capacity. Thus, the patients interested in resuming their goal to create a family should know that assisted reproduction technologies are now going fully operational. Additional data reflects that viral transmission to eggs and embryos has not been seen or reported in cycle outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In regards to pregnancy and related fertility treatment, initial thoughts were that vertical transmission from mother to baby is yet to be verified by the fertility doctors and experts with the exception or isolated reported case of a newborn showing Corona antibodies at the second day of life and some pathologic findings of virus-mediated changes in post-delivery placenta in mothers that developed the virus late in pregnancy. So far, doctors have not isolated any virus in amniotic fluid or breast milk.
Many regions in the United States are now loosening their mitigation strategies. It’s because now there is an increase in testing availabilities and a fall in reported cases of COVID-19. The present data suggest that the virus will remain a factor in the US into the foreseeable future. However, proactive reporting of epidemiologic data, improved testing, and contact tracing will lead to effective implementation of the optimum response to the Corona outbreak.
Assessing the current progress of the Coronavirus pandemic situation, it is only logical and astute for patients to consider moving forward with their fertility treatment. It is not viable to further the impact of the loss of fertility potential that may occur with a diminished ovarian quality or the passage of time. There will always be the next wave of infectious disease outbreaks in the future. Remember that we have become a global society altogether. So, consult the fertility doctors, because this is not the time to put your family creation on hold! – Dr. Harari, President and Chief Medical Officer at Reproductive Sciences Medical Center.
If you are interested to talk to our fertility doctors at RSMC, please schedule a consultation here.