The Evewell’s Approach to Treatment During COVID-19
May 15, 2020
Now that The Evewell is open to restart fertility treatments, there are probably a lot of questions you may have regarding COVID-19.
We wanted to take some time to reassure you that we’re taking all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff.
We will continue to update these FAQs as the situation develops.
1. Is it safe to re-start treatment since the pandemic is ongoing?
There are several different elements to safety of restart. This is a very complex subject and very difficult to answer but we would simply say that yes, we believe it is.
1a. Safety of treatment and pregnancy to the patient.
There is no evidence to suggest that going through fertility treatment puts patients at higher risk of having more server complications from a Coronavirus infection. That being said there are potential theoretical risks and we have put measures in place to mitigate. Firstly, the drugs taken during fertility treatment can sometimes lead to an illness known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). It is possible that someone with OHSS that also has COVID-19 may suffer more severe symptoms so we have implemented strict protocols to ensure that fertility treatment at this time will not even lead to mild cases of OHSS that under normal circumstances would be easily treated. Nor will we allow patients with COVID-19 to be treated, for their safety, the safety of all staff and other patients.
Even though there is no official government advice on not becoming pregnant, there is thought to be a potential for a higher risk to COVID-19 for pregnant women and therefore pregnant women are advised to self-isolate if possible. To ensure that this potential risk is not exacerbated we have implemented measures so that procedures that may lead to pregnancy are only performed when absolutely safe to do so. We will also continue to strictly follow our multiple pregnancy minimisation strategy so that more risky twin/triplet pregnancies are avoided whilst still maintaining extremely high success rates.
1b. Safety to patients and staff of fertility treatment in relation to contacting coronavirus.
Pursuing fertility treatment will require patient and staff interaction and therefore it is impossible to self-isolate whilst providing or receiving fertility treatment. This in itself presents an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus. We have, however, implemented strict infection control measures at The Evewell, to ensure that risk of coming into contact with the virus in the clinic is minimised. We are confident The Evewell will be one of the safest places that patients will visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, we cannot control what happens whilst traveling to and from the clinic, but we will be able to provide advice on how to stay safe during this time.
2. PPE provision and availability
We have obtained sufficient levels of PPE for staff and patients so treatments can go ahead in a safe way. All staff will be required to wear PPE in accordance with the UK government regulations when in the clinic and interacting with patients. Patients will be provided with appropriate masks and other specific treatment related PPE as well as facilities to ensure best hygiene practices are maintained in the clinic. Patients will also be provided with guides on how to safely use PPE and follow hygiene protocols to ensure the safety of all.
3. Will COVID-19 testing be provided to all patients and staff?
Yes, all staff will be tested for active coronavirus infection before returning to provide fertility treatment services. The staff will be continually assessed, and repeat tested periodically to ensure they do not become infected while working. All patients and their partners receiving fertility treatment will be tested prior to commencing a treatment cycle and will be continually monitored for symptoms of COVID-19 throughout. No staff member or patient that is identified as having the coronavirus will be allowed into the clinic until they are virus-free.
4. How will social distancing work?
We will be practicing strict social distancing in the clinic at all times. We have implemented strategies to ensure that the number and flow of people in the building is such that there is minimal contact and sufficient time for cleaning protocols. In the case where examination or procedures are required for patients, meaning social distancing cannot be strictly adhered to, appropriate protective PPE is available to ensure the utmost safety.
5. Will you have to self-isolate during the two-week wait?
At the moment, the advice is likely to be in line with being pregnant. After having a procedure that could lead to pregnancy, the patient should consider themselves pregnant until a pregnancy test is confirmed, and follow the relevant government guidelines for pregnant women at that time.
6. Will I be able to have my embryos transferred or will they be frozen?
We will be performing embryo transfers if it poses no risk to the patient or any ensuing pregnancy/baby and where appropriate.
Events and Open Days
Virtual Open Days
We’ll organise for you to have complimentary, separate, one to one video consultations with one of our senior consultants, a senior embryologist, our fertility nutritionist and our Patient Services Director. Discuss your personal fertility situation from the comfort of your own home, and take back control.
Book a Consultation
Call us to book by phone
Monday to Friday
+44 20 3974 0950