As COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) continues to develop and impact Australia, it is important to acknowledge the seriousness of the crisis and its implications for health services. We appreciate the needs of individuals who are seeking assistance to conceive or preserve their facility, however we also acknowledge the overarching responsibility we have to all people in the Australian healthcare system.
In terms of IVF and the coronavirus and the services we offer, the following recommendations mirror the position outlined by the Fertility Society of Australia on 26th March 2020.
We will continue to care for our fertility patients who are currently undergoing treatment, ie. those who are in the middle of a treatment cycle. However, in the interest of public health safety, new IVF cycles will not proceed until further notice. This is because there are certain risks involved with IVF cycles, but also because elective medical procedures have been cancelled as of the 1st of April 2020 as our hospital systems are already under strain. There is also a concern that complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome could further compromise a patient’s health if she was to become infected with COVID-19.
Fertility and COVID-19
When it comes to IVF and COVID-19, according to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), unaffected or low-risk patients currently going through IVF are not at any higher risk of complications than anyone else in the population. And if you are planning a pregnancy, there is no overwhelming reason to put your plans on hold. There is also no evidence to suggest an increased risk in fetal abnormality or a miscarriage in women who have COVID-19 virus.
However, many of the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unclear, because the number of pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 and subsequently delivered their baby is small. But the results are reassuring, with no evidence of mother-to-baby transmission evident during pregnancy. If you’d like to know more about what hospitals are doing to reduce the risks, what to do if you’re unwell, or how to prevent contraction, refer to our article, COVID-19 and Pregnancy or call us on (07) 3353 3100.