Blog

March 14: Helpful Links Regarding COVID-19 and Fertility

By Dr. Tom Hannam MD FRCSC REI
My last post was just two days ago, but unfortunately there have been more developments around COVID 19 each day since then.

I realize a blog post is an imperfect communication tool. (Yes I know: Twitter is more timely. But honestly: social media? And especially Twitter? They just didn’t feel right.)

Please Ask Questions

These posts need to provide actual value, and the best way for them to do that is to ensure they’re answering the questions that you have about COVID 19 and your fertility.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free email me at  tom.hannam@hannamfertility.com.

I will be reading to learn what people want to hear, so we can help provide information through posts and video, or by finding the right person who can provide the best answers.

And if you have specific questions for your specific situation, like a second opinion for example, I will make sure you do receive a personal response from someone on our team.


 

Helpful Resources from Around the Web

These are some of the trusted organizations providing helpful information about COVID 19 to the general public:

World Health Organization:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

Public Health Agency of Canada:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Ontario Ministry of Health:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Toronto Public Health: 
https://www.toronto.ca/coronavirus

Fertility-Specific Resources

As of 13 March at noon, we continue to promote our guiding principle that we support healthy women getting pregnant.

As of 12 March, the CDC supports pregnancy:

https://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/calls/2020/callinfo_031220.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_1054-DM22207

Earlier, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provided a list of things that clinicians should look out for:

https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Practice-Advisories/Practice-Advisory-Novel-Coronavirus2019

The UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) has been supportive, and had specifically noted no transmission from mother to baby:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-infection-in-pregnancy-2020-03-09.pdf

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) offers self-evident advice to not to try for pregnancy if  currently sick, and don’t work with a surrogate who is a long way away and/or at risk for travel restrictions:

https://www.asrm.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/press-releases-and-bulletins/sart-and-asrm-issue-advice-for-infertility-patients-concerning-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

And for patients who are interested in an up-to=the moment feed, admittedly with the spin of a single individual, some on our team follow Dr. Dustin Costescu on Twitter.

For example here are a few tweets in a row around the safety of pregnancy and COVID, from 12March20:

Click here to see the full Twitter thread.

Then more information came later the same afternoon:

  • No gatherings over 250 in Ontario, which was not a medical update but definitely affects how we are going to care for patients; we now need to play our part in the promotion of social distancing.
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days, even after travel from the U.S.
  • Possible maternal-to-infant transmission

This last one is tricky because it is just one case (in the world), which is being reported by the press and not a medical journal.

It is very difficult to know what to do with this last piece of information at this moment.

Our Bottom Line

At HFC and CCRM, we strongly endorse egg and embryo freezing cycles for women who are healthy, which is the vast majority of patients at this time.

And we continue to work from symptoms-based screening. That is, if you are healthy, we want to help you.

More information to come regarding how we have rebuilt our clinic space and services to match the times.


 

About the Author

Dr. Tom Hannam
The founder of the Hannam Fertility Centre, Dr. Hannam has sat on the board of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, and the European Society for Human Reproduction and Endocrinology.

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