By Dr. Tom Hannam MD FRCSC REI
We are starting this blog in unusual times.
As we are all aware, the WHO Director General has declared this new coronavirus a pandemic, the United States and other countries are quickly closing down, and social distancing is increasingly prevalent around the world.
As I write this note, none of our patients or staff are unwell with COVID-19, our kids are healthy and, for most of us, our loved ones are safe. But we also know change will come.
So how does fertility fit into this? What are we thinking?
If You Are Currently Unwell
Unlike a hospital or family practice setting, we cannot accept unwell patients into our facilities.
If you are currently unwell, you cannot come to our fertility clinics and, of course, we do not recommend you try for pregnancy during that time.
If You Are Currently Healthy
Today, most of us are healthy.
Though very little is known about COVID-19 effects on pregnant women, and there are few recommendations specific to pregnant women regarding the evaluation or management of COVID-19, international experience to date suggests that pregnant women are not at greater risk.
Specifically, there is no evidence the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy.
But COVID infections will be with us for the foreseeable future. Our personal and professional lives are going to be disrupted. For these reasons, our near-term emphasis is on freezing eggs and embryos for when you are ready. You and your doctor can then initiate pregnancy when, together, you feel the time is right.
That’s really why I wanted to write this blog today. At this time, as you read this, you the reader are likely healthy. This is the very best time, in my opinion, for you to control your fertility.
If you have the ability, please freeze your eggs or embryos. We can set you up safely, with video and telephone conferencing, minimal intervention and rapid access to care.
Well, I’m overstating that a bit: we’re making sure we can do it seamlessly. It will take a few days to implement. But that’s the plan: make it seamless and easy, and require next-to-no trips to the clinic.
If you have any questions about how COVID-19 might affect your fertility or family planning, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or if you prefer to reach me directly firstname.lastname@example.org (though please be aware I can’t answer most emails personally).
I joined Fertility Matters Canada on a Facebook Live Stream to provide further updates and answers to any questions. You can watch the video by clicking here.
I look forward to your questions and hope that I and our team can help.
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.