Audubon Fertility is actively monitoring the global developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on fertility treatment. Please review our updated policies below in light of COVID-19.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a constantly evolving situation that is affecting the United States and the international community. We want our patients to feel confident that we are closely monitoring all developments and adhering to recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and state health agencies.
We understand that our patients may have questions about how this affects their treatments, how we are helping to minimize the spread of the disease, and how our business operations may change during this unique time. We are committed to the health and safety of our patients and staff. Rest assured, we are also committed to providing services to our patients so that they can safely continue their fertility journey.
Audubon Fertility Update on COVID-19
We are pleased to report that we have still had no reported cases of COVID-19 or anyone with known COVID-19 exposure amongst any of our patients or staff. This includes both our clinic and our ambulatory surgery center (ASC).
We attribute the absence of COVID-19 in our clinic and ASC to additional infection control measures we have taken which include:
screening by phone of patients prior coming in
mandatory screenings at door entry with temperature checks
compulsory hand hygiene
modified clinic schedules to minimize numbers of patients in our waiting room at a time
rigorous cleaning of exam rooms between patients
use of telemedicine for all new patient appointments and consults.
All of our patients should use “risk mitigation” practices including rigorous hand washing, minimizing travel, and social distancing.
To protect the health and safety of our patients and our staff, we are still not offering COVID-19 testing at our clinic. Patients should contact their primary care provider for COVID-19 testing.
Patients should notify Dr. Wells as soon as possible via the portal if they have had any COVID-19 symptoms or known COVID-19 exposure so we can discuss how this will affect fertility treatments and/or pregnancy. Patients should ideally not have any guests accompany them to their appointments. If a guest must come in, we will limit patients to 1 guest. Children are not allowed to enter our clinic right now.
On March 17, 2020, ASRM (the American Society for Reproductive Medicine) issued a press release “New Guidance on Fertility Care During COVID-19 Pandemic." These guidelines recommend the following:
suspending most fertility treatments effective immediately
halting the initiation of all new treatment cycles
delaying non-urgent diagnostic procedures
cancelling embryo transfers and other attempted pregnancies using assisted reproductive technologies.
These recommendations are currently in place for an indeterminate period of time as the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain.
For our patients currently undergoing fertility testing: We currently recommend postponing further testing (semen analyses, HSGs, labs, and ultrasound) until additional guidelines are given.
For our patients that have not yet started a cycle: We currently recommend postponing initiation of treatment until additional guidelines are given.
For our patients already in a treatment cycle: We are doing our best to communicate with these patients on how best to proceed.
For our patients already pregnant: The current COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to be any cause for alarm, given the limited information we have on COVID-19 and pregnancy. Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19 than non-pregnant women of the same age. A recently published study of 38 pregnant women with COVID-19 and their newborns showed no cases of intrauterine transmission of COVID-19 to the fetus. If a pregnant patient with COVID-19 does develop pneumonia or high fever, there could be complications for the pregnancy so patients should continue to practice social distancing and proper hand hygiene.
This is a fluid situation and we will keep our patients abreast of any developments that will affect their care.
Prevention & Treatment of COVID-19
First and foremost, if you or anyone in your household is currently exhibiting flu-like symptoms (cold, fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath), please seek treatment from your primary care provider. If you have difficulty breathing, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.
Please be advised that all patients entering Audubon Fertility will be screened related to current health, travel history, and COVID-19 exposure. If you are already experiencing flu-like symptoms or have recently traveled to a high-risk country and you are currently in treatment or are scheduled to come in for an appointment or procedure, we ask that you call our office immediately to discuss your options.
Social Distancing & Single Guest Policy
In an effort to best serve our patients and keep our staff safe, we are adhering to recommendations for “social distancing” by offering telemedicine appointments for both new patient consultations and follow-up visits that do not require in-office examination. Please direct questions concerning insurance coverage or out-of-pocket expenses for these telemedicine options to our clinic staff.
Please be advised that, until further notice, we are implementing a single guest policy. Only one guest will be permitted to accompany any patient while onsite. Additionally, children and animals will not be permitted in the office at this time. In an abundance of caution, visits from outside vendors or sales representatives will not be allowed.
Refund Policy for Any Cycle Disruptions Due to COVID-19
If, during the course of a scheduled cycle, a patient begins to demonstrate symptoms of illness and/or has a confirmed exposure to COVID-19, the cycle may be delayed or cancelled subject to the discretion of our medical professionals. If, under the directive of your Physician, it is determined that your cycle must be delayed or canceled due to COVID-19-related issues, we will issue a credit for any services not rendered during you cycle. Any medication expenses will not be refunded.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to answer any specific questions you have. Please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our team members. We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media. We are honored you have chosen us to manage your care during your fertility journey and are here to help guide you.
Does COVID-19 impact fertility?
Currently, there is no published data or information to suggest that COVID-19 impacts fertility.
Are my eggs/embryos/sperm at risk of exposure to COVID-19?
No. Our laboratory is designed to specifications for complete containment of recombinant DNA. It has a positive pressure air handling system, HEPA filtration system, and maintains extremely rigorous cleaning and quality assurance protocols at all times. It is also located separately from areas where patients are seen for monitoring, appointments, examinations, or procedures. Our laboratory is CAP accredited and therefore adheres to all best practices for safety and infection prevention.
What should I do if I become sick with a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath?
If you develop a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, please seek care immediately.
Please seek treatment from your primary care provider.
Please inform the care provider of your symptoms and make the provider aware of any recent travel.
Ask the provider to order a COVID-19 test.
If you have difficulty breathing, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.
We recommend that you call ahead if possible so that appropriate safety precautions can be observed in the Emergency Room.
Please avoid contact with others. We all play a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Please contact Audubon Fertility to make us aware of your illness.
Your Physician will collaborate with you to determine the appropriate next steps in your care plan.
Will your clinic shut down for a period of time?
No. We do not intend to shut down for any period of time. We have a team of clinical and administrative staff who are committed to providing the most effective care possible, in the safest environment possible.
Again, please feel free to call our office with any additional questions regarding the Coronavirus and fertility. We are doing everything we can to ensure a safe continuation of your treatment and are here to walk through this difficult time with you to help make your dreams of a family a reality.
CDC COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html