Dear SIRM Family,

This message in follow-up to the one you received last week regarding our practice. The health and well-being of our patients and staff remain our highest priority at SIRM® St. Louis.

Assuming that the St. Louis region’s COVID-19 peak has already occurred, SIRM STL is adhering to the following steps, in order to limit exposure to one another (in-person contact) as well as to ensure the safety of pregnancies.

  • We are planning on resuming all treatments for patients in the month of May. Specifically, baseline sonograms for fresh IVF cycles, FETs, ERAs, and IUIs will begin during the week of May 4, 2020 and will continue for an additional 2-3 weeks. In order to make up for lost time, we will not be adhering to the IVF cycle dates that were originally scheduled for the months of May and June; instead, we are planning on continuously having IVF cycles performed for the months of May and June, resuming the 2-week cycle dates in July 2020 and thereafter.
  • Drs. Dayal and Schulte will be covering procedures one week at a time. It is possible that your primary physician will not be performing your egg retrieval or embryo transfer due to this coverage. However, we are planning for your primary physician to perform your FET. This decision did not come easy however we felt that the physicians should rotate schedules in order to limit the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure.
  • Dr. Witten will continue to not see patients in the month of May. As a form of introduction, any patient of Dr. Witten undertaking treatment in May, and possibly June, will be scheduled for a short consultation with either Dr. Dayal or Dr. Schulte.
  • At this time, new hysteroscopies (HSC’s) and all non-urgent diagnostic procedures (hysterosalpingograms (HSGs), saline infusion sonograms (SISs), and antral follicle counts (AFCs)) will begin during the week of May 4, 2020.
  • Until further notice, any scheduled semen analyses will continue to be collected at home and then dropped off at the office. We will provide a container for partners to use for this purpose.
  • Obstetrical sonograms will be continued in the office as originally scheduled.

Our goal is to proceed with treatment in May. However, the above plans may change if the St. Louis region sees an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases or if the Missouri ‘shelter-in-place’ is extended beyond May 3, 2020. It is important to realize that your treatment plan may abruptly change or be canceled, and any medications you have taken will be lost.

Regardless of when we restart treatment, we will continue to limit the number of people in our office at one time. This includes the total number of patients being allowed into the office on any given day. All consultations (new patient visits, any follow-up consultations, calendar and chart reviews, and financial counseling) will be performed by phone or Zoom/Skype.

In addition to this, beginning on 4/27/2020, we will require the following:

  • Per CDC guidelines, all patients must wear a facemask. If you are not wearing a facemask, your appointment will be rescheduled to another day.
  • Children should not accompany you to the clinic.
  • Partners/family members should not come into the office as ONLY the patient scheduled for bloodwork or ultrasound will be permitted in the office.
  • All patients will need to check-in for their appointment from their cars. When called in, their temperature will be checked and they will be taken directly to an exam room when one is ready for them.

We strongly recommend continued vigilance in implementing social distancing and good hygiene to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding, and rest assured, we will be with you every step of the way. As always, if you have any questions regarding your treatment plan and timeline, please reach out to discuss your individual situation with a member of your team.

For more information click here to visit our FAQ page

Warmly,
Molina Dayal, MD, MPH
Medical Director, SIRM STL

Update Posted April 1, 2020

Dear Valued Patients,

This message in in follow-up to the one you received on March 18, 2020.

As mentioned in prior messages, the health and well-being of our patients and staff remains our highest priority at SIRM STL.

The physician and leadership team have continued to work on staying informed on the emerging scientific developments and guidance from our local and national leaders regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you are aware, the United States has now emerged as the global epicenter of this pandemic. More than 225 million Americans have enacted “shelter-in-place” orders stressing the importance of social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve for coronavirus spread.

Yesterday (March 30, 2020), our professional organization, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), released its latest recommendations for managing patients during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The goal of these recommendations is to provide guidance for guarding the health and safety of our patients and staff, while complying with national public health recommendations.

In general, none of the ASRM recommendations have changed since they were originally published on March 17th. Following these recommendations, we have taken several proactive steps to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19, thus doing our share in blunting the impact of this pandemic. However, we also understand our patients’ aspirations to achieve pregnancy are time sensitive.

SIRM STL is adhering to the following steps, in order to limit exposure to one another (in person contact) as well as to ensure the safety of pregnancies.

  • All patients who are currently undertaking fresh and frozen IVF cycles in the month of April will be delayed until May 4th. A staff member will reach out to you to discuss next steps – in general, those who will be undertaking a fresh IVF stimulation in April, will be asked to discontinue their oral contraceptive pills. Those undertaking an FET can remain on pills. Most medications for undertaking treatment in May, regardless of being fresh or frozen cycles, will begin in the last week of April.
  • Patients who require urgent stimulation and freezing of eggs/embryos, as in the case of fertility preservation for those diagnosed with cancer, can proceed with treatment.
  • We will temporarily suspend initiation of any new treatment cycles, specifically ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and timed intercourse cycles. We ask that you notify us of the start of your April menstrual cycles in hopes of proceeding with treatment in May.
  • At this time, all elective surgeries (hysteroscopies) and non-urgent diagnostic procedures (hysterosalpingograms (HSGs), saline infusion sonograms (SISs), and antral follicle counts (AFCs)) will be postponed until May 2020.
  • Until May 2020, any scheduled semen analyses will need to be collected at home and then dropped off at the office. We will provide a container for partners to use for this purpose.
  • Obstetrical sonograms will be continued in the office as originally scheduled.
  • ERAs (Endometrial Receptivity Assays) will no longer be undertaken at this time.

ASRM plans to revisit their guidelines as the pandemic evolves but no later than April 13, 2020. Our goal is to resume treatment in May. Patients scheduled for April IVF (fresh or frozen cycles) are thus delayed, but not canceled. Anyone undertaking treatment in May should be able to proceed with their treatment. We are hoping that the next set of guidelines from ASRM will allow treatment to resume as soon as possible.

We will continue to limit the number of people in our office at one time, and we will be performing all consultations (new patient visits, any follow-up consultations, calendar and chart reviews, and financial counseling) by phone or Skype/Zoom. We continue to ask that children do not accompany you to the clinic, and that partners/family members not come into the office as ONLY the patient scheduled for bloodwork or ultrasound will be permitted in the office.

We strongly recommend continued vigilance in implementing social distance and good hygiene to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

In times of global crisis and uncertainty, we affirm our commitment to stand together and to care for one another in all ways that we can. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding, and rest assured, we will be with you every step of the way.

We will continue to communicate any changes in protocol as they occur as we aim to resume usual patient care as soon and as safely as possible. As always, if you have any questions regarding your treatment plan and timeline, please reach out to discuss your individual situation with a member of your team.

For more information click here to visit our FAQ page

Warmly,
Molina Dayal, MD, MPH
Medical Director, SIRM STL