Dear Valued Patients,
This message in in follow-up to the one you received on March 16, 2020.
As mentioned in that message, the health and well-being of our patients and staff remains our highest priority at SIRM® St. Louis. We intend to remain open and are committed to providing ongoing care with your safety in mind. Please understand that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is fluid and constantly changing; the physician and leadership team will continue to send updates regarding the office’s policies as things change.
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. On March 17th our professional organization, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), released its recommendations for managing patients during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal of these recommendations is provide guidance for guarding the health and safety of our patients and staff, while complying with national public health recommendations.
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 March, can proceed with treatment. All fresh cycles will result in freezing all embryos with plans for deferred transfer. We will be in contact with all FET patients to answer any questions regarding proceeding with their transfer.
- 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 at that 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 April 2020.
- Until April 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 continue as planned.
ASRM plans to revisit their guidelines as the pandemic evolves but no later than March 30, 2020. Our goal is to resume treatment in April. Patients scheduled for April IVF (fresh or frozen cycles) may be delayed, and not canceled, pending updated ASRM guidelines.
We will continue to limit the number of people in our office at one time by performing all consultations (new patient visits, any follow-up consultations, calendar and chart reviews, and financial counseling) by phone or Skype. 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. If you are currently in treatment or planning treatment in March or April, you already will have received an informed consent waiver. Should you choose to postpone your treatment, please contact your care team.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding, and rest assured, we will be with you every step of the way. Remember, conversations will not be canceled, relationships will not be canceled, and hope will not be canceled.
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
Molina Dayal, MD, MPH
Medical Director, SIRM STL