To all our patients, we would like to remind you that our number one priority is your health.
As you are aware, the Coronavirus (referred to as COVID-19) has now become a global health issue, and we at RSCNJ are taking critical steps to promote the continued health of our patients. As we address your questions moving forward, we welcome your continued comments and we have taken your concerns to heart. We want to personally thank you all for your cooperation and understanding during this time. During the evolving climate of COVID-19, we at RSCNJ are doing all we can to maintain safety and your fertility treatment continues to be our number one priority.
First and foremost, early evidence is encouraging regarding pregnant patients who contract this virus. There are no reports of adverse pregnancy outcomes and the pregnancy course appears favorable in these individuals. The concern lies in those patients who might have COVID-19. Currently, it is not recommended to move forward with fertility treatment in patients that exhibit flu-like symptoms, those exposed to individuals with COVID-19, and those patients that have tested positive for COVID-19. As we strive to provide fertility care in an environment that promotes your safety, we are doing our very best to keep our fertility community safe.
Below, we provide facts about the status of COVID-19, including the following:
- How RSCNJ is ensuring your health and safety during this time (this includes updates to your appointments and office procedures, patient intake and patient flow patterns).
- How it affects your cycle (those currently cycling, preparing to cycle, and those undergoing early evaluation and moving toward treatment decisions).
- Recommended precautions for promoting your health during this tenuous time.
Remember, that the information from both the CDC and the NJ Department of Health is constantly evolving. Please keep this in mind as treatment decisions and office protocols may be dynamic and evolve over the next critical days/weeks.
Once again, we appreciate your patience and understanding and thank you for your continued faith in promoting your health, while making strides to build your family. As a community, we must all work together and do our very best to keep one another safe.
Your Fertility Team
Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey
Our Safety Plan
Our primary goal is to create an environment that minimizes the spread of this virus while preserving the needs of our patients.
First, we have modified patient flow into our offices, ensuring your safety.
- This consists of temperature screening, and inquiry about flu-like symptoms, which are current protocols utilized throughout New Jersey Hospitals and nationally.
- The patient will be contacted via text/phone when our office is ready for intake and will efficiently move into exam rooms. This minimizes patient/patient contact.
Non-clinical staff will not engage in direct patient contact but will utilize phone consultations for patient discussions.
Increased cleaning measures before and after each patient interaction has been implemented to decrease potential contact and spread. This is above current recommendations for office safety.
Only the patient will be allowed into the office during their appointment times. No partner or family members/children will be allowed to accompany the scheduled patient.
- The partners/family members will need to remain outside the office facility.
- Partner may accompany patient during egg retrieval and embryo transfer procedure only.
Semen analysis appointments will consist of at-home collections only (no on-site collection).
Options exist for new patient appointments and options appointments to be conducted via telemedicine.
Our staff is required to report potential exposures and will not be allowed to have patient contact if this is the case. We ask that if you have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, please inform our office immediately. In the case of potential exposure, your treatment may not start or may be cancelled to ensure the safety of all involved. While we know this is of concern, we must be safe and follow the NJ regulations set up our state and federal agencies.
We understand that some of these changes may be difficult, but they are necessary to keep everyone safe and maintain our ability to continue to provide fertility care.
Answers To Your Cycle Questions
Should I consider cancelling my planned fertility cycle?
If you are not exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, haven’t had direct contact with a COVID-19 infected individual or been diagnosed with COVID-19, your risk is minimized and there is no contraindication to continued care. There exists no evidence that COVID increases your pregnancy complications. However, if you feeling ill (having a fever and/or cough), it is not recommended that you start/continue fertility treatment. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends suspension of most fertility treatments until the end of March.
What if I am currently in a cycle, should I cancel?
As stated above, if you are healthy, have no contact or have been diagnosed it is okay to continue treatment. However, if you are ill or have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19, we recommend cycle cancellation. Remember, the most critical aspect is your health and those around you. Therefore, any symptoms present or concern for infection may result in stoppage of treatment, and continuation at a later date.
What if I am exposed or am diagnosed with COVID-19 during my pregnancy?
At the present time, a fetus appears unaffected if a mother acquires COVID-19. This is based on preliminary data that is reassuring in pregnant patients. However, both ASRM and the CDC recommend avoiding pregnancy if you or your partner has COVID-19, and the cautious approach is to attempt pregnancy when you are not longer infected.
Is it safe for me to come in for my appointment?
Yes, unless you are feeling ill, have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or have been potentially exposed to an affected individual in the last 14 days. As mentioned above, we have enhanced our patient screening and patient flow through the office to promote a safe office environment and your continued safety. Should you be concerned, you can discuss the option of a telemedicine consult with one of our team members.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
According to the CDC, concerning symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please call your doctor immediately and we ask that you reschedule your appointment for a later date.
What does the future hold?
At this point in time, social distancing and minimizing close person-to-person contact are the mainstays of prevention. If we all do our best, this will help our society stay healthy. We must work together as individuals and as a community to overcome this pandemic. At the present time, we recognize your worries. We are doing our best to keep our employees, patients, and our RSCNJ family, safe and healthy. While we cannot allay all your worries, know that we are striving to continue your care while minimizing risks to the patients that trust us to take care of them.
We respect your fertility choices and are here for all of you. This applies whether you are continuing treatment now, or should you decide to delay care. It is an individual decision and we respect your choice. You are our family, and we support you.
Best Preventative Measures
Suggestions as we move forward:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid sick individuals, large crowds, and physical contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your inner elbow if you sneeze or cough
- Clean and disinfect your work area and home
- Avoid non-essential travel if possible
- Know if you are in the at-risk population (older adults and people who are immuno-compromised) as those need to be even more vigilant
Remember, should you have any questions during this time, please call the office as we are here to help.