Some patients have been contacting us regarding the Coronavirus and what impact this might have on their treatment. We thought it would be helpful to set out answers to some common questions.
- Q:Is it safe to have the Covid-19 vaccination if I am trying to conceive, undergoing IVF treatment or I’m pregnant?A:
According to the latest guidance from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, it is safe to have the Covid-19 vaccination if you are trying to conceive or if you’re pregnant.
They quote the British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists, who explain there is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men. This includes whether you are trying on your own or having fertility treatment.
They also quote the NHS and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) who have said vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended in pregnancy and is the safest and most effective way of protecting pregnant women and their babies from coronavirus infection.
COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy
The UK government now strongly recommends the COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. It is important to have your COVID-19 vaccinations to protect you and your baby.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now advised that pregnant women are more at risk of severe COVID-19 disease. They are reminding pregnant women to have their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. They should not delay vaccination until after they have given birth. This is to protect them and their babies. In the UK, over 100,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and they have a good safety profile.
These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.
Evidence on COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies in the UK, US, Canada and Europe.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are coming for their first dose.
Anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose whilst pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.
- Q:Do I need to delay becoming pregnant or having treatment if I’ve had the vaccine?A:
No, the government has said those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. See the government website for the latest guidance.
There is no need to avoid getting pregnant after COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Q:Can I have IVF treatment during lockdown?A:
Yes, clinics have not been told to close and are continuing to deliver treatment normally. However, please contact your clinic directly to check if they have any special measures that you need to be aware of.
- Q:Is it safe to have IVF treatment during lockdown?A:
All clinics have implemented strong Coronavirus safety measures and have been advised it is safe to continue delivering IVF treatment during lockdown.
- Q:How is Access Fertility coping with Coronavirus?A:
As a business, Access Fertility is in a strong financial position to manage the uncertainty around coronavirus and has a robust structure in place to meet current and future patients’ needs.
– The company has always been in profit and has built up significant cash reserves to ensure stability in times of unexpected turbulence
– Even if the current situation was to continue for 12 or 18 months the company’s future would be secure
– Access Fertility has prepared prudently over the past five years and is in a strong position to manage the current uncertainty and protect our patients
- Q:What happens if my treatment cycle is cancelled because of Coronavirus?A:
In line with our standard policy Access Fertility will cover the cost of one cancelled cycle per programme, whatever the cause. Patients will continue to cover the cost of any additional cancelled cycles.
- Q:What happens if I make payment and cannot start treatment due to Coronavirus?A:
There are no timeframes to start treatment in the current situation. If you have made payment for a programme but cannot begin treatment do not worry, you can begin when you/your clinic are ready.
- Q:What happens if I have egg collection but cannot attend embryo transfer?A:
You would need to check with your clinic but it is likely your embryos would be frozen and stored ready to use at a later date. Access Fertility would cover all frozen embryo transfers and the freezing and storage for 12 months.
- Q:I’ve had treatment on my programme already but don’t want to/cannot start my next cycle. Is there a time period I need to start my next cycle by?A:
There is no time limit on our programmes. If a patient wants to take a break of several months before their next cycle that is possible. If you wish to do this please contact Access Fertility. You can begin when you/your clinic are ready.
- Q:Can the Unlimited programme be paused?A:
Currently, clinics are delivering treatment normally and do not need to close so we are not pausing unlimited programmes.
- Q:Opening hoursA:
Our opening hours are now 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am – 4pm Friday. Please call us to speak with our team of patient advisors. Alternatively, you can always send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Q:Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for patientsA:
The HFEA provides information about coronavirus and fertility treatment, as well as links to support services which can be found here
- Q:Do I need to delay becoming pregnant or having treatment if I’ve had the vaccine?