Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update-March 19, 2020
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.
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 Pacific Fertility Center 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 representative will not be allowed.
Fertility Treatment Cycle Policies
ALERT: In-Cycle Patients
Pacific Fertility Center will remain open to complete cycles for patients who began ovarian stimulation prior to Monday, March 16th 2020.
IUI, FET, Embryo Transfer, Egg Donor Cycles
In observance of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines, from Tuesday, March 17th – Tuesday, March 31st, Pacific Fertility Center will be rescheduling all cycles that involve an immediate attempted pregnancy. These cycles, which will be rescheduled beginning in April 2020, include:
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
- Fresh Embryo Transfer
- Embryo Creation with Donor Oocytes
IVF, Egg Freezing, Ovarian Induction Cycles
In compliance with ARSM guidelines, from Tuesday, March 17th – Tuesday, March 31st, Pacific Fertility Center will defer the initiation of new ovarian induction cycles. These cycles, include:
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Oocyte Cryopreservation (Egg Freezing)
- Ovarian Induction (OI)
We understand that these delays are heartbreaking for our patients, and we look forward to continuing your fertility journey as soon as possible. Our team is proactively reaching out to those patients impacted by these recommendations.
New Patient Consults
Pacific Fertility Center will conduct new patient consults via telephone or video conferencing. All in-person new patient appointments scheduled from March 16th to April 7th 2020 will be changed to telephone consults with the option of an expedited ultrasound. We will resume in office visits after April 7th in accordance with the ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinance, mandated by the city of San Francisco. To schedule your new patient appointment you may call us at (415) 834-3095 or fill this form.
Refund Policy for Any Cycle Disruptions Due to COVID-19
Again, we are currently proceeding with all cycles for patients who are in good health. 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 medical expenses incurred from cycle start through to cycle cancellation (minus medication expenses).
Please review our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions below.
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.
Q: Does COVID-19 impact fertility?
Currently, there is no published data or information to suggest that COVID-19 impacts fertility.
Q: Should I delay seeing a fertility specialist or moving forward with fertility treatment in light of COVID-19?
Most individuals of reproductive age are not considered “high-risk” for COVID-19, and therefore it is not necessary to delay your new patient consult or treatment cycle at this time. Our telemedicine appointments will allow you to have an initial consultation or continue on your journey with follow-up appointments in order to develop a treatment plan that can be followed through when you are ready.
Q: If I recently traveled abroad, will that impact when I start treatment?
We recommend waiting two weeks after traveling to areas with reported cases of COVID-19 to start your treatment. Please call our office to determine the appropriate next steps in your plan.
Q: 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.
Q: 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 your Prelude Network clinic to make us aware of your illness.
- Your Physician will collaborate with you to determine the appropriate next steps in your care plan.
Q: 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.
“As former fertility patients, Margaret and I understand how important a family is to you. As we watch the details of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) unfold, know that this situation doesn’t have to interrupt your dream. We want to reassure you - we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a safe continuation of your treatment, including implementing opportunities for telemedicine, where appropriate. If you have questions, concerns, or just need encouragement, please call us–we’ll move through this together.” – TJ Farnsworth, Founder & CEO Inception (parent company to the Prelude Network)
“The Coronavirus pandemic is here and is affecting us all. We have been making preparations since the first reports in China, and its initial worldwide spread. We have initiated policies and procedures to protect our staff and patients, and are prepared to make any necessary changes to assure safety and good outcomes.” – James A. Grifo, MD, PhD, Program Director NYU Langone Prelude Fertility Center/Chief Executive Physician Inception Fertility
CDC COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov