COVID19 Counseling Information

Getting Pregnant Using Fertility Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We know that many patients are curious about the implications of trying to conceive during the COVID19 pandemic. We have provided some facts and resources below regarding fertility treatment and pregnancy in the setting of an ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

There is very limited data about coronaviruses and pregnancy.

  • The impact of pregnancy on susceptibility to or severity of COVID-19 remains unknown but appears to be similar to that of non-pregnant women.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy, including maternal and fetal risks, remains unknown. The same risks that are associated with any fever during pregnancy (e.g. miscarriage) due to any viral illness also exist for COVID19.

Currently, there are many unknowns regarding access and accuracy of COVID-19 PCR and antibody testing and who needs to be screened. 

There are many scenarios in which treatment plans may need to be postponed, cancelled, or modified.

  • If a patient becomes a patient under investigation (PUI) or becomes COVID-19 positive immediately before IUI or embryo transfer, IUI will not occur, and in the case of an IVF cycle, an embryo transfer will not be performed. In this instance, any acceptable embryos will need to be cryopreserved.
  • If a patient becomes a PUI or is found to be COVID-19 positive prior to an egg retrieval, the cycle will be cancelled.
  • Also, if a patient’s partner becomes a PUI, or is found to be COVID-19 positive, it must be assumed that the patient was exposed and the cycle will also be cancelled or, if after retrieval, embryos will need to be cryopreserved.
  • In the future, if significant changes occur, we may consider continuing with a planned egg retrieval in a hospital operating room as long as the patient is stable and does not have severe symptoms. At this time, that will not happen.
  • For patients that need to cryopreserve embryos, these will be frozen until complete recovery. These last minute cancellations may be associated with financial costs. Expenses already incurred for medications or monitoring will not be reimbursed.

There remains a low but possible chance of future treatment cancellation due to exposure, infection, unavailability of PPE or other hospital resources, or changes in regulations and state/federal guidance.

While we are maximizing compliance with CDC, WASHU, BJC, and public health regulations by using appropriate PPE and sanitation techniques, minimizing in person visits, maximizing telehealth, and spacing out existing appointments, there remains a risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus by having contact with individuals at the clinic during treatment.

Moving forward with treatment is optional. You may choose to postpone treatment.

We are available and happy to answer any questions that you have on this topic. Please send a MyChart message to your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding getting pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know this is a stressful time and will continue to provide facts as they become available. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine has excellent patient resources for coping during this time. The ACOG Pregnancy and COVID-19 Website is also an excellent resource.