An update on coronavirus and fertility from your RSCNJ family
To All Our Patients,
We recognize the uncertainties surrounding fertility treatment in our country are challenging for you during the current coronavirus (referred to as COVID-19) pandemic. Although you may be feeling disappointment about the possibility of not receiving care, RSCNJ steadfastly stands beside you in your fertility journey. We remain devoted to moving your fertility journey forward during these evolving times.
Our unwavering motivation for patient care and your safety continues to be our number one priority. As you are aware, 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 well as addressing how coronavirus and fertility plans may be related.
We are carefully monitoring all developing patient management and clinical recommendations and in turn are adapting our patient protocols based on updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), New Jersey local and state health agencies as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
We support ASRM in their recommendations to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while still providing urgent reproductive care as determined by our providers alongside our patients. Infertility is a devastating disease and infertility care is not elective. We also identify that infertility care should be tailored for the individual and that every patient’s circumstance is unique. Our physicians tirelessly work with each individual to determine what is time-sensitive and should be done now, versus what can be momentarily delayed due to the coronavirus and fertility plans intersecting.
We know that time is an adversary to fertility success, so this may include reassessing the care of patients with diminished ovarian reserve, as well as other conditions where prolonged delays may negatively impact patient outcomes. 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.
Remember that the information from the CDC, WHO, ASRM, ACOG 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.
Your Fertility Team
Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey
Our coronavirus safety plan
Our primary goal is to create an environment that minimizes the spread of this virus while preserving the needs of our patients. We are committed to avoiding community spread by following these current health guidelines.
- All new patients and continued-care consultations that do not require an in-office procedure are now completed via telemedicine.
- Our physicians will work individually with their patients to assess specific needs and determine when their care plan falls into the time sensitive category. This may apply to patients with diminished ovarian reserve, as well as other conditions where prolonged delays may negatively impact patient outcomes.
- In the event your treatment needs to be rescheduled, we are committed to resuming your fertility care as soon as possible.
- We desire to recommence your care (safely) as much as you do, and we will remain in constant communication with you, providing updates on your fertility care timeline.
- We are vigilantly adhering to all social distancing recommendations to minimize patient interactions and reduce risk as follows:
- First, we have modified patient flow into our offices, ensuring your safety.
- This consists of temperature screening and inquiring about flu-like symptoms, which are current protocols utilized nationally and throughout New Jersey hospitals.
- 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.
- Nonclinical staff will not engage in direct patient contact but will utilize phone consultations for patient discussions.
- Note: 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 by our state and federal agencies.
- Increased cleaning measures before and after each patient interaction have been implemented to decrease potential contact and spread.
- Only the patient will be allowed into the office during appointment times (including all retrieval and transfer procedures).
- No partner or family members/children will be allowed to accompany the scheduled patient.
- Both partners/family members will need to remain outside the office facility.
- The partner will be telephoned to pick up the patient following the completion of procedures so that the patient can be transported safely home.
- Semen analysis appointments will consist of at-home collections only (no on-site collection).
Minimizing coronavirus and fertility plan changes
We are well aware of life’s stresses at the moment, and our providers have decided not to delay your dream of building your family longer than is safely necessary. With the aid of technology and telemedicine efforts, we are excitedly working with new and existing patients to prepare them for forthcoming fertility treatment. We remain decisively committed to providing access to care during this tenuous time.
Please don’t hesitate to call our office to speak directly with us about any specific questions you may have. As we continue to diligently provide patient updates through our website, email, and social media channels, our staff members remain accessible to address your concerns and questions. Our dedication to your care is paramount, and we will stand beside you to fight infertility and assist you in achieving your ultimate goal of bringing new life and creating/growing your family.
Once again, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We 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.
Answers to your frequently asked questions
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 no 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 regarding coronavirus and fertility care?
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 and patients – 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 our patients who trust us to take care of them.
Best preventive 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 nonessential 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.
Other recommended resources: