News & Information

Fertility Minute: COVID-19 and Fertility


What about my fertility treatment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic?

STL Fertility and fertility clinics across the country are following CDC guidelines and social distancing by doing phone/telemedicine consults to keep our patients healthy but most patients are still undergoing fertility treatment.

We have very limited data on how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their offspring. There is no strong evidence of any negative effects of COVID-19 on pregnancies however the data is limited. When we extrapolate data from other related coronavirus infections (SARS-CoV), (MERS-COV) and other viral respiratory infections during pregnancy, these infections may be associated with severe infection and adverse neonatal outcomes including increased risk of miscarriage, fetal growth restriction, and preterm birth. Again, no specific data on COVID-19 are available. (SMFM recommendations)

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) published a statement on 3/14/20 recommending that as a precautionary measure – all fertility patients in Europe considering or planning treatment, even if they do not meet the diagnostic criteria for COVID-19 infections should avoid getting pregnant at this time. For those patients already undergoing treatment, they suggest deferring pregnancy with egg or embryo freezing for later embryo transfer. (ESHRE recommendations)

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has created a task force with a panel of experts to guide American physicians on how to treat American fertility patients in this uncertain time. We are anxiously awaiting their recommendations but as a center have already implicated change. The health and safety of our patients, their current and future pregnancies and our staff is of utmost concern. We are following all CDC guidelines and are practicing social distancing in our office. As this is an ever changing time, please stay tuned for further guidance and call your physician with any concerns.