17 March 2020

Information about the coronavirus for fertility patients

Information about the coronavirus for fertility patients

With regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and fertility, we would like to inform you about the following:
The Netherlands—Brabant in particular—is in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. To deal with the virus, the Cabinet has decided to take measures to limit social contact. From now on, anyone with a cold, cough, sore throat or fever must stay at home. At Máxima MC, our policy is to switch our planned care to phone appointments wherever possible.
The pandemic also has consequences for fertility treatments.

Measures at the Máxima MC Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Brabant

The following measures will take effect on 16 March 2020 and will remain in effect until at least the end of March 2020, with a weekly evaluation to determine whether to resume care.
People who have been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection or who have a cold, cough, sore throat or fever are not allowed to visit the hospital and will not be able to receive fertility treatment.
To minimise and delay the spread of coronavirus wherever possible, Máxima MC will be reducing non-acute treatment to the minimum, including fertility treatment.

As a patient currently undergoing fertility treatment at Máxima MC, what does this mean for you?

  • Ongoing treatments can be completed, but no new attempts will be started.
  • IVF, ICSI, transfer of frozen embryos, intrauterine insemination and ovulation induction treatment will not be initiated until further notice.
  • You should know that there is very little information known on the potential effect of a coronavirus infection on early pregnancy. Even if you currently have no complaints and you are scheduled for an embryo transfer as part of an IVT/ICSI treatment or intrauterine insemination, or are making use of your fertile period, there is a chance that you will be infected with coronavirus in the coming days or weeks. It is, therefore, worth considering not pursuing pregnancy at this time. Embryos created through an IVF or ICSI procedure can be frozen and transferred at a later date. A recently initiated IVF/ICSI cycle, ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination cycle can be terminated. You should discuss your options with your doctor and reach a decision together. For more information, click here.
  • If you are currently undergoing a cycle analysis, we ask that you stop the analysis. This means that you do not need to attend your scheduled ultrasound appointment. To minimise the workload on our assistants, you do not need to cancel the appointment.
  • If you are currently undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment and you are diagnosed with coronavirus during the stimulation, or if you have a cold, cough, sore throat or fever, your cycle will be terminated.
  • If you are currently undergoing an IVF or ICSI treatment and you are diagnosed with coronavirus after the hCG trigger (Ovitrelle or Pregnyl), or if you have a cold, cough, sore throat or fever, all embryos will be frozen (in accordance with the European guidelines). Premature termination of a treatment cycle will not have any consequences on the number of attempts reimbursed under the Health Insurance Act.

For patients who are currently pregnant, either spontaneously or after a fertility treatment, there is currently no clear evidence of negative effects of COVID-19 infection on early pregnancy, but the available information is still very limited. It is important that you adhere to the general measures to minimise your risk of infection. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact us at +31 40 888 95 98.

Evaluation and intake for new patients

Evaluations and intake interviews for new patients by fertility doctors or gynaecologists will be conducted over the phone as much as possible. If your appointment is being cancelled, rescheduled or changed to a phone appointment, we will contact you soon.
It is important to discuss the risks during the treatment, as there is a chance that you could contract COVID-19 during your fertility treatment. There is also a chance that a shortage of hospital staff will strain the continuity of care for patients undergoing planned (non-urgent) treatment (e.g. fertility treatment).

If you have been diagnosed with coronavirus or have a cold, cough, sore throat or fever during your current treatment,
please contact us by phone as soon as possible to discuss the best way to terminate your treatment. You can also discuss the continuation of treatments when Máxima MC restarts treatments. You can coordinate your adjusted treatment plan with the assistant and, if necessary, with your doctor. To do so, please call +31 40 888 95 98 to make a phone appointment.

In closing

The current coronavirus situation means that we have to be as careful as possible with your health as well as that of our employees.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions after reading this letter, please contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.

Máxima MC fertility team