What Fertility Treatments Will Look Like After The Coronavirus Pandemic, According To Experts – Forbes

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For the last few months, people going through fertility treatment have had their lives and plans put on hold. As clinics and physicians were advised to suspend all treatments until further notice specialists have had to adapt. The general advice has been that if you can avoid being in a medical setting where youre more likely to catch Covid-19 then you should. However, patients have been waiting for treatments long before the pandemic. Appointments and treatments have changed throughout the Covid-19 crisis and experts explain why how things may be different forever.

On April 24 the American Society for Reproductive Medicine outlined that fertility clinics could start to reopen so long as key procedures are being followed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Up until that point, many procedures had been suspended throughout the pandemic.

The American College of Surgeons, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, Society of Reproductive Surgeons and other professional organizations released a statement outlining which procedures should be prioritized going forwards. Patients who want treatment now should contact their physicians. Patients will be prioritized based on the severity of their clinical condition but also how soon they want to be treated, says leading reproductive endocrinologist, Clinical Professor ACF at Stanford University and past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Dr. David Adamson.

Endometriosis was listed as a high priority diagnosis as fertility clinics reopen and Dr. Adamson says, patients suffering from endometriosis frequently have pain as well as infertility. These women should see their fertility physician to undergo fertility treatment in conjunction with pain management as soon as possible. However, as clinics begin to reopen things havent gone back to how they were before the Covid-19 crisis.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.3 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. have used fertility treatments to get pregnant and its a costly process. At-home testing and video checkups have become the norm during lockdown. While clinics re-opening appears to mark a move towards normality, some have said that a lot will need to be done to ease patients anxieties about Covid-19.

Its much more expensive to see a reproductive endocrinologist in their office than virtual care. Its much more cost-effective, accessible and faster to work virtually, says Amy Beckley, founder of Proov, the first FDA cleared progesterone testing kit, right now not having to go into an office and still conveying results of tests with your doctor virtually is the safer and more emotionally calming thing to do.

Instead of visiting their clinicians for advice, medication and tests, patients have had to turn to forums and video consultations. For those going through fertility treatment theres really good at home sperm testing kits and you can monitor ovulation which are the two main causes of infertility. If you can pinpoint that one of those things is wrong you can contact your doctor virtually, says Beckley, a couple can have fertility success without physically going into a clinic.

The Economist reported globally tens of millions of surgeries and procedures have had to be postponed and as a consequence, it will take hospitals months to work through the backlog. There are some treatments and procedures you cant do from home and Dr. Adamson says every person who has a medical condition they would like assessed or treated should contact their physician to find out how soon they can be seen, even if its a video or phone consultation. That way they can begin to plan how to get the health care they need.

A move to virtual care for IVF and fertility patients has meant that many patients have had to get to grips with at-home testing and video consultations. While it has progressed some peoples fertility journey during lockdown, there are some treatments that cant be conducted at home and hospitals face months of processing treatments that should have been completed during the crisis. As clinics begin to rebook procedures the virtual changes that have been made during lockdown may continue long after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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What Fertility Treatments Will Look Like After The Coronavirus Pandemic, According To Experts - Forbes

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