IVF and Covid-19 - Your Questions Answered

26 Aug 2021

IVF and Covid-19 - Your Questions Answered
IVF-and-COVID-19 has been a concerning topic in recent weeks. Thankfully, government rollbacks on IVF procedures mean that women seeking medical assistance to preserve fertility or become pregnant can safely go ahead with treatment.

Fertility Specialist and Gynaecologist Dr Raewyn Teirney explains to Pink Hope that not only are fertility treatments, including IVF, approved by the government to go ahead, but it is perfectly safe to undergo them.

Current Guidelines For Fertility Treatment
Any couple wishing to proceed with fertility treatment, from basic fertility tracking to full IVF medical assistance, is able to do so under the revised government guidelines as of April 27, 2020. 

This also applies to anyone who was or is currently in the process of fertility assistance, assuming you are not symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19, which may delay the implantation of an embryo. 

A statement from the Fertility Society of Australia advises that patients seek advice from their GP or medical practitioner first.  It says:

“The Fertility Society of Australia appreciates the needs of individuals seeking assistance to conceive or preserve their fertility but also acknowledges that the overarching responsibility currently is to all patients as part of the Australian and New Zealand healthcare system.

“The Fertility Society of Australia, therefore, recommends that, in the interest of public safety, patients who are planning to start fertility treatment consult with their treating specialist and discuss the appropriateness of postponing their treatment.” 

Current Guidelines For Women Diagnosed With Cancer Needing To Undergo Fertility Preservation Treatments?
A: In cases where a patient is diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses that may affect fertility and as such require urgent egg or sperm retrieval, procedures can go ahead.

“The Fertility Society of Australia recognises that there may be medical circumstances where delaying treatment may not be advisable and treating specialists should advise their patients if there are medical grounds to commence treatment now.”

The Fertility Society of Australia and IVF Australia will work together to ensure that we do all we can to protect the future fertility of these couples and/or individuals. 

Desperate For A Baby But Experiencing Fertility Issues In the Face Of Covid-19?
A: Don’t give up hope. Things are changing every day and there are positive outcomes in terms of fighting the virus as well as protecting fertility all the time. 

While things may seem overwhelming right now, the medical community is working harder than ever in unity, to fight this current battle and ensure good health and a positive future for all Australians and all people around the world. 

The Time is Now
If you have previously had cancer, but are only now looking to have a baby, you can still undergo your fertility process during this climate. There is no need to wait, They can safely proceed and this would be assessed on a case by case basis. I would advise that she speak at length with her fertility specialist. It is possible that she would also fall under the government guidelines of Class 1 and therefore may be able to proceed. IVF falls under the necessary surgically classes that we are allowed to undertake here in Australia.

Don't Give Up Hope
 Please just keep your ‘hope’. Know that we are working around the clock to beat this and the sure a safe and healthy future for all, including the future generations of children we hope to be able to help you bring into this world.

About Dr Raewyn Teirney

Dr Raewyn Teirney is one of the world’s leading Fertility Specialists and Gynaecologists. She has spent the past 15 years helping thousands of people to conceive.

Dr Teirney currently works as a Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) fertility sub-specialist at The Royal Hospital for Women, and in private practice with IVF Australia, at Bondi Junction, Alexandria and at St George Private Hospital, Kogarah.

She is a member of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA), and the European Society for Human Reproduction and Endocrinology (ESHRE) and is a Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Training Supervisor for the next generation of fertility specialists.