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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Q&A for Our Patients

Q: Does COVID-19 impact fertility?

A: Currently, there is no data or scientific evidence to suggest that COVID-19 impacts fertility.

Q: Do you recommend that I postpone any attempt at getting pregnant until the virus is contained?

A: No,IRH does not think that it is necessary to postpone pregnancy. You may want to delay pregnancy if you have traveled to high risk areas, been in close contact with someone who has traveled to high risk areas, or if you’re feeling ill. If you think you might have been exposed to the virus, self-quarantining for 14 days after the last known exposure to the virus has been recommended by the CDC.

Q: Will COVID-19 increase my risk of miscarriage?

A: Currently, there is no information on adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19. Pregnancy loss, including miscarriage and stillbirth, has been observed in cases of infection with other related coronaviruses [SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV] during pregnancy. High fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects and increase the risk of miscarriage.

Q: If I recently traveled abroad or travelled to an infected area of the United States, will that impact when I start treatment at IRH?

A: We recommend waiting two weeks after traveling to areas with reported cases of COVID-19 before you visit IRH offices.

Q: How will you ensure that my eggs/embryos/sperm will remain safe in the lab?

A: IRH implements strict lab standards and protocols to provide our patients with the best in patient care.

Q: What should I do if I become sick?

A: If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing do the following:
  1. Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  2. Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  3. Avoid contact with others.
  4. Update the IRH Fertility care team with your condition as soon as possible by calling 513-924- 5550.
Q: What happens if I get exposed to COVID-19 during my IVF cycle or other treatment cycles?

A: If you have symptoms of respiratory distress, which is common with COVID-19, your treatment or IVF cycle will mostly likely be canceled. You do not want to use anesthesia to suppress respirations even further, at a time that you are already compromised due to a viral infection. IRH wants to protect our patients and our staff from a potential exposure, thus if you are ill your cycle will be canceled.

Q: Does IRH plan on shutting down for a period of time?

A: No, IRH will not be shutting down, as there are flu and cold viruses all year long. As a healthcare facility, IRH is accustomed and proficient at infection control like many hospitals are. IRH has policies and procedures for cleaning our instruments and patient care areas to reduce the risk of spreading infections. Patient care areas are cleaned every day and infection control procedures will be followed at all times. If any of our staff becomes ill they will be sent home for a fourteen day quarantine to prevent spreading COVID 19 or other viral illnesses to patients or IRH staff members.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert

Coronavirus (COVID 19) is a virus that can cause respiratory illness. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people can recover at home and some do not experience any symptoms. However, in rare cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, respiratory failure and death. The virus is spread through close contact with an infected person who coughs or sneezes. As a result, avoiding large gatherings and close contact with people who have a respiratory illness are the top COVID 19 precautions.

COVID 19 does not appear to directly affect fertility or cause miscarriages. It is not sexually transmitted as it is not transmitted through reproductive tissues (sperm, eggs, embryos). Preliminary data shows that it does not appear to be able to be transmitted from a COVID 19 infected pregnant woman to her fetus. As it is still cold and flu season, we would still advise patients to try to avoid getting any viral infections while attempting to become pregnant and when they are pregnant, as we know that high fevers that may come from viral infections may cause miscarriages or birth defects.

IRH is actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and we continue to prioritize the safety, health and wellbeing of our patients and staff. IRH already has policies and guidelines in place aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and local and state health authorities to help prevent the spread of illness.

Currently, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 remains low with the majority of cases linked to travel in areas with active outbreaks (for current travel advisories and important information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website).

To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, we recommend that our patients take the following steps:
  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  2. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty or if you’ve been around those that are sick.
  3. Cover hands and nose with a tissue or a sleeve – not hands – when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes (Lysol or Clorox).
  5. Avoid traveling to areas with active outbreaks of COVID-19 and remain away from others that may have traveled to these locations for a minimum of 14 days.
  6. If you have travelled to a country where COVID-19 has been reported or have come in contact with a person who has COVID 19 or suspected of having COVID 19, we recommend that you postpone treatments and office appointments until two weeks after returning home from those contacts.
  7. If you are actively sick with fever and/or cough, please stay home until the fever has been clear of your system for 14 days post fever to prevent the spread of disease to our patients and staff.
Please contact your primary care physician if you are ill or have any health concerns.

For current travel advisories and up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

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    • 03/18/2020 - ARM Issues New Guidance on Fer
    • 03/13/2020 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health
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    • 07/05/2018 - Dr. Kate O'Leary joins the Ins
    • 06/08/2017 - IRH Physicians recognized as B
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    • 09/15/2014 - It's Flu Season!
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    • 08/20/2010 - 25 Years and Counting
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