Advice from Monash IVF in relation to fertility treatment
At Monash IVF Group our primary concern is, and always will be the health and safety of our patients and our team. In light of recent news on Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to update you with the specific actions we are taking to ensure your health and safety. To minimise the chance of you and our team being infected by COVID-19 we are asking for your assistance by following the instructions below:
1. Firstly, if you have an appointment or meeting scheduled at the clinic and you have any respiratory or viral symptoms we ask that you please contact your clinic by phone and do not present at your clinic for that appointment. Appointments and meetings include a specialist consultation, nurse interview, counsellor appointment, finance appointment or any other meeting where you are required to attend the clinic.
Consultations may be able to be converted to a phone consultation on the day of your booked appointment, although this will depend on the nature of the consultation.
2. We ask that if you have travelled overseas to any country, or had contact with someone who has positively tested for COVID-19, that you do not book to commence a treatment cycle until you have been in self quarantine for 14 days after last contact, or after returning from travel.
Monash IVF will not allow patients to book in for a stimulated IVF cycle until this 14-day period has elapsed.
3. If you are booking in for an IVF cycle and have any respiratory symptoms and /or a fever (temperature 37.4 degrees C or higher) please let the clinic know and we will plan to delay your IVF treatment by one month. While we understand this delay may cause distress to some patients, it is an unavoidable restriction necessary to minimise the chance of other patients and employees contracting COVID-19. Cancelling early in the cycle is better than having to cancel your cycle later after starting medications.
4. If your cycle needs to be delayed as a result of COVID-19, you will not be charged any out of pocket fees for this cancelled cycle. If you have started your cycle but are unable to proceed to egg pickup, you will not incur any out of pocket fees for your cancelled treatment.
5. If you have already commenced your stimulated IVF cycle and become unwell we ask that you take your temperature, self-isolate at home and contact your Monash IVF clinic. If these symptoms are only mild “cold” like symptoms (runny nose and sore throat) and you have no fever (temperature 37.4 degrees C or higher) we may still proceed with treatment. However, this decision will be made on a case by case basis and we ask that you do not attend your clinic before discussing your symptoms with our team.
If you are invited to continue treatment you will be asked to perform hand-hygiene on arrival at Monash IVF. Please note that medications such as paracetamol (Panadol) and other anti-inflammatories (Nurofen etc.) may hide a temperature for 4 hours. As such, we ask that you take your temperature at least 4 hours after taking these types of medications.
6. If you are booking in for a frozen embryo transfer (FET), intrauterine insemination (IUI) or ovulation induction (OI) cycle and have any respiratory or viral symptoms please notify the clinic. If these symptoms are mild and you have no fever we suggest that you self-isolate at home for 48 hours and we will then contact you to reassess your condition. If the symptoms remain, or you have developed a fever, we will cancel the cycle and delay treatment by a month. If your symptoms have resolved we can still proceed with treatment.
7. COVID-19 typically presents with a fever, shortness of breath, dry cough and muscle aches and pains – symptoms more similar to the flu than a common cold. If you have any of these symptoms, especially if you have had contact with another person with known COVID-19 or have been overseas, we would ask that you not attend Monash IVF and instead present to a COVID-19 clinic, “respiratory clinic”, “fever clinic” or hospital for assessment. Monash IVF is not equipped to test patients for COVID-19 and will not be performing COVID-19 swab testing under any circumstances.
Upon presentation for all appointments at Monash IVF you will notice a series of initiatives that we have commenced to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 to you and others. This includes increased frequency of cleaning of all high risk surfaces such as handrails, door handles and EFTPOS machines.
In addition, we are installing additional hand-sanitiser stations at key entry points, and we respectfully request that you use these upon arrival. For examinations in an enclosed space such as ultrasound scans, procedures and blood tests, we may routinely take your temperature beforehand. We understand that many of our patients may find this intrusive, but we ask for your patience as Monash IVF takes its duty of care to our patients and staff very seriously.
Finally, we wish to reassure all of our patients that the team at Monash IVF Group are continuing to monitor developments in an effort to minimise impacts on our day to day business operations.
Thank you in advance for assisting the Monash IVF team during this time.
Chief Executive Officer