Dr. Spencer Richlin was recently on WTNH to discuss National Infertility Awareness Week in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. See his full responses in the video above.
What's the rationale behind the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's guidelines to end all IVF cycles during COVID-19?
The recommendation came out because of COVID-19 and it's all to offer the safest environment for our patients to continue to build their dreams. The pause is being lifted, however. On May 1, many clinics are reintroducing IVF cycles.
What's happening during the pause of treatment?
We've done a lot of telemedicine! From the providers to the nurses to the nutritionist, we're all in touch with patients daily to review their status, their charts, and their progress. The idea is to prepare our patients to the best of our ability to restart these treatments.
How are patients dealing with this?
We're trying our best to keep communication open and consultations progressing so that our patients remain in good spirits. In addition to our telemedicine, we're also ramping up our social outreach. For instance, for National Infertility Awareness Week, we're hosting nightly Instagram Live's with our doctors, covering educational fertility topics to keep our followers engaged and knowledgeable about infertility. We're staying involved with our patients and getting them ready to come back and kickstart their treatment back into gear.
How's COVID-19 affecting the process?
We're stepping up our safety within the office to keep everyone as healthy as possible. We're requiring masks to be worn in the office by all who enter, we're spacing out the people in our waiting rooms, we're taking everyone's temperature, and evoking other social distancing protocols. Building a family is a necessity, so we're here to make it the safest environment to do so.
How does COVID-19 affect the stress of trying to conceive?
We strive to decrease stress within our patients by talking to them, keeping as many lines of communication open as possible, having them talk with our fertility counselors and nutritionist, eating well, and exercising. At the end of the day, we're providing as much support to the patients as we can to keep them moving forward.
For more information, where should a patient go?
Check out our website, look us up on Instagram, and follow our National Infertility Awareness Week campaign. We're live every day on Instagram this week with a provider and always providing support group opportunities (now, virtually!). We're here to support you any way we can.
Virginia Hamilton Furnari is Illume Fertility's former Brand Specialist. In addition to helping mold the Illume Fertility brand through blogs, videos, and events, she was also a patient at Illume. Given her professional and personal involvement in the fertility community, she has immersed her mind, body, and soul in family-building education.