Causes & Treatment

HFEA / ASRM – Fertility Clinics and Lockdown

Eloise Edington  |  16 Jan 2021


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In the dark days of winter lockdown 2021, here in the UK and much of Europe, it is hard to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel, particularly if you are TTC (trying to conceive) and on a disrupted fertility journey.

The Covid numbers reported to us constantly (on every news feed) are grim, and our existence sometimes feels as though it has been reduced to the size of a postage stamp by the necessary restrictions. We know too that in the US the rampant Covid pandemic, as well as the current political strife, is darkening so many people’s lives. It is hard not to dwell on how this uncertain and dire era brings added stress to those trying to conceive.

Related Article – Fertility Help: What Does Covid-19 Mean for Your Fertility Treatment?

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HFEA Latest

It was such good news last summer, when fertility clinics in the UK were able to reopen after the spring lockdown when they were granted permission by the HFEA (Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, UK), having submitted to them their Treatment Commencement Strategy, which detailed how they had instituted thorough, Covid-safe ways of working for both clinic staff and patients. However, we are aware that fertility and IVF treatment at some fertility clinics will be delayed by the on-going pandemic because of the restriction to numbers that can be safely treated and because, now that the NHS unfortunately is reaching breaking point, some staff may need to be redeployed to other areas of the health service. It is therefore vital to keep in close contact with your fertility clinic to keep up to date on the situation.

Regarding the current position, a statement on the HFEA website (updated on 30 December 2020) says:

“As the UK wide regulator of fertility clinics, we consider fertility clinics can continue to safely offer treatment during the latest lockdown. Treatment at some clinics may be affected by the pandemic due to local circumstances, for example where there are a lot of clinic staff who are ill or isolating, or where staff have been redeployed to other areas within the heath service.

Patients should keep in contact with their clinic who can update them on any changes to their services. We expect clinics to continue to follow professional and local guidance and let us know immediately if there is a local decision to suspend the services they provide. We will review any new guidance produced by the Government and devolved administrations, the NHS and Professional Societies and make further statements as necessary”.

Related Article – Fertility Clinics: Mask Inspiration to Prepare You for Your Fertility Appointments

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ASRM Latest

The latest update on the website of the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) also reminds us again, whilst the long- drawn-out process of vaccinations is being rolled out, of the importance of those basic infection protection strategies that are so vital if we are to keep safe and also limit the spread of the virus: social distancing, wearing masks, sanitising surfaces and washing our hands.

The lockdowns have been taking a toll on everybody in some regard, but, with several effective vaccines approved, in manufacture and now getting into people’s arms, that little light at the end of the tunnel – the control and end of the pandemic – IS growing stronger and brighter. We just have to look forward to restarting the fertility journey by keeping our bodies healthy as well as maintaining a positive state of mind, in all the ways that are so familiar to us from previous lockdowns – connecting virtually with friends and family, exercising within the limits allowed, distraction hobbies, cooking, music, reading, taking up new interests…

Stay tuned for upcoming content, where we will discuss with fertility specialists around the globe, what their thoughts are on the Covid vaccine and fertility and also what may happen if you get a positive Covid test before or during fertility treatment.

Related Article – TTC: How to Have a Positive Mental Attitude During Lockdown

We’re here at Fertility Help Hub to support each other through our fertility struggles, along that journey to the final goal. Look out on our website and on Instagram for our exciting new campaign, launching on 20th January! This will help those we can #RestartTheJourney.

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