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Coronavirus Safety, Answers, and Next Steps

A Complete Guide to COVID-19 for Fertility Patients

A Note from Your RMA of CT Family

We are constantly updating the below information as new mandates and recommendations are supplied by the CDC and CT Department of Health. Make sure you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date on all RMA of CT COVID-19 policies and safety regulations.

First and foremost, we want you to know that your health is our number one priority.

We are taking the Coronavirus (now referred to as COVID-19) seriously, and our patients’ concerns have been heard. We want to personally thank you all for your patience and cooperation during this time. RMA of CT is staying up to date about the role this virus is playing in our day to day lives, and we are doing everything to keep your safety and your fertility treatment our top priority.

At this time, it is still considered safe to move forward with fertility treatment unless the patient has a high likelihood of having COVID-19, or has been directly exposed to someone who has been diagnosed. 

Below, we do our best to give you all the facts about the status of COVID-19, including the following:

  • how RMA of CT is handling patient appointment and procedures during the pandemic (including updates to your appointments and procedures)
  • how it affects your cycle (whether it has begun, about to begin, or you’re thinking about it) and,
  • best practices for staying healthy during this time.

Having said that, the information from the CDC, World Health Organization and the Connecticut Department of Health is changing rapidly. Please keep this in mind as treatment decisions and appointments may have to change over the next few days / weeks.

Once again, we’d like to thank you for your patronage, your time, and your patience. We will get through this trying time because if infertility has taught us anything, it’s how resilient we all are.

Sincerely,
Your Fertility Care Team
RMA of Connecticut

PS - if you are a patient with us, we ask that you please review the most recent letter from our Medical Director for a complete overview of our current policies and procedures. You can also read it in Spanish here

Our Safety Plan

Our goal is to do our part in minimizing the spread of the virus while maintaining the needs of our patients.

In order to do that, we have revised how and when we are seeing patients in-person, minimizing traffic and visitors in our waiting rooms and common areas. Non-clinical staff has been set up to work remotely to continue to provide the same great level of support.  We are discontinuing doctor and staff rotations (each doctor keeps to a specific office), and practicing our already above-standard cleaning protocol. Additionally, we are screening anyone entering the office, making sure no one presents symptoms of COVID-19.

*IMPORTANT UPDATES*

When it comes to your specific appointments, please take note of the following protocols we are enforcing. This section was last updated on Monday, March 30th at 9am, and these policies are effective immediately.

  • Morning monitoring will be by appointment only. The goal is to minimize the number of patients in the waiting room at the same time.
  • Male partners producing specimens will be asked to produce off-site and drop off the specimen at a set time. Collection kits with paperwork will be provided.
  • Only patients will be allowed into the Surgical Suite for retrievals and embryo transfers and any scheduled surgeries. We recommend partners wait in a location outside the facility.
  • Only patients should come into the office for their appointment. Partners and children will not be permitted to wait in the waiting rooms or accompany patients in the exam room or procedure rooms. We kindly ask that they wait in the car, or outside our office.
  • All of our consultations, including new patient appointments, follow-up visits, and IVF consults will be done using Telemedicine – either by phone or by video call.  Your co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible payments still apply.
  • We have increased our secondary health screening requirements. In advance of visiting our office and upon arrival, patients will be asked questions regarding symptoms and travel history. Patients will be asked to not come to the office if they have cough, fever, shortness of breath or other flu-like symptoms. We also ask that you take your own temperature the morning of your visit, and if it is greater than 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit please do not come to the office.

Additionally, please make note of the following changes to our protocol and office hours:

  • Our satellite offices will only be open three days per week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Updated hours below:
    Danbury: 7:00am – 3:00pm
    Stamford: 6:45am – 3:00pm
    Trumbull: 7:00am – 3:00pm
  • Norwalk will remain open five days a week 7:00am – 3:00pm, plus scheduled weekend appointments.

Upon entry into the office, you will be asked screening questions, requested to wash your hands, and have your temperature taken. We reserve the right to send any patient home who has a fever. All RMA of CT staff members still working onsite are also completing daily temperature checks.

You can be confident that we are doing all that we can to minimize the risk of exposure within our offices. The trust you’ve always had in our experienced staff and care team can live on.

If you have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, please let us know immediately. We ask the same of our staff. If you have been exposed, you most likely will not be able to continue treatment in your current cycle. We apologize in advance, but we must be safe and follow the regulations set up by state and federal agencies.

We understand that some of these changes may be difficult, but they are necessary to keep everyone safe and maintain our ability to continue to provide fertility care.

Your COVID-19 Fertility Cycle Questions, Answered

I am about to start my fertility cycle (IUI or IVF) - should I cancel?

 If you are healthy and virus-free, you should consider continuing treatment. However, at this time, guidelines are changing quickly, so we recommend that you call your physician and / or care team to discuss how to move forward.

Presently, there is no evidence that you cannot or should not be pregnant during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, if you are feeling ill (having a fever and/or cough), you should postpone your treatment. We can pick it right back up once you are healthy again.

I'm in the middle of my fertility cycle (IUI or IVF) - should I cancel due to COVID-19?

 Similar to the above, if you are healthy and virus-free, you are safe to continue treatment, so long as your physician and care-team authorized you to do so. However, if you are ill or have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19, we recommend cycle cancellation. 

If I become pregnant and then acquire COVID-19, will the baby be in danger?

 According to preliminary research, a fetus appears unaffected if a mother acquires COVID-19. But we’ll be completely honest, this is all very new. This research is based on a very small number of women and more information is needed to be sure of anything. However, the initial rounds of results are looking promising for pregnant women everywhere. ASRM and the CDC recommend avoiding pregnancy if you or your partner has COVID-19 simply because of the unknowns, not because of any foreseen adverse reactions. 

Should I come in for my appointment?

 Most of our appointments have moved to telemedicine, with the exception of morning monitoring, which we now required to be scheduled through your care team until further notice.

We are doing everything in our power to keep our office a safe space so that we can ensure the best care to you, our patient. For those who are planning next steps, we are also offering virtual appointments during this time.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, the symptoms you should be on the lookout for are the following:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately and stay at home.

Additionally, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, please seek medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

      *This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Should I be nervous?

As a fertility patient, you’ve heard the term “just relax” so many times, you’ve lost count. So, we will never tell you to not be nervous, or to calm down. This outbreak is a big deal, and it seems like it’s all anyone talks about. We completely understand your concerns. What we will say, though, is that we’re here for you. No matter what you decide to do.

Please know that we would never advise you to do something you’re not comfortable with or something that’s contraindicated. If your preferred method is to wait, let’s wait. If you want to continue on, let’s continue on. We are in your corner and are keeping up with the science, technology, and health risks of it all so that we can best care for you and your needs.

Best Preventative Measures

Let’s take every precaution we can so that our patients, staff, and extended families stay safe during this outbreak.

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your inner elbow if you sneeze or cough
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid sick individuals, large crowds, and physical contact with others
  • Clean and disinfect your work area and home
  • Avoid non-essential travel and practice social distancing
  • Know if you are in the at-risk population (older adults and people who are immuno-compromised) as those need to be even more vigilant

*Quick note: We are working on innovating our greetings during this time! 🖖🙏👋

Resources

If you have a question about your personal health before coming in for a scheduled appointment or morning monitoring, please call your nurse or navigator.

Otherwise, we recommend staying up to date with the following resources:

If you are interested in booking a virtual appointment at this time, but still have a few questions, please call us at 203-956-2265, or click the button below to submit your question(s).

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