Fertility clinics across Canada have stopped initiating treatments as part of the broader pandemic-related suspension of elective medical procedures, leaving patients uncertain as to when, or if, they’ll get their chance at becoming parents.
The closures are in response to a statement earlier this month by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) to its approximately 800 members recommending “suspending all diagnostic and elective procedures and surgeries” and “postponing any new cycle starts” other than for fertility preservation purposes related to cancer treatment.
On Tuesday, the CFAS released an update to its members reinforcing this stance, “Given that the number of total cases of COVID-19 (confirmed and probable) continues to rise.”
The recommendations affect patients in the midst of, or about to start fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI) and frozen embryo transfer (FET).
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The president of the CFAS, Eileen McMahon, said the decision was made in consultation with their multidisciplinary board and guided by current federal and provincial public health recommendations.
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“If it were up to us, we would continue services if it were safe to do so but it is not safe to do so. We are doing what is necessary to try to limit the spread and contain this pandemic.”
McMahon said that while it has not been determined that it is unsafe to be pregnant at this time,