Latest Update: 24th Jan 2022
We are committed to providing continuous care safely throughout the next few months. Below is the latest update:
As new variants, such as Omicron enter NZ, we too will be adjusting our safety measures at the clinic:
- Testing – we will be introducing regular testing across ALL clinics for patients (currently only Auckland & Hamilton).
- Available Treatments – if we do experience a high volume of cases in the community we will need to reduce the treatment types available during this time.
- Planned Treatments – we will be planning cycle numbers carefully over this time, to ensure patient and staff safety.
- PPE – we will increase the level of PPE where appropriate.
These safety measures have been set following guidance from our international fertility colleagues, who have already experienced the challenges of the latest Covid-19 variant.
Please be aware that we are monitoring the situation closely, and will make changes quickly if needed, so please check for updates regularly.
Today at the clinics
We continue to use the safety measures in place from Dec 2021:
- Testing in Auckland and Hamilton regions
- Health questions & vaccine status before arriving at the clinic
- 1 x support person ONLY at procedure appointments, early pregnancy scans and first consultations
- No children at the clinic at this time
- Special arrangements for Non-Vaccinated patients
Thank you for your cooperation, we will send through further updates as necessary.
Protecting each other from Covid-19 and avoiding disruption to treatment
The whole FA team is fully vaccinated, and we are really pleased to see that over 95% of our patients are also double vaccinated. Latest research shows that vaccination will protect both mum and baby from the potentially serious complications of a Covid-19 infection in pregnancy. Check our Webinar Covid Vaccine & Pregnancy/Fertility here.
What you can do:
- Please get vaccinated: Vaccination will give you the best chance of having a healthy baby.
- Testing as required: When the levels are high in your community, we will require additional testing. Auckland and Hamilton please see below.
- During treatment - live a more cautious lifestyle and limit contact with people – becoming ill can reduce your chance of a successful cycle and will postpone treatment.
- Please do not attend the clinic if you have any flu symptoms - call or Salve message your clinic team.
At the Clinic:
- Vaccine pass: We are asking all patients, partners and/ or support people about their vaccination status using ‘My Vaccine Pass’.
- Health Questions: We will ask health questions before or at each visit. It is important you tell us if you are feeling unwell – as it may be better to delay treatment for a month.
- Unvaccinated patients will have special arrangements. Please always contact your clinic before attending as you will be required to wait outside the clinic until we can see you.
- Masks: You will need to wear a mask while in the clinic.
- No children to attend. We apologise, however this helps to reduce the risk within the clinic.
Support People at the clinic – from Weds 8 Dec
- Procedures: We are pleased to now be able to have 1 support person or partner at egg collection, embryo transfer and pregnancy scans. Please note this does not include other scans or procedures.
- Younger patients attending a fertility preservation or specialist appointment are encouraged to bring 1 adult support person.
Testing: Currently only Auckland and Hamilton
From Weds 8th December:
- Before consultation appointments: Only unvaccinated patients will be required to have a negative Covid-19 Test result before attending.
- During Treatment:
- Vaccinated: All patients attending are required to have 1 single negative Covid-19 test at the start of a treatment cycle. (testing 5 days before to ensure results are available on time). This includes support people and partners attending.
- Unvaccinated: patients or support people will require a negative test result 5 days before each routine clinic appointment and every 5 days during treatment.
- Testing Locations: Please check the MOH website for FREE pop-up COVID testing locations, OR you can visit your GP where a fee may apply. https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/.
- Saliva testing is now available to Fertility Associates patients in Auckland and Hamilton with Rako Science as an alternative to free community nasal testing. Saliva testing is $115 per test, paid by you directly to Rako Science, and has a 36-hour turnaround for results. More info in your Salve app under COVID Updates.
- Results: Please bring your test results into the clinic with you at the time of your appointment. For any uncertain or positive test results, please contact the clinic.
Thank you - we appreciate your cooperation.
- All Fertility Treatments are available - IVF, Egg Freezing, OI, IUI, Donor Treatments.
- Fertility Preservation before cancer treatment.
- Sperm freezing is available, however we encourage all men who are thinking about their fertility to get vaccinated. Do not delay vaccination to bank sperm.
Auckland Labs: Auckland Blood Labs locations have changed - here is the latest lab location sheet.
- Getting Covid-19 and pregnancy
- Pregnant women are particularly badly affected by Covid-19, and probably more so with the delta variant. In the UK, 1 in 6 of the most critically ill patients are unvaccinated pregnant women. Vaccination is very effective at protecting women in pregnancy. (Link to our advice of vaccination and pregnancy)
- Getting Covid-19 and male fertility
- A variety of studies have shown Covid-19 infection can affect male fertility short term. This is not surprising – inflammation, fever, and oxidative stress can all impact male infertility. Vaccination reduces the chance of infection, and greatly reduces symptoms and the degree of illness if men do contract Covid-19.
- Sperm and the Vaccine
- We encourage all men who are thinking about their fertility to get vaccinated. Do not delay vaccination to bank sperm.
- There is no evidence that the Covid vaccination harms sperm counts or male fertility.
- There is emerging evidence that the Covid virus may impair sperm production due to the inflammation it causes.
Endocrinology - Tele Health
- Tele health – During high community transmission of Covid (for example during red traffic light level and lockdown levels 3 and 4) Endocrinology consultations will be conducted by Tele Health.
- New patients will be offered a first appointment by video consultation and follow up appointments will be carried out by telephone. There will be no cancellation charges for patients who prefer to delay until a face-to-face appointment is available.
- Non-urgent - Deferment of the appointment will be suggested by the endocrinologist if a referral is non-urgent and not considered suitable for telehealth.
- Physical Exam required - When a physical examination is required following a Tele Health appointment, this can be arranged in the fully vaccinated patient and in an unvaccinated person if a negative Covid test is provided with in 72 hours of the appointment. The Endocrinology secretary coordinates these appointments, which may not be with the primary endocrinologist.
- Charges- Charges for a Tele Health appointment will be the same as a face-to-face appointment. There will be no charge if an appointment is rescheduled due to a Covid lockdown or traffic light change . Any other last minute cancellation (<4 working days) incurs the standard 50% charge.
- Administration contact– The administration work load is substantially increased during lockdowns, so there may be a delayed response to enquiries. Please be patient with the Endocrinology team secretaries who will respond as soon as they are able.
Salve COVID-19 Folder on your app:
Just check under Info/ Covid Updates and you will find the latest info. We have:
- Treatment updates
- Clinic precautions and who can attend
- Vaccine advice
- Travel documentation
We will update this folder as things change so please do check it if you have any questions.