Latest Update: 7th April 2022
Now that we are learning to live with Covid-19 in our highly vaccinated community we have updated our safety measures.
We continue to carefully manage the number of Day-1s we can accept each month for all treatment types - please be aware you may experience a delay before you can start your cycle.
- Support people - We are pleased to welcome back partners to attend appointments and procedures - apologies, no children at this time.
- We will be taking Day-1s for Ovulation Induction 'OI' cycles from 25 April.
- First consultations are provided both in person or virtually - partners are welcome to attend (all attending need to have a RAT)
- ‘Rapid Antigen Testing’ (RAT) for ALL people visiting the clinic. (See note below)
From Mon 11th April we will require a negative RAT result for both patients and support people attending all appointments, including:
- First Consultations (new)
- Fertility Scans
- Egg Collections
- Embryo Transfers
- IUI inseminations
- Early Pregnancy Scans – this includes partners if attending
- Follow up tests/scans
- All procedural appointments
- Semen samples at the clinic
Treatments Available & Possible Wait Times:
Limited cycle numbers per month: We are carefully managing the number of cycles each month to cope with staff shortages and safe distancing - Please be aware there may be a delay till the next available treatment spot. If you do experience a delay, our team will be prioritising your Day 1 over the next few months to ensure you can start as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience however this is necessary as we limit the number of people in the clinic and work through staff shortages over the next few months.
- OI - Ovulation Induction will be available from 25th April - please note we will be restricting the number of cycles per month as per all other treatment cycles.
- IUI - partner and donor
- IVF - Egg Collections, Embryo Transfer
- Frozen Embryo Transfers
- Egg Freezing
- Fertility Preservation
- All IVF cycles with additional treatments, PGT-A
Auckland Labs: Auckland Blood Labs locations have changed - here is the latest lab location sheet.
Testing from Thurs 7th April
All visitors to the clinic require a negative RAT result.
When to collect your RAT kits:
- During a treatment cycle – we will provide test kits at your previous appointment; Or you can source your own.
- Or you can collect a kit 1 – 3 days before your appointment. Note: if having a thawed embryo transfer, kits need to be collected the day before.
- Or you may source your own RAT; however, you will need to follow our processes as outlined below and in the app.
- Out of town patients can source or collect as per above points.
IMPORTANT – Before taking your RAT:
- Please read the test instructions carefully.
- You must check your result exactly 15 mins after adding the sample to the test strip and take a photo of your result to present at your clinic appointment.
Important info about RAT Testing: before 8am
- The RAT Test must be taken at home on the morning of your treatment appointment BEFORE 8AM.
- VERY IMPORTANT: You must read your result 15 MINUTES AFTER dropping the sample into the test strip – if you read the result after 20 mins or longer, you may receive a false positive which means we would need to delay your treatment.
- You will also need to take a photo of the result to present on arrival at the clinic AND before 8am on the day of your appointment – send your test result status via Salve message or as a reply to your Health Questions - you don't need to send the photo. (The photo is to be presented on arrival at the clinic.)
Important - please read the RAT instruction sheet carefully before you take the test - this is also in your Salve Covid Update Folder.
- Negative – please send a reply via Salve message with your test result. As above
- Positive – complete a second test; if still positive, please notify us immediately if your RAT result is positive; for embryo transfer you must notify us before 8:30am to avoid thawing the embryo in preparation.
- Please let us know immediately if you have been unwell, have symptoms or in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case.
Starting or Restarting Treatment after having Covid
For those wanting to start treatment after having Covid - we have extra safety measures in place to reduce the chance of medical complications later in your cycle.
- Wait time: We advise women to wait at least six weeks after getting Covid before they start an IVF cycle, and at least two weeks before they start other types of treatment cycles.
- If you have been hospitalised with Covid, you may need to wait longer – your fertility specialist will be able to give individual advice. This is also the approach taken by colleagues in Australia.
- Additional Blood Test: For a time, we will also suggest a blood test before starting treatment to look for two common markers of inflammation.
- Test for C-Reactive protein (CRP) is a screening test for inflammation and
- Test for D-dimer measures risk for blood clots.
- The results from these tests offers an opportunity for individualised advice.
We appreciate that any delays to treatment can be frustrating. Our guidelines are based on a cautious approach, with high regard to patient safety. We will update our approach as more becomes known.
At the Clinic
- Please do not attend the clinic if you have any cold or flu symptoms.
- Please let us know if you have tested positive or are a close contact before attending.
- Please wear a medical mask, we can provide this.
- Apologies - No children at this time.
- Before 8am – on the day of your appointment, please reply to Health Questions.
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.
- Getting Covid-19 and pregnancy
- Pregnant women are particularly badly affected by Covid-19. 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. More advice here.
- 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.