Marta Jansa Perez, Director of Embryology at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said:
“Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide a clear date for the resumption of IVF services, and speculation will not help patients in this uncertain time. NHS IVF clinic staff continue to work in the frontline for COVID-19 care, and services cannot be reopened until it is safe for patients and professionals to receive and provide fertility treatment.
“We would advise patients to contact their local Clinical Commissioning Groups, CCGs, as soon as possible to ask for written confirmation that funding will be maintained for treatment in the future, as we know this is a huge cause of concern for many. Individual IVF services should be able to provide their patients with up-to-date information about their current position, and also professional counselling.
“At a time when we can all feel isolated, it is vital that patients know they are not alone and that there is support available. IVF clinics counselling services are currently available and support groups are there for anyone who needs them. However, if patients are concerned about their mental health they should contact their GP. Trying as much as possible to stay healthy, both in body and in mind, will help too. We cannot underestimate the distress caused by the necessary pausing of IVF services, and no one should suffer in silence.”
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bpas is a charity which sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/