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Coronavirus Pandemic

Medics back to assisting couples with IVF treatment on safe mode

Nandini Sircar /Dubai
Filed on June 13, 2020
IVF treatment , Medics, Covid-19, gynaecology, Mediclinic

(Photo: Alamy)

Doctors who treat infertility are keenly aware of their patients' sense of urgency even amidst Covid-19.

 Doctors in the UAE are resuming in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures as the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has eased restrictions on non-essential medical procedures.

It is good news to several would-be parents who are now ecstatic that they can proceed with their plans to grow the family. Earlier, medics were advising couples to delay pregnancy, if they were still in the planning stage, with IVF clinics halting embryo transfers.

Dubai expat couple from the Netherlands, Paola and Scot, consider themselves lucky that they will have an embryo transfer with their clinic soon. "With us, it's not a case of we can just wait till next month or next year. In my case, it's now or never," said Paola.

Although she is only 35, she has been diagnosed with low ovarian reserve, which means her chances of producing a viable egg diminishes with every passing month. "I am going infertile and cannot wait and have to ensure that I get my embryo transfer done right away."

Laila, a cancer patient, is grateful that she can freeze her eggs before her cancer treatment starts next month. "My breast cancer treatment starts next month. Given the side-effects that come with the treatment, I don't want to lose the chance to be a mother. My husband and I have decided to opt for embryo freezing to ensure that we don't miss out our chance to be parents in the future. We have absolute faith and trust in the clinic and are sure they have the best measures in place for a safe procedure," said Laila.

Docs aware of urgency

Doctors who treat infertility are keenly aware of their patients' sense of urgency even amidst Covid-19. Dr Laura Melado, IVF specialist, IVI Abu Dhabi, said: "We do not know how long this crisis will last.

As such, we are working on a case-by-case basis, to help our patients continue their treatments. The decision to opt for treatment during Covid-19 is completely based on the patient. All experts at the clinic are working to stay on top of the latest developments in the pandemic so that they can recommend the best courses of action."

To ensure that patients continue the treatment in a safe and secured environment, clinics and hospitals have undertaken effective social distancing measures in waiting rooms and have also introduced teleconsultations for quick conversations that don't require patients to come to the clinic.

Dr Munira Furniturewala, specialist IVF and obstetrics and gynaecology, Mediclinic - Dubai Mall, said: "Ovarian function declines with age and the fall can be very steep after 38 years. Hence it is imperative for patients to avoid any delays in the treatment. With Covid-19, we had put on hold most IVF procedures but we are slowly and steadily returning to normal. Of course, it is a new normal where patients and health professionals are following all the precautions."

Dr. Wael Madkour, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medcare Women and Children Hospital says, "Starting early June, we started seeing larger volume of patients compared to the time of lockdown that took place as a result of Covid pandemic which halted some treatments, that was for the benefit of our patients."

He adds, "after careful reviewing updated recommendations from international reproductive medicine societies and the changes in pandemic curve with the help of the local health authorities, IVF doctors are now resuming all activities involved in ART fields such as OI, IUI, IVF/ICSI cycles & fresh and frozen embryo transfer."

Doctors in fertility clinics are performing routine Covid-19 testing for patients undergoing treatment.


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