The Hewitt Fertility Centres Liverpool and Knutsford have today (17 March 20) made the very difficult decision to put some fertility treatments on hold due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
New cycles of treatment will be put on hold, and we will endeavour to continue treatment for those patients who have already started their stimulation.
We have also made the decision to stop all embryo transfers due to the recent government guidelines on the vulnerability in pregnancy.
We will be in contact with all Hewitt Fertility Centre patients currently in treatment and those about to start treatment, to provide guidance and reassurance regarding next steps. We will also publish answers to some frequently asked questions to keep you informed about your treatment, including questions about funding, re-starting treatment, and also guidance for those who have had recent treatment. We understand you will have many questions due to this decision but please bear with us while we put these together. We will also update the FAQs regularly to address any additional questions you may have as this situation evolves over the coming weeks and months.
We apologise for any anxiety and stress this decision may cause. We have not made this decision lightly, but our priority must be your safety and support.
We urge all of our patients past and future to stay safe and remain in touch as the situation changes.
If you have been affected by this we would encourage you to speak with a member of our counselling team, you can email them at email@example.com to arrange either telephone counselling or online/virtual counselling.
The Hewitt Fertility Centre team want to thank you all for your continued support, patience and understanding at this very difficult time.
With best wishes,
HFEA Person Responsible
Hewitt Fertility Centres, Liverpool and Knutsford
Following the release of the statement above, we want to thank our patients for all your support and kind words in the last few days. We have been overwhelmed with your patience and understanding at this difficult time.
Please click on the link here for further information and guidance that we hope will provide you with further reassurance regarding our decision.
The Hewitt Fertility Centre senior management team are, on a daily basis, monitoring the coronavirus situation. We will continue to review the treatments available to you as we learn more.
We are aware that you have raised some questions that need further clarity. We hope the frequently asked questions below provide reassurance for you. Please continue to contact us and ask us questions and we will update the information regularly to keep you informed.
I was thinking about starting fertility treatment but I am now not sure what to do?
Please contact the Hewitt Fertility Centre and arrange a consultation with one of our fertility Consultants. We may be able to start your investigations and prepare you for starting your treatment with us. We will then place a hold on treatment to protect you and any potential pregnancy until the risk of coronavirus reduces.
If you are urgently starting chemotherapy treatment, we will proceed with your treatment, with any suitable embryos frozen for future use.
Why are some patients starting treatment and not others?
The Hewitt Fertility Centres treat fertility patients and those who are about to start urgent treatment for diseases such as cancer. These cancer treatments can have a significant negative impact on a person’s future fertility, and due to the urgency of cancer treatment, this cannot be postponed. We have therefore made the decision to continue treatment for these patients with any suitable eggs/embryos frozen for future use.
If you are a fertility patient, the Hewitt Fertility Centre feels that postponing your treatment will have a minimal impact your future treatment outcome. The duration of the hold on your treatment, and the current guidelines on coronavirus (COVID-19) will be constantly reviewed to ensure this does not change.
My treatment has been cancelled. How long do I have to wait until I can restart my treatment?
The full impact of COVID-19 is still unknown. At the moment we do not know the effect the virus could have during pregnancy, certainly in the first three months. Contracting an infection in early pregnancy can lead to problems for both mother and child. We will therefore closely monitor the evidence and new guidelines as they emerge, and we will adapt our practice accordingly. No one can confirm when the risk of the coronavirus will reduce, or when there will be evidence to show no effect in pregnancy. Until then the Hewitt Fertility Centre needs to continue to place a hold on treatment to protect you and any potential pregnancy.
My treatment was cancelled and I have left over medication. What do I do with it?
Please continue to store your medication following the instructions for storage. Please note the expiry of the medication. If we cannot resume your treatment before the medication expires, then you can take it to your local pharmacy for disposal.
Why were some treatments cancelled and others continued?
If you were over Day 3 of ovarian stimulation on 17.03.20, we continued with your treatment. This was due to the potential risk of cancelling treatment when your ovaries were already stimulated. We may have already, or may be due to collect your eggs in the next 7 days. Any suitable embryos will be frozen for future use.
Anyone who had yet to start ovarian stimulation or was on Day 2 of ovarian stimulation, we made the decision to cancel your treatment due to the unnecessary risk of non-essential contact and the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
All embryo transfers and frozen embryo transfer cycles were cancelled to protect you and any potential pregnancy.
What do I need to do if I have my egg collection scheduled?
If you are due to have your egg collection with us in the next 5 days, you should shield yourself from others as much as possible until the day of egg collection. On the day of egg collection we will check your temperature and ask you questions regarding your health. Anyone showing symptoms of the coronavirus must contact the clinic from home. DO NOT ATTEND THE HEWITT FERTILITY CENTRE UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO A MEMBER OF OUR NURSING TEAM.
If all my embryos are frozen and I don’t have a fresh embryo transfer, does this reduce my chance of having a baby in the future?
No. Frozen embryos have the same chance of success as fresh embryos; in fact some treatments using frozen embryos can actually increase your chance of success to more than if the embryo was transferred during the fresh cycle.
What happens if none of my embryos are suitable for freezing?
We have strict criteria for the quality of embryos frozen. If we feel embryos have a reduced chance of achieving a pregnancy we will continue to freeze the embryos but explain to you the reduced chance of success. If your embryos have an extremely low/no chance of achieving a pregnancy we will contact you to explain that the embryos cannot be frozen. You will then be offered a follow-up appointment to discuss next steps. We will also offer you an appointment with our counselling team.
I am thinking of becoming a sperm donor. What should I do?
Please complete our online form and we can assess your suitability for becoming a sperm donor. We will put your donation on hold until we have guidance to suggest there is no risk of coronavirus transmission when using your donated sperm samples for treatment purposes.
I am thinking of becoming an egg donor. What should I do?
Please complete our online form and we can assess your suitability for becoming an egg donor. We will put your donation on hold until we have guidance to suggest there is no risk of coronavirus transmission when using your donated eggs for treatment purposes.
My semen analysis appointment has been cancelled. What do I do now?
We may have had to cancel or reschedule your semen analysis appointment to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus to other patients within Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Southport and Ormskirk District General Hospital and Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital (Leighton). The Andrology team will be in touch to re-schedule this appointment. If you wish to speak with the Andrology team you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding & Payments