Will Social Distancing Caused by the Pandemic Bring Barriers to Infertility Treatment?

The Covid-19 pandemic is putting a halt to many aspects of individuals’ everyday lives. On top of having to spend extra time indoors and many shops and restaurants closing down, we also must partake in social distancing to stay healthy and safe. Unfortunately, this has meant delays in medical treatments around the world, in some cases, including infertility treatments.

The purpose of social distancing

Keeping a certain amount of space between yourself and others, not in your household, is a way to keep socially distant while out and about. The standard six feet or two meters apart from others helps with stopping the spread of Covid-19. Since this virus can be spread via droplets in coughs and sneezes, it is important not to be too close to somebody who may have a virus without realizing it.

Social distancing measures can also be applied to indoor spaces to help people stay socially distant from each other. This has been seen in grocery stores and some doctors’ offices and hospitals. For seated waiting areas, there may be space between each chair or some chairs not in use to ensure people are not sitting too close or facing each other.

As we find the new normal moving forward in this pandemic, there will likely be further needs for social distancing to some degree at many establishments. What this means for each place is to be determined; however, for those seeking medical treatments such as infertility treatment, a specific protocol to keep everyone safe can be put in place.

Social distancing in medical practices

It is true that in medical practices around the world, there have been delays or cancellations of some elective procedures. This is, of course, a constantly evolving situation with updates happening regularly and guidelines being set forth by governing bodies.

Any appointment that doesn’t involve a physical examination can be undertaken as phone consultations during these high-risk pandemic times. For appointments that require patients to be seen in person, such as scans, additional measures can be taken to ensure the health and safety of the patients and staff.

Before any in-person appointment, patients will be called to ensure they have no virus symptoms. During this call, patients will be able to discuss with staff how the appointment will work and ensure that they feel prepared for what is to come. Patients will be asked to arrive close to their appointment time to avoid having to wait in the waiting room. There may also be a screening session before entering the waiting room to ensure nothing has happened since their phone call.

There is no way around the fact that there will be changes to appointments and treatments moving forward. What that looks like for each patient will be different, and it is important to keep an open line of communication with medical staff and ask any relevant questions so that you feel fully prepared for any potential changes to your treatment plan and typical office visits.