Important information for patients

Please refer to our social media channels (Instagram and Facebook) for the most up to date information related to COVID-19 and how it is affecting fertility treatment.

 

UPDATE AS AT 26.08.2020 – ALL PATIENTS | 9:00 AM

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PATIENTS

We want to reassure you that all of our patients can commence or continue treatment at City Fertility.

 

What safety measures do we have in place to meet current COVID-19 requirements?

The safety and well-being of our patients and staff continues to be our main priority and we have and continue to take appropriate measures to address this. City Fertility’s protocols in place to mitigate unnecessary risk include (and are not limited to):

  • All patients and essential support persons are required to wear masks on entering the clinic or hospital;
  • All staff, patients and visitors are screened and have temperature monitoring prior to entering clinics;
  • All staff, patients and visitors to the clinics are required to use hand sanitiser on entering the clinic, and staff – before and after contact with patients;
  • All staff in public and patient-facing areas are required to wear masks;
  • The implementation of social distancing measures wherever possible, except when carrying out essential medical procedures;
  • Ensuring staff maintain high-infection control protocols including the thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.

Please be aware that there may be restrictions imposed on partners or support persons attending procedures in our clinics. This is to comply with the COVID-19 safe workplace requirements. We encourage you to contact your clinic for further guidance.

 

City Fertility is advising anyone who falls into the following categories, to delay their treatment at City Fertility for 14 days, if:

  • you have any active flu-like symptoms;
  • you have had direct contact with proven COVID-19 case or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • if you are self-isolating or being tested for COVID-19.
  • all Victorian patients are required to be tested and self-isolate prior to elective surgery.

If you think at any time that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please phone your clinic who will help you make the necessary changes to your treatment.

 

Guidelines for Victorian patients

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has imposed guidelines for pre-operative COVID-19 testing for all elective surgical patients from Wednesday, 15 July 2020.

City Fertility is advising all patients that are undergoing elective procedures in hospital, such as Egg pick up, that they will be required to undertake pre-operative COVID-19 testing at least 3-5 days prior to their admission date.  This will likely take place on the same day as your first scan with your fertility specialist. Your doctor will advise you about this.

Patients must self-isolate within their household immediately after they have had their COVID-19 test until their admission to hospitalYour procedure may be cancelled by the hospital if you do not comply with this requirement.

Surgery cannot be undertaken without a confirmed COVID-19 negative test.

For further information and specific requirements, please refer to the section below “UPDATE AS AT 14.07.2020 – VIC PATIENTS | 09:00 am or contact your clinic.

 

Queensland border restrictions guidelines

In response to the current border restrictions announced by the Queensland Government on the 20th of August, City Fertility is providing the following advice:

Patients living in the “border zone” can commence or continue treatment at our Gold Coast clinic.

All persons who are given an exemption to come in from VIC ACT and NSW are subject to quarantine restrictions on entry to Queensland for 14 days. Please note this does not apply to people living in the “border zone” and does not prevent urgent care being delivered during these 14 days.

The exemption that allows our patients and visitors entry into QLD only allows entry. It does NOT exempt them from quarantine. 

The exemptions that allow the residents of “the border zone” in northern NSW does not extend to travel to Brisbane. These residents are subject to quarantine if they travel outside the border zone in Southern QLD. Brisbane is outside this border zone.

Alternatively, City Fertility can offer you treatment in the state that you reside in one of our local clinics in QLD, VIC and NSW.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and encourage you to get in touch with us should you have any questions or would like any further information. Please contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354..

We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

 

UPDATE AS AT 29.07.2020 - VIC PATIENTS | 08:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VICTORIAN PATIENTS

We want to reassure you that all of our Victorian patients can commence or continue treatment at City Fertility. At this point in time, City Fertility hasn’t been affected by the changes to elective surgery in Victoria. We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354.

 

UPDATE AS AT 28.07.2020 - NSW PATIENTS | 9:00 AM

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR NSW PATIENTS

We want to reassure you that all of our NSW patients can commence or continue treatment at City Fertility.

NSW Health has announced all health workers caring/working within 1.5m of any patient are required to wear masks.

City Fertility is advising anyone who falls into the following categories, to delay their treatment at City Fertility for 14 days, if:

  • you have any active flu-like symptoms;
  • you have had direct contact with proven COVID-19 case or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • if you are self-isolating or being tested for COVID-19.

If you think at any time that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please phone your clinic who will help you make the necessary changes to your treatment.

 

What safety measures do we have in place?

The safety and well-being of our patients and staff continues to be our main priority and we have and continue to take appropriate measures to address this. City Fertility’s protocols in place to mitigate unnecessary risk include (and are not limited to):

  • All patients and essential support persons are required to wear masks on entering the clinic;
  • All staff, patients and visitors are screened and have temperature monitoring prior to entering clinics;
  • All staff, patients and visitors to the clinics are required to use hand sanitiser on entering the clinic, and staff – before and after contact with patients;
  • All staff in public and patient-facing areas are required to wear masks;
  • The implementation of social distancing measures wherever possible, except when carrying out essential medical procedures;
  • Ensuring staff maintain high-infection control protocols including the thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and encourage you to get in touch with us should you have any questions or would like any further information. Please contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354.

We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

 

UPDATE AS AT 20.07.2020 - VIC PATIENTS | 09:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VICTORIAN PATIENTS

We want to reassure you that all of our Victorian patients can commence or continue treatment at City Fertility. At this point in time, City Fertility hasn’t been affected by the changes to elective surgery in Victoria. We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354.

 

UPDATE AS AT 14.07.2020 - VIC PATIENTS | 09:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VICTORIAN PATIENTS

All of our Victorian patients can commence or continue treatment at City Fertility.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has imposed guidelines for pre-operative COVID-19 testing for all elective surgical patients from Wednesday, 15 July 2020.

City Fertility is advising all patients that are undergoing elective procedures in hospital, such as Egg pick up, that they will be required to undertake pre-operative COVID-19 testing at least 3-5 days prior to their admission date.  This will likely take place on the same day as your first scan with your fertility specialist. Your doctor will advise you about this.

Patients must self-isolate within their household immediately after they have had their COVID-19 test until their admission to hospitalYour procedure may be cancelled by the hospital if you do not comply with this requirement.

Surgery cannot be undertaken without a confirmed COVID-19 negative test.

 

City Fertility Melbourne (St Kilda Road) Patients

Patients are advised to attend The Avenue or Masada Hospitals between 8 am and 12 pm on weekdays for their COVID-19 test using the pathology test slip provided to them by the clinic.

Please note: In order to ensure that your test results are back prior to your procedure we highly recommend going to the test sites indicated above.

You will need to undergo testing at least 3-5 days ahead of your procedural date.  Results will be sent via SMS to you and be provided to your City Fertility Clinician.

Once you have undertaken your COVID-19 test, you will be required to self-isolate within your home until the day of your procedure.

 

City Fertility Bundoora Patients

Patients can present to Northpark Consulting Suites, Suite 4, 135 Plenty Road, Bundoora between the hours of 10 am-12 pm and 3 pm – 5 pm on weekdays for their COVID-19 test.

Please note: In order to ensure that your test results are back prior to your procedure we highly recommend going to the test site indicated above.

You will need to undergo testing at least 3-5 days ahead of your procedural date.  Results will be sent to the admissions team at Northpark Private Hospital.

Once you have undertaken your COVID-19 test, you will be required to self-isolate within your home until the day of your procedure.

 

What does self-isolation mean?

After testing, it is advisable to stay isolated in your home away from others including having no visitors to your home, other than household members, until you go for your surgery or procedure.  This will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 after testing.

Isolation before surgery involves the following for patients/carers:

  • It is important you remain at your place of residence/home.
  • DO NOT leave except to seek medical help or in an emergency.
  • DO NOT go to work, school or public areas and DO NOT use public transport/taxi/Uber.
  • DO NOT allow other people into your place of residence if they do not live there.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Please DO NOT share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, utensils, towels, bedding or other items with any people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available and your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • STAY 1.5m from others in your home.
  • Members of the household MUST follow Stage 3 guidelines.
  • You WILL need to isolate until you come in for your surgery.
  • If you become unwell, with a fever OR respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath), please visit your GP or Emergency Department, and notify your City Fertility Clinician.

 

 What safety measures do we have in place?

The safety and well-being of our patients and staff continues to be our main priority and we have and continue to take appropriate measures to address this. City Fertility’s protocols in place to mitigate unnecessary risk include (and are not limited to):

  • All patients and visitors to the clinics are required to wear masks on entering the clinic;
  • All staff, patients and visitors are screened and have temperature monitoring prior to entering clinics;
  • All staff, patients and visitors to the clinics are required to use hand sanitiser on entering the clinic, and staff – before and after contact with patients;
  • All staff in public and patient-facing areas are required to wear masks;
  • The implementation of social distancing measures wherever possible, except when carrying out essential medical procedures;
  • Ensuring staff maintain high-infection control protocols including the thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and encourage you to get in touch with us should you have any questions or would like any further information. Please contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354.

We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

 

UPDATE AS AT 08.07.2020 - VIC PATIENTS | 12:00 pm

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VICTORIAN PATIENTS

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews has announced stage three “Stay at Home” restrictions will be reinstated for six weeks as of 11.59 pm Wednesday 8 July. These restrictions will apply to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire Council area.

Accordingly, residents of these areas are not allowed to leave home unless it is for an essential reason.

‘Essential’ reasons include care and caregiving, shopping for essential items, work, study, and exercise in your local area.

At this point in time, our Victorian patients can continue their treatment at City Fertility. However, we are advising anyone who falls into the following categories, to delay their face-to-face fertility appointments and/or treatment at City Fertility for 14 days, if:

  • you have any active flu-like symptoms;
  • you have had direct contact with proven COVID-19 case or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • if you are self-isolating or being tested for COVID-19.

Please note, for an egg collection to take place, patients must be asymptomatic for at least 48 hours prior and proof of a negative COVID-19 swab may be required – based on individual circumstances.

If you think at any time that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please phone your clinic who will help you make the necessary changes to your treatment. Alternatively, if you would like to change your appointment to a Skype appointment, please contact our friendly staff for further information.

 

 What safety measures do we have in place?

The safety and well-being of our patients and staff continues to be our main priority and we have and continue to take appropriate measures to address this. City Fertility’s protocols in place to mitigate unnecessary risk include (and are not limited to):

  • All patients and visitors to the clinics are required to wear masks on entering the clinic;
  • All staff, patients and visitors are screened and have temperature monitoring prior to entering clinics;
  • All staff, patients and visitors to the clinics are required to use hand sanitiser on entering the clinic, and staff – before and after contact with patients;
  • All staff in public and patient-facing areas are required to wear masks;
  • The implementation of social distancing measures wherever possible, except when carrying out essential medical procedures;
  • Ensuring staff maintain high-infection control protocols including the thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and encourage you to get in touch with us should you have any questions or would like any further information. Please contact our friendly staff on 1300 354 354 or refer to the bottom section of this page and read our Patient-related Q&A.

We will continue to monitor all new updates and keep you informed.

UPDATE AS AT 21.04.2020 - ALL PATIENTS | 2:00 pm

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PATIENTS (Federal Government announcement)

Scott Morrison has announced that the Federal Government will be easing restrictions on some elective surgery effective Tuesday 28 April, including IVF services. City Fertility will be recommencing all fertility services in line with this directive.

We understand that this has been a challenging time for all you and we want to thank you for your ongoing support. Please be reassured that social distancing and safety measures continue to be in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff at all times.

Please call 1300 354 354 to discuss your options and to get started on your journey towards parenthood today!

UPDATE AS AT 02.04.2020 - ALL PATIENTS | 9:00 am

COVID-19 update

During these difficult and unprecedented times, we are here to support each and every City Fertility patient in any way we can. Your wellbeing is very important to us. We encourage you to give us a call to discuss your options or any other questions you may have at this time.

Please rest assured that for those who may have embryos, eggs or sperm in storage, our experienced and expert scientists will continue to ensure they remain safe. We will be ready and waiting for you to continue your fertility journey, as soon as we can in the coming months.

City Fertility will continue to consult with patients via phone and video conference. You can contact us on 1300 354 354 for further information on the limited services available.

What can we help with over the phone?

Whether you are a new or one of our existing patients there are a number of matters we can assist you with over the phone including (and not limited to):

  • New patient consultations: discussing your current medical situation; taking medical and fertility history; discussing potential treatment options etc.
  • Counselling sessions: City Fertility affiliated counsellors are able to offer remote supportive, couples or donor-recipient counselling services.  A variety of appointment days and times are available including after-hours (subject to individual counsellor availability).
  • Medication education: advice; education; online demonstrations; and coaching.
  • Nurse guidance: Pre-treatment advice; individualised advice and education of treatment prescribed by the fertility specialist; advice and support via phone call, text message and email.
  • Reviews: Existing patient cycle review with a fertility specialist or embryologist

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VIC PATIENTS (Victoria State Government)

On Thursday 2nd April 2020, Victoria State Government issued a COVID-19 directive stating that certain categories of elective surgery (including elective surgery procedural aspects of IVF) have been suspended. City Fertility will continue to offer phone and video consultations until further advise is received in Victoria. However, patients who are currently ‘in-cycle’, or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation for oncofertility will be able to continue their treatment. If you are mid-IVF cycle, please speak with your fertility specialist directly for advice and direction.

The Victoria State Government has also provided the following recommendations:

  • Clinicians should not initiate new treatment cycles. This applies to ovulation induction (OI), intrauterine insemination (IUIs), IVF including retrievals and frozen embryo transfers, and non-urgent gamete cryopreservation.
  • Patients planning to start fertility treatment should consult with their treating specialist and discuss care plans following lifting of this treatment suspension

UPDATE AS AT 26.03.2020 - ALL PATIENTS | 11:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PATIENTS (Federal Government update for all patients)

In these unprecedented times, we want to ensure you are provided with the most up to date information.

For any patients currently undergoing treatment, The Health Minister, Greg Hunt and the Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy have indicated that patients who, as of 25 March 2020, 1:00 pm, have started an IVF cycle will be allowed to complete their treatment, this includes fresh and frozen cycles. Please contact your treating fertility specialist or clinic for further advice.

We are continuing to liaison with Federal and State Governments and we will continue to provide any important updates as they are made available.

We will continue to provide phone and online (skype etc) consultations. Contact us on 1300 354 354 for information on the limited services available.

 

Patient-related Q&A

To help alleviate your concerns around the COVID-19 virus and how this might affect your fertility treatment, we have compiled a list of the frequently asked questions to keep you informed.

Treatment

Are pregnant women at increased risk of developing severe disease/complications from COVID-19?

According to the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG, 29 March 2020).  At this time, pregnant women do not appear to be more severely unwell if they develop COVID-19 infection than the general population, however pregnant women should be considered a vulnerable or at-risk group. It is expected that the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. However, detailed information regarding the impact of COVID-19 infection on pregnant women and their babies is limited by the recency of the disease emergence.

To view the RANZCOG guidelines for pregnant women, please visit www.ranzcog.edu.au/statements-guidelines/covid-19-statement for more detailed information and or speak with your treating clinician about your personal circumstances.

Guidance from the Fertility Society of Australia can also be found here: www.fertilitysociety.com.au/home/fsa-statement-covid-19/

Can we start treatment?

All fertility treatment can recommence as of 28 April 2020.

What happens if I want to cancel my cycle and wait?

That is okay, we can work with you and your specialist to manage your future treatments.

I am in cycle; can I still have a transfer? (FET or Fresh ET)?

Yes, you are able to continue your cycle and proceed with transfer. Please discuss with your specialist your treatment options.

What if I get sick mid-cycle, can I just freeze my embryos and transfer them later instead of having a fresh cycle?

If you get sick mid-cycle and it is suspected that it is due to COVID-19, firstly, you will need to notify your treating clinician and GP. To ensure your health and the health of staff we may need to cancel your cycle until such a time that you have been in self-isolation and or been tested.

We would ask that you seek medical advice regarding your personal circumstances and consult with your treating specialist so we can manage your care accordingly.

Are my embryos at risk of coronavirus?

Your embryos are cultured and incubated in our laboratory under strict conditions; and your embryos are cultured in your own individual dish. Our laboratories have specialised air filters and are restricted to only laboratory staff. All staff at City Fertility are screened daily.

Are my embryos (fresh or frozen) safe being in an incubator with other embryos if the virus is in droplets in the air?

As above, your embryos are incubated in their own individual dish in a special media. If embryos are frozen during this time, as per usual procedure, all surfaces and equipment are wiped down between patients before the next freezing event.

Your embryos are safely stored in individual straws in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees.

What if I am overseas when my day one starts?

Given all people returning from overseas to Australia are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, your treatment cycle will need to be delayed until a later date as we cannot manage your cycle without having any direct contact with you.

 

Essential travel for medical appointments into Queensland

What happens if the border between two states (e.g. QLD and NSW) closes and patients want to start treatment?

The Queensland Government recently restricted all non-essential cross-border travel between Queensland and New South Wales due to COVID-19. This restriction commences at 12.01am Thursday 26 March 2020.

If you reside in NSW this could impact your fertility treatment.

City Fertility is pleased to advise, the Queensland Government have confirmed that cross-border travel for medical treatment purposes at City Fertility Clinic Robina, or one of our sister brands, is allowed.

In an effort to help minimise the travel required for you, City Fertility can now:

  • Provide phone and or video consultations where practical;
  • Courier medications to you if required;
  • Provide medication training via video conferencing; and
  • Arrange for your scans to occur locally, where possible.

As a result of the above changes, you will now only be required to attend the City Fertility Robina clinic for your procedure. For this, we will provide you with a letter from your fertility specialist to state you are travelling for medical purposes. We request that you please contact our Patient Services Team on 1300 859 116 to obtain a copy of this letter before attending your appointment.

City Fertility is continuing to monitor the Department of Health alerts and provide any important updates to patients as soon as they are available. For additional information on COVID-19 please visit www.health.gov.au

 

Safety

How do we know staff aren’t infected?

As is the case for all health services, City Fertility is implementing a range of safety precautions to minimise this risk, these include:

  • Stay away from work policy: We are advising anyone who falls into the following categories, to not attend work and seek medical advice:
    – Active flu-like symptoms
    – Recent direct contact with proven COVID-19 case in the past 14 days
    – Recently returned from overseas travel within the past 14 days (since 15 March these people must self-isolate for 14 days.)
  • Daily staff health screening: To help us protect everyone in our clinics, day procedure centres and call centres, we are implementing a daily health check screen for all staff, patients and visitors. We are asking staff to record their temperature and status of their travel or whether they have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Patient health check on arrival: We will also be asking patients some health check questions and taking patient temperatures with an infrared temperature device.
  • High Infection control protocols: We are undertaking thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.
  • Hand sanitisation: All staff, patients and visitors to our clinics are required to use hand sanitiser upon entering the clinic. All staff are required to use it before and following contact with patients.
  • Social distancing in our clinics: We have implemented social distancing measures in our waiting rooms and staff working areas.

 

Hospital

Has the temporary ban placed on elective surgery, including IVF treatment, been lifted?

Scott Morrison announced on 21st April 2020, that the Federal Government will be easing restrictions on some elective surgery effective Tuesday 28 April, including IVF services. City Fertility will be recommencing all fertility services in line with this directive.

What happens if the day hospital closes?

In the event of the hospital associated with your clinic closes, City Fertility has its own off-site procedure centres/day hospital in the following locations:

  • In Queensland, two procedure centres (Sunnybank and Gold Coast) where we can provide ongoing care and services for egg pickups.
  • In New South Wales, our Gateway Day Hospital in the CBD can provide ongoing services for egg pickups.

 

Costs

What are the costs if I must cancel a cycle?

If you must withdraw from fertility treatment because of an actual or suspected COVID-19 exposure before the egg collection or transfer, City Fertility will not charge you any out-of-pocket fess. If you have collected medication, please store this as per directed and this can be used for a future cycle when it is safe for you to proceed with treatment.

In the rare circumstance that your treatment is not Medicare-eligible, then a small cancellation fee will be charged equivalent to the Medicare bulk-billed rate. This covers any costs incurred e.g. ultrasounds, blood tests etc.

 

Telehealth

What can you provide me with via your telehealth services?

Whether you are a new or continuing patient there are a number of matters we can assist you with over the phone or online including (and not limited to):

  •  New patient consultations: discussing current medical situations, taking medical history and fertility history, discussing potential treatment options etc.
  • Counselling sessions: City Fertility affiliated counsellors are able to offer remote supportive, couples or donor-recipient counselling services. A variety of appointment days and times are available including after hours (subject to individual counsellor availability).
  • Counselling sessions: facilitate counselling to address any concerns relating to treatment.
  • Medication education: advice, education, demonstrations and coaching.
  • Nurse guidance: Pre-treatment advice, individualised advice and education of treatment prescribed by the fertility specialist, advice and support during the treatment and post treatment phase including phone call, text message and email.
  • Existing patient cycle review with an embryologist.

What type of remote education can I access from City Fertility?

We have a comprehensive education e-book full of important information fertility treatment including a number of remote learning support videos which we can share with you to watch from your home. These videos include information on understanding the menstrual cycle, the fertility window, the IVF process including starting treatment, giving injections and egg retrieval, embryology and embryo transfer.

 

 

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