Current COVID-19 pandemic is challenging in most aspects of our lives. Everybody is trying to resume their own plans, although some delays are expected in many of them. Most of the IVF clinics worldwide have stopped most of the treatments since March 2020. However, now, most are beginning to perform some types of treatments, starting with the most urgent ones (i.e. egg freezing for oncologic patients, IVF treatments for women with poor ovarian reserve or just poor prognosis).
In Argentina the pandemic is pretty well controlled by now. Our government closed everything quickly and we are still on lockdown. The good news is that we have had few sick people. Nowadays, some activities are on again. Our IVF clinic re-opened on April 27 and the embryo lab is operating again. Nowadays, most of our consultations are through a videocall and patients are starting to plan their treatments again. As we take it very seriously, strict security measures were implemented to ensure our patients and health-care practitioners’ safety. Starting on June 1st, both egg retrievals and embryo transfers will be done again.
For our patients coming from overseas (more than 250 every year), we have some comments. Firstly, we are available for any question or doubt. That means that they can contact us through emails or videocalls and start planning the next steps. Secondly, those that use both donor eggs and donor sperm can start their treatment right now: we can do the in vitro fertilization and freeze the embryos in blastocyst stage to make them ready for the embryo transfer (later in the year). In those cases that will test the embryo with preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A), we can also do the PGT and, in 1-2 months, we could have the embryos ready and already tested. Thirdly, for those coming for egg donation (with own sperm), for a regular IVF cycle, or for a frozen-thawed embryo transfer, we need the borders to be re-opened and the flights resumed. Although it depends both on the decision of the patient’s country government and on Argentina’s government, it looks like we will start receiving patients from overseas in September.
In summary, if you were planning to do an IVF overseas, don’t be stressed. Even when treatments are some delayed, it will hardly affect your success chances and, hopefully, we will be able to meet soon to do the treatment. My suggestion: get in touch with your overseas doctor to check if you can start working on the screening tests. Or even to ask if the first part of the treatment could be started (i.e. with both donor gametes). If you need a video consultation, just email me and we can set it as soon as possible.