COVID-19 update for patients

Due to COVID-19, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing its guidance to hospitals regarding elective surgery capacity each month. As of June 1, day procedure centres and hospitals in Victoria can commence 75 per cent of their elective surgery capacity, which includes clinic egg pick up procedures for IVF treatment, provided they have sufficient personal protective equipment. 

On April 21, the Victorian Government said IVF clinics can gradually resume their procedural work, such as egg pick-up procedures, following the ANZAC Day weekend (25-26 April).  

You can read the announcement from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton here

Dr Sutton’s update also includes a reminder that pregnant women should be considered potentially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly from 28 weeks’ gestation.  

He said pregnant women should be encouraged to follow standard advice to protect themselves against COVID-19 such as good hand hygiene and physical distancing from others.  

“Pregnant women should also be encouraged to have the seasonal influenza vaccine, as this will help to prevent them and their baby from catching influenza,” Dr Sutton’s update said.  

So, if you are wanting to resume fertility treatment or start fertility treatment, contact your clinic to discuss how to proceed. You will likely find that clinics are taking extra precautions to protect you and their staff from COVID-19, so be prepared for more online consultations, online forms, and other practices that will avoid unnecessary physical contact between people. 

If you are actively trying to conceive or hope to have a baby in future, it’s a great time to focus on your health so you can maximise your fertility, create a healthy baby, and stay as well as possible during pregnancy. For practical tips to improve your pre-conception health, visit Your Fertility  

If you want to stay up to date with what is known about COVID-19 and pregnancy and birth, you can follow the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ advice here.    

You can also find updates from the Fertility Society of Australia here. The FSA is the peak body representing scientists, doctors, researchers, nurses, consumers and counsellors in reproductive medicine in Australia and New Zealand. 

The International Federation of Fertility Societies has set up the IFFS COVID-19 Global Resource Center to provide global updates here. The World Health Organisation's advice regarding pregnancy, child birth and COVID-19 has resources in languages other than English here

The Commonwealth Government’s advice about COVID-19 can be found here