The impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on fertility patients and clinics around the world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: What is the impact of the response to COVID-19 on the management of fertility treatments and clinical practice around the world? Design: Fertility clinic associates around the world were approached. They completed an online survey containing 33 questions focused on the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Known fertility clinic associates that were contacted comprised scientific directors, medical directors and laboratory managers. Results: There were 43 individual country responses from Asia (13), Africa (3), Europe (17), North America (3), Oceania (2) and South America (5). In nine countries, clinics followed their government body recommendations, in 22 countries there was a combination of recommendations, in 3 countries changes were made by clinic initiative, and 9 countries did not specify. In 34 countries IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and frozen embryo transfer (FET) treatments had an average delay of 59 days (IVF/ICSI) and 60 days (FET) (minimum 0, maximum 228 days). During the shutdown, the number of freeze-all cycles increased in 22 countries. Only 23 countries reported patients having to undergo a SARS-CoV-2 test, and 20 countries did not report any COVID-19 testing in their clinic. Additional support counselling was offered in 28 countries, partner restrictions at clinics were reported in 41 countries and time between patients’ appointments was increased in 39 countries. Conclusions: The implications of COVID-19 mitigation measures proved the need for government societies to introduce a set protocol that includes requirements such as increased patient counselling and additional guidelines for prioritizing couples who need care most urgently.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2021


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • COVID-19
  • Global
  • Infertility services
  • Patient care

Cite this