The UK's regulator of fertility clinics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has asked clinics to cease all fertility treatment until such time as it can safely be resumed.
Clinics must not now start any new treatments. They can continue with ongoing treatments for those who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, if they can do so safely, but must complete any such ongoing treatments by 15 April 2020.
In addition to the steps taken by the HFEA, the British Fertility Society (BFS) has also issued guidance to clinics. This includes directions that clinics should do all they can to minimise the impact of their work on NHS resources, and that they should maintain contact with patients during the suspension of their treatments so that they can provide ongoing advice as the situation develops.
Understandably, the delay and uncertainty about the future of their treatments will be distressing for many people, and the BFS has called for NHS commissioners to commit to funding treatment in the future for patients who, as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19, will be over the age threshold for NHS funding by the time their treatment is able to start.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for patients