Fertility Doctors ‘Still Here' for Couples During Coronavirus Lockdown

Dr. Michael Glassner, with more than three decades in reproductive medicine, has some advice for women and families who want help conceiving.

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Women and couples trying to conceive are finding that the coronavirus has complicated their plans.

Doctors are discouraging patient visits under new guidelines. But there are still ways to connect to doctors virtually during the shutdown.

"This isn't going to go on forever," Dr. Michael Glassner of Main Line Fertility said.

But there are still steps patients can take to improve their fertility chances when things return to normal, according to Glassner.

The number of patients has dwindled in recent days, Glassner said. Main Line made the decision to no longer start new treatments after the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued guidelines discouraging non-urgent visits nationally.

He said that before the new guidelines, Main Line would see 250 patients every day at the clinic's six locations.

All new in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment cycles, for example, are put on hold. And although Main Line is still seeing patients at its Bryn Mawr, Paoli and Reading locations, 112 of its employees have been furloughed.

Glassner said patients who plan to conceive should be aware that doctors are prepared to practice telemedicine.

"There's still help. We're still here. You don't need to come into an office. You can do everything virtually," Glassner said. "Also, patients can have phone conversations with their doctors. I recommend forming a six-month game plan...just because you can't actively pursue fertility treatment now, it doesn't mean you can't get medical attention or put a plan in place."

As of Wednesday, the ASRM says it will reevaluate its guidelines on fertility treatments by March 30.

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