ASRM Announces Creation Of COVID-19 Task Force
Mar 13, 2020
Origin: ASRM Bulletin/Press Release
A new strain of corona virus emerged in China in late 2019, producing a respiratory infection, that can severe consequences, including death, especially in the older population. COVID-19, as the disease is now known, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. There have been over 100,000 cases throughout the world and the WHO expects the virus to emerge in every country.
At this point, not a great deal is known about the impact of COVID-19 on reproduction and pregnancy. While additional information is being collected and analyzed and more detailed guidance is being formulated, ASRM issued a brief guidance statement on March 13, 2020. Among other recommendations, that statement urged all patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for COVID-19 and who are planning to use sperm donors, oocyte donors or gestational carriers to avoid becoming pregnant when ill. Any such patients undergoing active infertility treatment should strongly consider freezing all oocytes or embryos and avoid an embryo transfer until they are disease-free.
In order to provide physicians and their patients with information and guidance addressing the reproductive impact of COVID-19, Catherine Racowsky, PhD President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced today that the organization will be establishing an emergency task force of reproductive medicine and infectious disease experts to examine available data and draft guidance for the professional reproductive care community, their patients, and policymakers. The ASRM considers this an imperative, understanding that the situation is fluid and the availability of evidence-based data is still limited.
Dr. Racowsky said, “As are health professionals around the world, we are taking the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously. We are convening an expert panel and reviewing all available data so that we may assist our members and their patients in navigating their family building journey in the face of this outbreak. We will work as quickly as possible, though we ask for understanding as we seek out the best data upon which to base our recommendations. In the meantime, we urge everyone to wash their hands, not to touch their faces and to practice as much social distancing as possible.”