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Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for patients

This page provides information about coronavirus and fertility treatment, as well as links to support services.

HFEA statement on fertility treatment services – effective 13 October 2020

In light of the worrying increase in Covid-19 cases and changes to local lockdown, the HFEA wants to provide some reassurance about fertility treatment.

The changes that clinics put in place from May 2020 onwards, to comply with professional guidelines and keep patients safe, mean that we hope a new national closure of fertility clinics should not be necessary.

All HFEA licensed clinics had to set out a Treatment Commencement Strategy in May 2020 showing how they could provide a safe service for their staff and patients during the pandemic.  These strategies are kept under regular review by clinics and our inspectors, and all clinics should follow the latest guidance from the UK professional bodies - the British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists.

As the pandemic continues, we recognise that individual clinics may face circumstances where they will have to consider whether they can continue to maintain a safe service for a period of time – for example if they have a high level of staff sickness or their local hospital trust decides to restrict some patient services.

We expect clinics to follow professional and local guidance and to review and adapt their treatment strategy to ensure fertility treatment can continue to be provided safely.

Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos extended during coronavirus outbreak

On 1 July 2020, the new The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 came into effect. The Regulations extends the storage limit by 2 years so that those undergoing fertility treatment during the coronavirus outbreak have more time to continue treatment.

If you have any questions related to your frozen eggs, sperm and embryos, we recommend you contact your clinic.

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Publication date: 13 October 2020

Review date: 13 October 2022