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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.

Frequently asked questions related to Covid-19

We know that the closure of fertility clinics due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for many patients and we are pleased that fertility clinics can now apply to reopen.

We have produced these questions and answers to help to explain how some clinics will begin the process of reopening.

Frequently asked questions for patients on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated - 22 May 2020

We are regularly monitoring the situation, the government guidance, and the advice from the fertility sector medical and scientific experts. We will update this page as necessary.

Fertility clinics authorised to resume treatment

As of 11 May 2020, HFEA licensed clinics can apply to us to reopen. This page lists the clinics that have received authorisation to resume licensed treatments.

Restarting treatment

We know that the closure of fertility clinics due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely stressful and we are pleased that fertility clinics can now apply to reopen. We have a clear plan for how clinics can offer treatment safely to patients during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The safety of patients and clinic staff remains our priority. Before a clinic can resume treatment, they must demonstrate that they can provide a safe service for patients and a safe working environment for clinic staff that complies with recommendations from professional guidance.

Clinics must have a COVID-19 treatment commencement strategy in place before they can restart treatment and not all clinics will be able to resume treatment at the same time.

If you have specific questions regarding your medical treatment or the reopening of your chosen fertility clinic, you will need to speak to your clinic directly.

We hope that this will come as good news for patients who have been eager to resume treatment. 

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

In recognition of the potential impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on those wishing to start a family, the Government has today confirmed that the current 10-year storage limit for embryos and gametes will be extended by two years.

Our Chair, Sally Cheshire, said:

“We welcome today’s announcement from the DHSC. We have been working together to ensure those patients who have stored sperm, eggs or embryos that are reaching the 10-year storage limit are not penalised by the current suspension of fertility treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know this is a difficult and distressing time for all patients, so this decision brings good news for those who are reaching the 10-year storage limit. It provides them with some much-needed reassurance and most importantly gives more time to try for their much longed for family.”

We will be issuing new guidance to fertility clinics in the UK to support them in implementing the new storage limit extension.

Read the full statement from the Department of Health and Social Care here

A second open letter to fertility patients - Sally Cheshire CBE, Chair HFEA

Our Chair, Sally Cheshire has written a second open letter to fertility patients regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and fertility treatment. 

Emotional support

We recognise that it is very distressing time for fertility patients. There are several support options available:

  • Fertility Network UK: Support lines are open and support groups have moved online for the time being.
  • Professional Infertility Counselling Association (BICA): Visit the 'Find A Counsellor' section on the BICA website to search for accredited counsellors offering online and or telephone sessions. 
  • Fertility clinics: Contact your clinic to find out what options they have available. 

Publication date: 22 May 2020

Review date: 22 May 2022