UPDATE:  June 29, 2020 3:30PM PST

At the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) we have resumed regular office hours and most fertility services as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

If you are an existing patient wishing to proceed with fertility treatments, please contact us by calling with cycle day one of your period to prepare for treatment.  Below outlines when to notify the clinic with cycle day one of your period:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):  
Any patient who wishes to proceed with IVF treatment, please call the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): 
Any patient who wishes to proceed with FET treatment, please call the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): 
Any patient wishing to proceed with IUI treatment, please call the office on cycle day 1 of your period.  

The best way to notify us of the above is to call the clinic:  604-422-7276 or Toll Free: 1-866-481-7276.  

First Trimester Screening & NIPT Services:
First Trimester Screening services resumed as of Tuesday, May 19th and NIPT has continued to be offered as usual.

At PCRM, we have worked diligently to develop a reopening plan which is focused on the health and safety of our patients and staff.  Throughout our fertility clinics we have made changes to our physical space to permit physical distancing.  Our environmental cleaning and infection prevention practices as well as the appointment delivery methods have both changed in order to comply with social distancing and safer practices as a whole.  Telemedicine appointments for all new consultation and the majority of follow up appointments will continue as the pandemic persists.  Those patients who are scheduled for an in-clinic appointment will be pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms over the phone several days in advance of their appointment, and again at check-in.  We ask all of our patients to avoid bringing partners, children or support persons to appointments and to wear a mask when entering the building.  Partners are able to attend egg retrievals and embryo transfers only.

PCRM is working with its building property management teams to ensure social distancing and health precautions are being met.  Please observe all posted signage when entering the buildings and be sure to avoid over-crowding in elevators.  Again, we ask that you wear a mask when entering the building for the safety of the other occupants and their clients.  If you are running late for an appointment or treatment monitoring, please stay in your car and call the office upon arriving at our location to receive instructions.  We ask that you do this so we can safely control the number of patients in our waiting rooms.

PCRM COVID 19 CLINICAL OPERATIONS RESPONSE POLICY

UPDATE:  MAY 15, 2020 7:00AM PST

Across Canada provinces are making safely staged plans to gradually reopen business and services and get people back to work.  At the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) we are happy to announce we are resuming regular office hours and most fertility services as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

If you are an existing patient wishing to proceed with fertility treatments, please contact us with cycle day one of your period to prepare for treatment.  Below outlines when to notify the clinic with cycle day one of your period:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):  
Any patient who wishes to proceed with IVF treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): 
Any patient who wishes to proceed with FET treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): 
Any patient wishing to proceed with IUI treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period.  

The best way to notify us of the above is to send a message to us through correspondence in your patient portal.  Our phones currently have limited staffing. Regular office hours will resume Tuesday, May 19th, 2020.

First Trimester Screening & NIPT Services:
First Trimester Screening services will resume as of Tuesday, May 19th and NIPT will continue to be offered as usual.

At PCRM, we have worked diligently to develop a reopening plan which is focused on the health and safety of our patients and staff.  Throughout our fertility clinics we have made changes to our physical space to permit physical distancing.  Our environmental cleaning and infection prevention practices as well as the appointment delivery methods have both changed in order to comply with social distancing and safer practices as a whole.  Telemedicine appointments for all new consultation and the majority of follow up appointments will continue as the pandemic persists.  Those patients who are scheduled for an in-clinic appointment will be pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms over the phone several days in advance of their appointment, and again at check-in.  We ask all of our patients to avoid bringing partners, children or support persons to appointments and to wear a mask when entering the building.  Partners are able to attend egg retrievals and embryo transfers only.

PCRM is working with its building property management teams to ensure social distancing and health precautions are being met.  Please observe all posted signage when entering the buildings and be sure to avoid over-crowding in elevators.  Again, we ask that you wear a mask when entering the building for the safety of the other occupants and their clients.  If you are running late for an appointment or treatment monitoring, please stay in your car and call the office upon arriving at our location to receive instructions.  We ask that you do this so we can safely control the number of patients in our waiting rooms.

PCRM COVID 19 CLINICAL OPERATIONS RESPONSE POLICY

UPDATE:  MAY 13, 2020 6:05AMPST

If you are an existing patient wishing to proceed with fertility treatments, you should contact us with cycle day one of your period to prepare for treatment.  Below outlines when to notify the clinic with cycle day one of your period:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):  
Any patient who wishes to proceed with IVF treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): 
Any patient who wishes to proceed with FET treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): 
Any patient wishing to proceed with IUI treatment, please contact the office with your cycle day 1 of your period.

The best way to notify us of the above is to send a message to us through correspondence in your patient portal.  Our phones currently have limited staffing.  Regular office hours will resume Tuesday, May 19.

 

UPDATE:  MAY 5, 2020 1:10PST

Due to the pandemic, PCRM has designed a new procedure for being able to safely provide care in the COVID-19 era.  These safety measures will apply to our patients and our staff to ensure our entire organization stays responsible, healthy, and safe.

Pre-screening and Screening
For the most part, all appointments will continue to be done via telemedicine.  Unless an in-person visit is mandatory, staying home is preferred to you being out in the community. If your appointment is required to take place in person, you will be contacted prior to your visit to ensure that you do not have any identified risk factors for COVID-19.  Such risk factors would put others at risk for COVID-19 and therefore, if these risks exist, we will be required to re-schedule your appointment.

When you arrive at the clinic, you will have a second screening process to ensure that your risk status continues to remain low.  Everyone entering in the clinic will be required to wear a mask.  We encourage you bring your own mask, but if you do not have one, PCRM will provide one for you to wear throughout your visit.  Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after your appointment to minimize your risks.  You will see that the waiting room has been reorganized to allow you to keep physically distanced.  As we are trying to limit the number of people in the clinic at one time in order to maintain physical distancing, we ask that, whenever possible, only the scheduled individual come to the clinic for the appointment.  We do, however, understand that there are exceptions, such as visits for certain procedures when a chaperone/translator/partner is required.   When possible, you will be placed in a private room immediately upon your arrival to ensure safety.  If payments are due, we will attempt to coordinate these via phone rather than in person.

Alcohol Based Hand Rub
We have a variety of hand sanitizers (ABHR) available throughout the clinic, and we ask that you use them frequently before, during and after your visit.

Surgical masks and face protection
Our staff will also be wearing masks, and some will be wearing face shields.   We realize this is impersonal in appearance, but it is the best way to ensure everyone’s protection and safety in the clinic.  Our staff are also trained in infection control practices, and each of our staff members will be screened for COVID-19 prior to their arrival, just as our patients are.

Infection Control Practices
Our staff have been instructed to ensure that after each use, every exam or treatment room will be wiped down fully, including all horizontal surfaces, door handles, light switches and any other high-touch area.  This will also occur in public areas.  Again, hand washing and hand sanitizer are highly recommended throughout your visit.

If you are an existing patient wishing to proceed with fertility treatments in the coming weeks, you should contact us with cycle day one of your period to prepare for treatment.  Below outlines when to notify the clinic with cycle day one of your period:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):  
Any patient who wishes to proceed with IVF treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): 
Any patient who wishes to proceed with FET treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): 
Any patient wishing to proceed with IUI treatment, please contact the office with your cycle day 1 May 11 onwards

The best way to notify us of the above is to send a message to us through correspondence in your patient portal.  Our phones currently have limited staffing.

 

 

UPDATE:  MAY 1, 2020 4:00PM PST

PCRM is currently seeking approval from its governing bodies to resume operations.  Since fertility procedures take time to set up, we should start preparing for the possibility of resuming fertility treatments at our clinic in the near future.

If you are a patient wishing to proceed with fertility treatments in the coming weeks, you should contact us with cycle day one of your period to prepare for treatment.  Below outlines when to notify the clinic with cycle day one of your period:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): 
Any patient who wishes to proceed with IVF treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET):
Any patient who wishes to proceed with FET treatment, please contact the office on cycle day 1 of your period
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):
Any patient wishing to proceed with IUI treatment, please contact the office with your cycle day 1 May 11 onwards

The best way to notify us of the above is to send a message to us through correspondence in your patient portal.  Our phones currently have limited staffing.

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

UPDATE:  APRIL 30, 2020 9:05AM PST

What’s happening to Fertility Treatments in Canada?

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) published an update last week urging regulators to consider fertility treatments as essential services.  The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) has released a similar guidance document this week.

In the last week, we have directed our energies at ensuring we have the right personal protective equipment for patient and staff safety, while also keeping the needs of the front line health care workers in mind.  We made sure that any purchased PPE would not impact hospitals or primary health care sites.

We have now continued the work to ensure that our re-opening of clinics is successful – mapping out patient care areas, ensuring one-way flow, and setting up cleaning protocols to disinfect all high touch areas, and care areas to minimize any potential spread of the pandemic.

Screening:We will be undertaking two levels of screening.  The first is before patients and staff arrive at the clinic.  Anyone with exposures, or risk, will have their visits re-scheduled.  As well, we will be continuing to provide as much telephone consultation and follow up as possible, to minimize contact.  Staff will similarly be screened.  Everyone in the clinic will be given a daily ‘screening’ sticker so that there are visual cues to remind people that they are low risk, but also remind them to be vigilant in all aspects of social distancing and hand hygiene.

Opening:  Nobody currently knows when elective services will re-open, but we are monitoring the situation daily and when it is safe and to re-open, we will.  There are hints from all governments that May will be a month where society gradually opens services.

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

 

UPDATE: APRIL 23, 2020 9:00AM PST

What are we doing?
At PCRM, our Directors are keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 pandemic and the government announcements regarding “flattening the curve”.  As the situation is fluid, PCRM has begun a proactive plan to ensure that we can reopen in a safe and effective manner when our Regulators and Ministries of Health give us permission to do so.  We are currently working to ensure we have adequate stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer so that when PCRM resumes operations, our patients and staff will be safe.

What can you expect when we reopen?
We are focusing on two things:

  1. Making our environment safe for you and our staff. 
  2. Designing a system of infection prevention so that if another COVID spike hits, we may be able to continue operations safely

We expect that we will have to continue with modified operations to continue to work towards minimizing the spread of COVID-19.  For example, we will continue to offer consultations and most follow up appointments via telemedicine for as long as possible.  We will continue to screen all patients who require in-office appointments and fertility treatments for COVID-19 symptoms and ask that patients refrain from bringing in partners, family members or children to appointments for the safety of others and our staff.  People that have risk factors or symptoms will not be able to have their care at the current time – all patients and all staff must be screened daily and re-screened at every junction.  We will also be taking a close look at our physical space to make sure that physical distancing is key at all times.

What Treatments will we offer?
We are hoping to offer the full range of fertility services to our patients.  There is no current evidence that pregnancy should be avoided, unless a patient has compromise of their immune system or cardiac/pulmonary issues that make getting pregnant dangerous in the COVID era.

When can we expect re-opening?
At this point, nobody knows.  As soon as British Columbia and Alberta Public Health offices say it is safe, we will resume operations with the proper safety protocols in mind.

What can you do as a patient?
PCRM acknowledges that this has been a very difficult time for our patients and we encourage you to continue to practice COVID-19 physical distancing recommendations and stay home as much as possible so that when we do resume treatments you are healthy to begin your fertility journey.  It is also important that each of you continue to connect with your friends, family members and online support groups whenever possible.  We would like to remind all of you that we truly are in this together.

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.


UPDATE:  APRIL 13, 2020 8:30AM PST

Below are some valuable resources to refer to regarding conception, pregnancy and recommendations from CFAS & ASRM to postpone treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic:

CFAS Communication on COVID-19
ASRM COVID-19 Questions Your Patients May Have
Opinion Article by Dr. Dunne:  Pregnancy in the time of COVID-19

At this time it is uncertain when PCRM will reopen as this will be at the discretion of our governing health authorities and the provincial government, as well as how the pandemic evolves over the next several weeks.

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

 

UPDATE:  APRIL 7, 2020 10:45AM PST

As you are aware, PCRM has paused all fertility treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic but we are still here to help you build your family.

Our physicians are currently offering consultations and follow up appointments by telephone and we continue to accept new referrals.  Telemedicine has allowed us to connect with our current patients and meet new patients who want to learn more about their fertility testing, treatment and what the next steps will be for you.  When PCRM is able to resume operations, you can be more prepared and ready by planning now.

If you require a prescription refill, please contact us via your patient portal or by emailing crisisbby@pacificfertility.ca

If you need to speak to your doctor or your doctor’s medical office assistant, please call the clinic and leave a voicemail at the appropriate extension.  We will be able to assist you.

Call 604-422-7276 or toll free: 866-481-7276

Dr. Dunne’s office: extension 101 (Sheila)
Dr. Havelock’s office: ext. 131 (Kristel)
Dr. Roberts’ office: ext. 114 (Sandeep)
Dr. Seethram’s office:  ext. 108 (Alyson)

If you already have an appointment with us, one of our medical office assistants or referral coordinators will be in touch to adjust your appointment to a telemedicine appointment where appropriate.  There will be some appointment types, like ultrasound appointments, that will need to be rescheduled once the clinic reopens.

At this time it is uncertain when PCRM will reopen as this will be at the discretion of our governing health authorities and the provincial government, as well as how the pandemic evolves over the next several weeks.

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

UPDATE:  MARCH 22, 2020 10:20AM PST

Some important new measures:  We are working on a plan to continue to provide consultation and follow up by telephone – we will have a system in place shortly to address this.
If you have questions that cannot wait, please email crisisbby@pacificfertility.ca

Emergencies:  We will be continuing to provide emergency assistance to patients who are in the middle of treatment or have early pregnancy complications.
If you are in an emergency situation, please call:  604-341-5764

All of the storage tanks containing your cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos are alarmed, and are remotely monitored by our lab staff 24/7.  In addition, we have staff on site making regular physical checks of all tanks.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

UPDATE:  MARCH 20, 2020 8:00AM PST

We deeply regret to inform you that PCRM is temporarily closed.  Our first priority is the health and safety of our staff and patients.  With the guiding recommendations from Public Health officials and our abundance of caution we have made this very difficult closure decision.  The closure is going to be temporary and the duration is undetermined at this time.  Our ability to offer services will be re-evaluated daily as updates on the pandemic become available.  We are trying our best to notify each patient in active treatment as soon as we can.  Emergency on-call physicians will still be available.  Please check our website and social platforms daily, as we will endeavor to update you as best we can while the course of the pandemic changes.

If you have embryos/eggs/sperm stored at PCRM, we do not want you to worry.  We have lab staff continually monitoring the status of the cryobank.  If you wish to pay for your cryo renewal, please click here for information.

UPDATE:  MARCH 18, 2020 5:45AM PST

Both Alberta and British Columbia have declared a public health emergency in an effort to restrict the congregation of people, and keep individuals from being infected, or spreading infection.  As well, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the European Society of Human Reproduction, and the Canadian Fertility Andrology Society have all stated that we should likely avoid helping to achieve pregnancy currently.  These recommendations are aimed to reduce burden on the healthcare system and avoid the theoretical or unknown consequences of pregnancy with COVID19. (Please see the recently published British guidelines, linked below).
Because of this, we are announcing the following program changes:

  1. Effective immediately, all IUI cycles will be ceased
  2. Effective immediately, we will not be starting any new frozen embryo transfer cycles (FET) – those with established dates will proceed with their transfers
  3. IVF stimulations will continue per national guidelines, however all embryos will be frozen, with frozen embryo transfer once the pandemic resolves

Everybody currently affected by these program changes will be, or has been, contacted.  Please bear with us – communications are being organized by urgency.
While we understand the stress and anxiety of changing your treatment plans, please understand that these are extraordinary times in medical care, and we have to do whatever possible to ensure that we be safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 (the disease caused by sars-CoV-2).

For some very supportive information, please see the British Guidelines on pregnancy in the COVID-19 era and the March 17th Canadian Fertility Andrology Society statement.

UPDATE:  MARCH 17, 2020 6:15AM PST

The PCRM Crisis Management Team met for two hours last night to review the Prime Minister’s address, and the BC Minister of Health press conference.  We are working with all of our staff to ensure we can continue to function and provide the safety for patient care excellence.  As you know, the COVID-19 disease course is changing daily, and our primary objective is ensuring that your care can continue in a safe manner.  Screening measures at all of our clinics are in place to limit anybody that may require self isolation, or have COVID-19 risks.  These individuals will be denied clinic access.  We are also asking all patients not to bring additional family members or children to the clinic.   As well, we are shifting as much as we can into telephone consultations and follow ups, so that your waiting period won’t be extended.  We will also be streamlining some services to ensure that the most urgent care is attended to first.  This is a rapidly shifting area, and as updates occur, we will be notifying you.

UPDATE:  MARCH 16, 2020 6:30AM PST

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PCRM now has a Crisis Management Team which will be implementing the most current public health care policies to ensure safety.  The Team meets daily to review and implement the most current guidelines, and ensure that what we are doing in all clinics aligns with the daily changes in practice.

Today we will be starting to minimize elective patient care, and maximize our focus on patients in the middle, or about to start treatments.  We will also be undertaking screening of patients both by phone, and also in person – ensuring that high risk individuals (those with recent travel, symptoms, or exposure) have their consultations via telephone rather than in person.

While there will undoubtedly be delays; we hope that our patients will work with us to ensure that we can provide the most safe and cautious environment for everyone.

 

March 13, 2020

As you are aware from multiple sources,  our country is making a concerted effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.   The risks still remain low – but the precautions must remain high.
Together, what are we doing?

        1. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are asked not to attend the clinic and delay treatment until they are cured
        2. Patients who have a fever and a high-risk travel history, or close contact with infected person, are asked to delay their treatment for a minimum or 14 days or until they are cured (if they contract the virus)
        3. If you are in the middle of treatment, and are intending to travel, your treatment will be delayed until 14 days of self-isolation is complete.  For those who will be missing their urgent appointments, we will do our best to still accommodate your appointment via telephone.

Please follow your recommendations from the local health authority:

        1. Vancouver Coastal Health
        2. Alberta Health Services and here
        3. Island Health Services
        4. BC Centres for Disease Control

Fees:
If a patient develops symptoms of COVID-19 infection during stimulation for IVF or FET, they will be instructed not to come to clinic. The cycle will be cancelled and fees will be held as a credit and applied to the next cycle. (Medications are non-refundable).
If a patient develops symptoms of COVID-19 after egg retrieval, but before embryo transfer, she will be instructed to freeze-all.  Costs for subsequent FET would be as usual.
Patients with recent travel outside Canada would be recommended to delay treatment for at least 14 days

    1. NEW!  Updated SOGC Committee Opinion – COVID-19 in Pregnancy
    2. Resources on COVID-19 and pregnant woman can found here
    3. RCOG (UK) COVID-19 Virus Infection & Pregnancy   Currently there are no Canadian guidelines available from SOGC, but we will certainly update patients as our own societies provide more guidance
    4. REGARDING PREGNANCY (Q and A) see below:

Are pregnant women more susceptible to infection, or at increased risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality with COVID-19, compared with the general public?

We do not have information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as observed in cases of other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy. Pregnant women should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.

Are pregnant women with COVID-19 at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes?

We do not have information on adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19. Pregnancy loss, including miscarriage and stillbirth, has been observed in cases of infection with other related coronaviruses [SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV] during pregnancy. High fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

How can I prevent infection?

The most effective way to prevent being infected is proper hand washing, alcohol based hand rubs -ABHR- (ideally over 70%), face masks for droplet spread prevention, and common sense.  The biggest threat to you are others who self declare infection risk, or who are infected already.  Remember, Infection control specialists are now advising that ABHR are very effective, unless your hands are visibly soiled – then soap and water are preferred.