The long pause on patient’s treatment cycles due to COVID-19 is finally over. Newlife IVF Greece is back, and we are ready to extend our helping hand in assisting you achieve the family of your dreams. We understand the time-sensitive nature of infertility treatments, and the stress the pandemic has caused, thus we will make sure that you will get back on track as soon as possible.
So far evidence shows that COVID-19 does not have a negative effect on IVF treatment cycles as no significant viral load of SARS-Cov-2 has been found on the cells and tissues used handled in during IVF. There is no evidence of the virus being teratogenic and there hasn’t been a link between contracting the virus and increased miscarriage rates or negative pregnancy prognosis.
Based on the above the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) on the 23rd of April issued guidelines on how should IVF units resume their treatment cycles. After fully implementing ESHRE’s guidelines and the instruction provided by our Regulatory Body, Newlife IVF Greece, reopened for Greek citizens on the 16th of May.
Even though Greek citizens have been able to resume their treatment cycles, international patients’ stress and anxiety has been prolonged due to travel bans. However, with more and more countries lifting their travel restrictions this waiting period will soon be over.
Greece will be opening its borders for a selective list of 30 countries on the 15th of June. More countries will be added to that list as time goes by, based on epidemiological criteria. Newlife has been fully prepared to welcome international patients by implementing rules and protocols that will ensure both our patients’ and staff’s safety.
Confinement may soon be over but the virus will still be here. A new era is upon us and therefore we have implemented a new set of rules to adapt to this new reality.
👥 Staff members
We have created teams working in rotation and at the same time we have organized a stable online working environment that allows part of the staff members to also work from home.
🧼 Sanitizing and disinfection
Thorough and frequent cleaning along with proper ventilation have always been our priority. During this pandemic, however, our standards have become higher, thus we have imposed even stricter rules and have acquired all the necessary tools to make sure that you will be able to undergo treatment at a safe environment.
🏥 Before you come to the clinic
Your midwife and coordinator will provide you with constant updates on the COVID-19 situation in Greece. When you commence treatment, you will also start your “COVID-19 training”. We will provide you with our COVID-19 code of contact, a set of rules explaining how you can protect yourself from the virus during your IVF treatment, along with our new consent forms which you will have to sign regarding COVID19. Furthermore, in order to make sure that you will be able to travel safely for your treatment cycle, you will also undertake a series of triage questionnaires at 3 different stages of your treatment cycle, answering questions about symptoms and social contacts you may have had in the past 15 days.
🚪 Arriving at the clinic
Upon your arrival a member of our staff will check your temperature. All of our patients will be required to wear a face mask, so please make sure you bring your own with you when you visit the clinic. Moreover, hand sanitizing is key, thus hydroalcoholic gel dispensers have been strategically placed in our lobby and waiting areas allowing you to follow the required hand hygiene. You will also find up to date COVID-19 guidelines issued by our ministry of health explaining the necessary measures you can take to stay safe displayed on our tv screens and stands in the waiting area.
🕑 Minimizing your time at the clinic
Communication has always been our strong point. We are no strangers to using means of technology to our advantage to establish stable communication with our patients. Contacting you via email or phone call will be the first-line approach to resolving any issues you may have. By doing so, your physical presence at the clinic will be required only when absolutely necessary. Moreover, timetables have been rearranged in the manner that allows enough time in between appointments to ensure a steady flow of patients while avoiding overcrowding. Also, in our efforts to minimize your stay at the clinic, we request if possible, for semen samples to be produced at the place of your residence and transferred to the clinic within 45 minutes after their production.
💺 Waiting room occupancy
We have redesigned our waiting area and our staff members have been thoroughly trained in placing patients strategically in the waiting area. Plexiglass has been also placed in the lobby for both the patients’ and staff members’ protection.
🧪 COVID-19 testing
Our National Regulatory Body has instructed IVF clinics to perform COVID-19 PCR testing either before the triggering injection in stimulation cycles or before the start of progesterone in preparation for an embryo transfer. International patients should perform the necessary testing before travelling to Greece.
At Newlife IVF Greece, we are doing everything in our hands to aid our international patients in smoothly resuming their treatment cycles as soon and as safely as possible. Together carefully and methodically we will adapt to this new standard and we will continue to make miracles happen.
Ermina Konstantinidou, BSc
Ermina is a Midwife and an International Patient Coordinator at Newlife IVF Greece.