Egg Donation is a process that involved the donation of eggs retrieved from a fertile woman and donated to an infertile woman through applying assisted reproductive technology (ART) including the IVF process to build their family. In this process, the recipient woman of the donated egg does not have a biological relationship with the born child but legally she is the mother of a born child. In this process, the donor egg is artificially fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or the donor sperm and the created embryo is transferred to the recipient’s uterus for further development of the fetus.
Egg donation is an established fertility treatment under ART. Advancement of medical technology also offers the option to cryopreserve the donated egg, embryos, and transported them internationally to solve the infertility issues. But the arrival of COVID-19 brings many unexpected changes including the closing of borders, restricted traveling, which directly impact the egg donation service by delaying the procedure. Connectivity issues, medical emergencies, and long-lasting pandemics draw a stringent line to perform elected medical procedures including egg donation for time being to control the spreading of Coronavirus infection.
Currently, many renowned egg banks offer cargo services due to restrictions of traveling and personal contact. Cargo service is an additional service providing by some egg bank. In this service, intended parents have the option to bring the egg sample through couriers and the egg bank professionals personally deposit the sample to the cargo. Another personal courier service is recruited by the agency to collect the sample from the cargo and deliver the product at the site. The sample is then needed to store in bio-storage facilities until the recipient available to proceed with the treatment. Otherwise, the sample needs to cryopreserve until a further notification comes to proceed with the treatment.
All the healthcare staffs need to follow the highest standards of health protection and sanitization to prevent the spreading of the disease. The egg donor must screen for COVID infection and only allow those who have negative COVID test results. Moreover, the medical team needs to ensure continuous examination during the egg donation cycle. The stringent selection process impacts the donor selection process and interrupts the fertility journey for many intended parents during this COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, extra medical testing also increases the estimated budget.
Some of the fertility clinics have paused all the treatment procedures during the COVID- Pandemic. However, they give prior notice to their patients so that it could not affect their ongoing patient’s treatment cycle. But in general, this impacts highly to the overall fertility clinic industry. And obviously, this extra waiting period bothering patients who have planned to start their treatment.
Currently, the working fertility clinics are keeping their eyes on the global situation regularly to develop and plan strategies to maintain the safety parameters along with concentrating the patient service. Fertility clinic authorities continuously inform the medical community to update them about any new changes or directives and the whole team should ready on a regular basis to make the changes if any. All these extra events increase the work burden.