“Thinking of having a baby?”

“Thinking of having a baby?”

Guerbet is supporting a new awareness campaign launched by the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) to help fertility patients who are considering pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapid global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for fertility patients, pregnant women, as well as the community of reproductive healthcare specialists. Due to these unprecedented circumstances, Guerbet’s Women’s Health division, who produces and commercializes both water- and oil-soluble contrast media used for HSG within fertility management, decided to support a unique awareness campaign launched by the IFFS aimed at fertility patients around the world. It encourages patients with questions and concerns about fertility care during the global pandemic to contact their healthcare teams to ask for advice and establish a plan for the pursuit of their dream of a child. We asked Dr. Edgar Mocanu, an RCSI and Rotunda Hospital academic and the President-Elect of the IFFS to share more information about the campaign.

Dr Mocanu, can you tell us more about the awareness campaign “Thinking of having a baby”?

“Yes of course. On May 29, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, and the International Federation of Fertility Societies affirmed in a joint statement that reproduction is an essential human right to which the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges. In this context, the IFFS considered essential to take initiative and reassure patients that reproductive healthcare professionals continue to offer support and medical advice tailored to their individual situations and concerns within the confinement of maintaining general safety measures and in the context of national medical advice being respected.”

Can you explain the unique threats and challenges linked to fertility treatment?

“First of all, I would like to emphasize that infertility is a serious disease that affects 8-12% of couples of reproductive age and harms physical and mental well-being. It is time-sensitive, and prognosis worsens with both female and male age advancement. Due to the global pandemic, fertility diagnostics and treatments were temporarily put on hold, in most countries, adding additional stress to patients already facing a difficult situation. Even now, the access to infertility care continues to be curtailed in many countries where the pandemic is still in full development.”

How can reproductive healthcare professionals help patients during these difficult times?

“Reproductive healthcare professionals are in a special position to advise their patients during the pandemic, helping them decide whether now is the right time to pursue their family dreams and establish a plan deciding when to proceed with diagnostic tests and fertility treatments and to offer remote support using online technology.”

It can potentially be complex for a busy healthcare professional to stay up to date with the latest information about the influence of COVID-19 on reproductive health. How are you planning to help them do so?

“The #THINKINGOFHAVINGABABY” campaign is a natural follow up of an earlier IFFS initiative, the IFFS International Resource Center, where we strive to deliver up-to-date information to healthcare providers, patients and other stakeholders about the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact upon reproductive health.”

What are the key elements of the campaign?

“The campaign is composed of an engaging infographic poster (PDF format) which can be printed and/or posted where appropriate, a series of 5 social media posts which have been developed for distribution according to a set timeline starting 28 September and a 15-second animated video clip to use on video-screens, websites and across social media with the hashtag #THINKINGOFHAVINGABABY”.

The campaign contains reassuring messages informing fertility patients that their reproductive healthcare specialists are available and ready to support them, whatever questions they may have, to help them establish a plan for fertility diagnostic tests and treatments aligned with the individual medical and reproductive background of each patient.”

What are the expected outcomes of the campaign?

“We hope this campaign will give fertility patients confidence to initiate conversations with their healthcare providers, discuss specific concerns, and decide if now is the right time to explore fertility diagnostic tests and treatment options fitting their individual needs.”

All the campaign elements are available for use from the IFFS website here.