Infection precautions for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in assisted reproduction centers: dodging an invisible bullet

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection risk and mitigation strategies for assisted reproductive centers were reviewed. The implementation of safety precautions was suggested based on current literature and society guidelines.

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VOLUME 115, ISSUE 4, P831-839


Amy E.T. Sparks, Ph.D., Jessica D. Kresowik, M.D.


The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has resulted in many changes in how we interact in society, requiring that we protect ourselves and others from an invisible, airborne enemy called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Until a vaccine is developed, and it reaches high levels of distribution, everyone must continue to be diligent to limit the viral spread. The practice of assisted reproduction during this pandemic presents unique challenges in addition to the risks identified in general clinical care. The established good tissue practices employed in laboratories are not designed to protect gametes and embryos from an airborne virus, particularly one that may be shed by an asymptomatic staff member. Armed with theoretical risks but lacking direct evidence, assisted-reproduction teams must examine every aspect of their practice, identify areas at a risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and develop a mitigation plan. Several professional fertility societies have created guidelines for the best practices in patient care during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. As we learn more about SARS-CoV-2, updates have been issued to help adapt infection-control and -prevention protocols. This review discusses what is currently known about SARS-CoV-2 infection risks in assisted reproductive centers and recommends the implementation of specific mitigation strategies.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.