Early experience with universal SARS-CoV-2 testing in a New York-based reproductive endocrinology ‎practice

Julian A. Gingold, Sharon Galperin, Sabrina Fowler, Michelle Kappy, Staci Pollack, Manvinder Singh, Harry Lieman, Sangita Jindal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic peak around March 2020 led to temporary closures of most fertility clinics. Many clinics reopened but required universal SARS-CoV-2 screening. However, the rate of positive results and the necessity for such testing is unknown. We report here on early results from asingle-center academic NewYork fertility practice utilizing universal SARS-CoV-2 screening. This mixed prospective retrospective cohort included 164 patients who underwent at least one SARS-CoV-2 screening test for fertility treatment between May and July2020. Patients completed 1 to 3 nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 tests per cycle and remained symptom-free to continue fertility treatments. SARS-CoV-2 test results, past results, history of Covid-19 infection, and patient/cycle characteristics were recorded and tabulated through October2020. Outcomes included positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA tests, rate of prior Covid-19 infections, and clinical courses of patients testing positive. Patients underwent 263 cycles entailing 460 total SARS-CoV-2 screening tests. Fifteen patients reported astrong prior clinical history of Covid-19. Six patients experienced apositive SARS-CoV-2 test (2.3% of all cycles). Among 77 cycles (n = 58 patients) entailing one SARS-CoV-2 test, 2 cases (2.6%) were noted. Among 173 cycles (n = 121 patients) entailing two SARS-CoV-2 tests, 4 cycles (2.3%) were noted. Zero (0%) of 13 cycles (n = 13 patients) entailing 3 SARS-CoV-2 tests were positive. All patients were cleared to resume treatment within one month. Overall, anew asymptomatic infection was identified in 2 cycles (0.8%), while 4 of the 6 positive SARS-CoV-2 tests were among patients with aprior history of Covid-19. 3 of 4 also had adocumented prior positive RNA test. Our data suggest that universal SARS-CoV-2 screening among fertility patients is feasible, with an approximately 2% positive rate per cycle among the patients of this study. Most positive patients had aprior remote infection, but their infectiousness while being screened remains unclear. Abbreviations: REI: reproductive endocrinology and infertility; IUI: intrauterine insemination; IVF: invitro fertilization; sono: sonography; cryo: cryopreservation; FET: frozen embryo transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalSystems Biology in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Covid-19
  • SARS-CoV2
  • fertility practice experience
  • in vitro fertilization
  • viral screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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